Master of Science - Nutrition
The goal of our M.S. program is to enhance students’ knowledge of nutrition
by integrating resources and expertise across campus. We offer students:
- Multidisciplinary research opportunities,
- Thesis and non-thesis options,
- Teaching and research assistantships and
- Individual attention.
The research interests of our graduate faculty encompass many different aspects
of nutrition including experimental, clinical, public health, education, policy,
and human and community development.
Graduates from our program have been successful in obtaining challenging careers
in research, education, dietetics practice, and administration of nutrition programs
in the public and private sectors.
Students have the option of two plans in order to complete the graduate program:
Plan A students must complete 32 credits, including 6 credits for
thesis (NUTR 797 or equivalent). A thesis is a scientific document that describes
the background, methods, results and conclusions of an original research activity.
Plan B students must complete 35 credits, including 3 credits for
professional paper (NUTR 796 or equivalent). A professional paper here refers to
a critical analysis of existing knowledge on a specified nutrition topic/problem
that is written in a style suitable for a science journal.
Students enrolled in both Plan A and B, must complete and earn a “B”
or better (i.e., 3.0) in each of the following core nutrition courses (total of
- Micronutrients (NUTR 735; 3 credits)
- Macronutrients (NUTR 730; 3 credits)
- Nutrition and Health (NUTR 725; 3 credits)
- Nutrition Assessment Techniques (NUTR 732; 3 credits)
- Seminar in Nutrition (NUTR 726; 1 credit)
Students who fail to earn a “B” or better in one or more of the core
nutrition courses have the option of re-enrolling in the course(s) the next time
it is offered. There are no substitutions available for regularly scheduled classes.
Other required courses for both Plans include:
- Graduate-level research methods course (3 credits). Students may select a research
course among the following approved courses:
- CEP 700 Introduction to Educational Research
- EECB 750 Research Design in Ecology (same as BIO 750)
- EL 785 Survey Research in Education
- NUTR 680 Nutrition Research and Contemporary Issues
- SOC 737 Survey Research Methods
- Graduate-level statistics course (3 credits). Students may select a statistics course
among the following approved courses:
- APST 663, Design and Analysis of Experiments
- CEP 640 Educational Measurements and Statistics
- CEP 740 Advanced Educational Measurements and Statistics
- CHS 780 Research Methods and Applied Biostatistics
- Graduate-level seminar course (1 credit). In addition to NUTR 726 (1 credit) listed
previously, all students must complete a second graduate seminar course. This requirement
may be fulfilled by completing an additional semester of NUTR 726 or by enrolling
in a graduate seminar related to their area of specialization/interest.
- To fulfill the remaining credit hours, students may complete other elective courses
that are directed toward developing proficiency in the students’ selected
area of specialization/interest.
These positions are offered through various departments and are paid by grants or
state funds. Students interested in these positions must contact the department
for specific requirements. The Graduate School is responsible for approval of graduate
assistantships after a department has requested the initiation of a contract. All
positions are contingent upon available funding.
Graduate assistants perform a variety of duties from teaching undergraduate classes
to grading papers, to conducting research in laboratories. Teaching assistants receive
special teaching-skills training through the Teaching assistants receive special
teaching-skills training through the Graduate School. All graduate students holding
an assistantship (teaching TA or research RA) are considered Nevada residents for
tuition purposes. Non-resident tuition is only waived for the duration of the assistantship.
To be eligible for an assistantship, students must be admitted to a degree-granting
program and be in good academic standing. The students must have an overall GPA
of at least 3.0 and must be continuously enrolled in at least 6 graduate level credits
(600- 700) throughout the duration of the assistantship (upon approval of the Graduate
Dean, English Bridge Course credits may be used to help satisfy the enrollment requirements).
A student enrolled in a prescribed program is ineligible for a teaching or research
State-funded assistantships (TA/RA) may be held for a maximum of:
- Three (3) years for master's degree students;
- Five (5) years for doctoral degree students;
- Six (6) years for students continuing with doctoral studies after completing a
International students serving as Teaching Assistants must meet a minimum Test of
English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 (paper version) or 213 (computer
version) and pass the Speak Test with a score of 50. (A score of 50 on the Test
of Spoken English (TSE) can be substituted for the Speak Test.)
All graduate students must enroll in a minimum of three graduate level credits each
semester. A graduate student, who is not a graduate assistant, may register for
up to 16 graduate credits in any one semester, or up to six graduate credits in
any six-week summer session.
In the event of an illness or family emergency, a leave of absence may be requested.
The Graduate School’s “Application
for Leave of Absence” form should be used for this purpose. The leave
request must be approved by the Graduate Nutrition Program Director and the Graduate
School. The leave period cannot generally exceed one year. At the end of a leave-of-absence
period the student must also complete a “Notice
of Reinstatement to Graduate Standing” form.
All work toward a master's degree (transfer credits, credits completed at UNR prior
to admission, course work credits, thesis credits, if applicable, and all examinations)
must be completed within six calendar years immediately preceding the granting of
the degree. The Graduate School may consider an extension, normally not to exceed
one year or one-third of the course credit required for the degree. Requests for
extensions must come from the Chair of your Advisory-Examining Committee with the
concurrence of the Director of Nutrition Graduate Program and be based on an academic
or humanitarian rationale for the delay in degree completion.
Students who seek admission to the program must have a cumulative grade-point average
of at least 3.0; a GRE score of at least 1,000 (verbal plus quantitative); and have
completed the following undergraduate courses or equivalent courses as determined
by the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science:
- General Chemistry (Chemistry 101)
- Organic Chemistry (Chemistry 220A, 220L or Chemistry 241, 242, 345)
- Anatomy & Physiology (Biology 223, 224)
- Microbiology (Biology 251)
- Algebra & Trigonometry (Math 128)
- Principles of Nutrition (Nutrition 223)
- Human Nutrition & Metabolism (Nutrition 451 or Biochemistry 400)
- Advanced Nutrition (Nutrition 452)
Please note that all students must apply directly to the UNR Graduate School. Applications
will not be accepted the Nutrition Department. In addition to the
Graduate School requirements described below, students should also send the following
to the Nutrition Graduate Program Director:
(1) A letter of application that describes professional goals as well as area of
interest in nutrition and
(2) Three letters of recommendation from individuals that can provide evidence of
the students’ potential to successfully complete graduate program requirements.
Please note: The Nutrition Graduate Program does require Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
scores. Students must also provide current scores directly to the Graduate School
(see instructions below).
The following currently serve as Nutrition Graduate Faculty. We encourage students
to get acquainted with those who share your research interests. (Please note that
many are not in the Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science.)
Judith Ashley, Ph.D., R.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science
Nutrition education for health professionals; clinical nutrition; weight control
management, geriatric nutrition
Jamie Benedict, Ph.D., R.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science
Adolescence; environmental characteristics that impact nutritional health with specific
focus on school policies and practices; obesity; nutritional health of low-income
persons; nutrition education methodologies.
Marie Boutte, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, School of Public Health
Genetic epidemiology and Melungeons of Southern Appalachia; health compensation
among atomic veterans; HIV disease among older adults
Robert Brunner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Nevada School of Medicine
Diet/disease relationships; nutritional supplements and disease; predictors of adherence
to nutritional interventions, particularly those involving supplements.
Bill Evans, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist
Human Development and Family Studies
Adolescent risk, resiliency and developmental issues in general
with specific focus on youth development and youth worker issues, resilience to
adolescent violence, suicide prevention and youth program evaluation
Michelle Granner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Public Health
Physical activity, sedentary behavior, dietary intake, and the interaction of these
behaviors. Healthy weight management, obesity, eating disorders, community-based
participatory research, and evaluation.
Doina Kulick, MD, FACP
Assistant Professor , Internal Medicine, School of Medicine
Obesity genomics, bariatric patients, management of obesity in primary care settings,
bone health and nutrition; board certified in internal medicine and nutrition internal
Claude R. Lardinois, MD, FACP, MACN
Professor Emeritus, Internal Medicine, School of Medicine
The role of medical nutrition therapy as it impacts on chronic disorders like hypertension,
dyslipidemia, diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome; impact of selective nutritional
supplements on carbohydrate metabolism.
Stanley Omaye, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science
The role of micronutrients and antioxidants in health; effective pharmacological
and nutritional intervention in chronic diseases and aging; development of nutrient
biomarkers and methodologies; environmental issues, such as, air pollutants,
tobacco smoke, and heavy metal contamination effects on human health
Ron Pardini, Ph.D
Professor , Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
The induction of oxidative stress by various chemicals in insects and cancer; the
biochemistry and molecular biology of antioxidant systems of insects and tumor cells
Chris Pritsos, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science
The impact of free radical generated damage on biological systems and the role of
antioxidants in the prevention of this damage; mechanisms of action and therapeutic
efficacy of anticancer agents; the health impact of environmental tobacco smoke
exposure including biological damage, antioxidant protection, and genetic factors
which may make persons more susceptible to its harmful effects
Marsha Read, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate School
Supplement behaviors and beliefs; bone health including calcium
intake in adolescents and pre-adolescents
Madeleine Sigman-Grant, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor and Area Extension Specialist
University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
The feeding relationship between caregivers (parents and childcare
providers) and young children, specifically in low income families; including breastfeeding
as well as infant, toddler and preschool feeding interactions
Karen Spears, Ph.D., R.D.
Assistant Professor and State Extension Specialist, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Veterinary Science
Nutrition assessment methodology with focus on development of new tools to improve
the accuracy of dietary assessment. Evaluation of community-based obesity interventions
and the built environment to support food intake and physical activity behavior
Wei Yang, Ph.D., M.D.
School of Public Health & Director, Center for Health Informatics
Health informatics; Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System; cancer epidemiology;
injury prevention; children with special needs
Who do I contact for more information about Nutrition graduate program?
Dr. Jamie Benedict, Assoicate Professor, Faculty Advisor
Phone: (775) 784-6445
Office: 114c Sarah Fleischmann Bldg, UNR Campus
1664 North Virginia Street
Mail Stop 142
Reno, Nevada 89557
Page last updated: 5/30/2012