NFS 203 Lab

Faculty research encompasses both basic and applied aspects of human nutrition and food science. Current studies focus on Web-based interactive multimedia tools for teaching and research, Internet-based weight management programs, milk chemistry, cheese technology and food microbiology

Since our faculty members` research interests are diverse, prospective graduate students should visit our faculty info page to review their research interests and contact individual faculty members for information about ongoing research projects and fellowship/assistantship opportunities.

Please note: Graduate student applicants must have an NFS department faculty member willing to serve as their graduate advisor prior to applying and in order to be accepted into the program.

What coursework/research experience is involved?

Master's degrees require a minimum of 30 credits. These are courses required as part of the 30 minimum credits, other courses are chosen in consultation with your faculty advisor:

NFS 6350NFS Seminar2 credits
NFS 6362Intro to Research Methods3 credits
NFS 6391Master's Thesis Research

6-15 credits

Statistics course approved by faculty advisor3 credits
Electives approved by faculty advisor3-9 credits
Comprehensive Examination 
  • Comprehensive Examination: A written and/or oral comprehensive examination (decided up on by your thesis faculty advisor and thesis committee members).
  • Research and Thesis: Original research (and a written summary of it) conducted under the supervision of your faculty advisor. (Most graduate students also submit their thesis results, usually in condensed form to scholarly journals for publication consideration).
  • Thesis Defense: After presenting your thesis research findings at a public seminar open to the college community, a thesis defense committee (three University of Vermont graduate faculty members, one outside of the department) engage the graduate student in an oral defense of the thesis.

*Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher per semester as well as cumulative.

What does my assistantship include?

Graduate assistantships in NFS are 12 months and include:

  • A yearly stipend, the amount is determined annually
  • A tuition scholarship: 9 credits in the fall semester, 9 credits in the spring semester and 5 credits in the summer term.
  • Health Insurance Stipend: 100% of the Single Student Health Insurance Premium.
  • Effort Expectation: 20 hours per week for full-time students
    • GTRA: 10 hours per week as Research Assistant and 10 hours per week as a Teaching Assistant
    • RA: 20 hours per week as a Research Assistant

What is my time committment if I am offered a Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant (GTRA) assistantship or a Research Assistantship (RA)?

  • Graduate students offered GTRA assistantships will be assigned 10 hours per week as a Research Assistant with their faculty advisor and 10 hours per week as a Teaching Assistant in one or more NFS courses. The TA course assignments are decided before the begining of each semester by the department Chair.
  • Graduate students offered a Research Assistantship will spend their 20 hours of time committment working on research with their faculty advisor.

Am I qualified to apply?

Yes if...

  • You are interested in pursuing research in nutrition and food science and
  • You have an undergraduate degree in nutrition, dietetics, food science or another science-related field
  • A TOEFL: minumum score of 90 to be considered for admission; 100 or above is required for a funded assistantship.
  • GRE: NOT required

Interested individuals whose educational and/or professional experiences are not directly related to nutrition and food science are welcomed, too, but need to complete at least one semester of undergraduate-level biochemistry, which has organic chemistry as a prerequisite, before applying.

Learning Goals and Outcomes:

Upon completion of the M. S. degree, students will be able to:

  • Exhibit the ability to conduct and defend a scientifically valid project to advance the field of knowledge in nutrition and/or food sciences
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills designed to disseminate nutrition or food sciences research findings
  • Think critically to evaluate current research in specific scientific areas related to the fields of nutrition and / or food sciences
  • Exhibit the ability to transition to research, government or non-profit related employment


Places our M.S. In Nutrition and Food Sciences graduates have found employment:

  • PhD student at UC Davis
  • Extension Educator, Louisiana State University
  • Research Assistant, Vermont Lung Center
  • Health Analyst, Vermont Department of Health
  • Extension EFNEP Coordinator, University of Vermont
  • Product Development Scientist, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • Diabetes Educator


Deadline: Feb 15th, for students seeking funding (assistantships, fellowships).
Decisions are made by March 15.

Applications from students not seeking funding are accepted on a rolling basis.


For more graduate program information Contact:
Dr. Mingruo Guo, PhD