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Graduate Student Handbook


Colloquium (Seminar) Policy

All graduate students in the graduate program in nutritional sciences are expected to attend regularly the graduate program colloquium to hear about current research topics from internal and external speakers.

  • Master’s degree candidates are required to take 2 credits of NUTR 520 and 1 credit of NUTR 551 as indicated in the Master’s degree requirements.
  • Ph.D. students are required to take 2 credits of NUTR 520 and 1 credit of NUTR 551 or NUTR 590 per year until the semester in which the Comprehensive Exam is passed.

NUTR 520 should be completed in the first year of the program, following the Fall-Spring sequence only. NUTR 551 should be completed once each year of the Program (usually in the second and third years) until after completing the Comprehensive Examination.

NUTR 590 should be completed when the student’s dissertation research is ready for presentation to the graduate program in nutritional sciences at large (usually in the fourth or fifth years); however, NUTR 590, rather than NUTR 551, may be completed to fulfill the seminar requirement in the second or third year of the Program, provided that the student give a seminar during the graduate program colloquium. The availability of travel funds is contingent upon good attendance at colloquium.

Travel to Meetings

Financial support for travel to scientific meetings is a privilege and is considered a reward for meritorious service. Its purpose is to further the education of the graduate student. The number of trips, if any, and the amount of support for each trip will be at the discretion of the advisor, the professor-in-charge of the graduate program department head. Priority will be given to those students making a presentation.

A graduate student seeking funding for travel to a professional scientific meeting will initiate such a request by completing and submitting a formal Travel Request Form to the Administrative Assistant to the graduate program. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and funded depending on available resources. Requests may be denied by the department head. See the Graduate Handbook for additional information regarding the funding criteria and funding amounts for travel.

Leave of Absence

The Graduate School, at present, has no policy on leaves-of-absence. Depending upon the source of funding, a graduate student may be permitted to miss the Summer session without being considered as having a leave-of-absence. However, after an absence of one or more Fall or Spring semesters, the Graduate School must have a completed “resume study form” submitted one month prior to the semester that the student wishes to return [e.g., if student misses the Fall semester or any portion of it, student must apply to resume study one month prior to the Spring semester]. If a student does take a leave-of-absence that amount of time must be included in the time limit for completing the degree. See the Graduate Handbook for additional information about the leave of absence policy.


Most courses are graded A, B, C, D and F. Any grade below a "C" is not considered to be a passing grade for a required course. R grades are available routinely for Nutrition 590 (Colloquium), Nutrition 594 (Research Topics), Nutrition 596 (Individual Studies), and Nutrition 597 (Special Topics). Letter grades can be used for these, but should not be mixed with R grades for students enrolled in the same offering. Special 597 courses should be graded using the letter grade system. Special permission is required from the Graduate School to give R grades for these courses.

Deferred Grades

The use of deferred grades should not be abused. The policy states:
"If work is incomplete at the end of a semester for a reason beyond the student's control, or if very little work remains to be done, the instructor may report DF ... The deferral must be removed within nine weeks of the beginning of the succeeding semester, unless a special extension is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School.

"If a course (e.g., perhaps a 596 or 530 course for an M.S. paper or project) is really designed to require a year rather than a semester, a request can be submitted to the Graduate School to allow an "R" grade for the first semester (or both semesters). Note that in such a case, the student must sign up for two contiguous semesters of the course. A final quality grade can be issued at the end. Or it can remain an "R".

Changing Options

Students who wish to change from the Doctoral option to the Master’s option must inform their advisor/research mentor as soon as possible. The student should be aware that electing to make such a change may have implication for allocation of assistantships, research priorities and advisor/research mentor matches, etc.

Annual Review

Each graduate student in the graduate program in nutritional sciences will engage in an annual review with the professor-in-charge of the graduate program in nutritional sciences, at a minimum, and preferably also with his/her advisor/research mentor. Students will complete a self-evaluation on a yearly basis and provide one (1) copy of this written, self-assessment to the advisor/research mentor and one (1) copy to the professor-in-charge of the graduate program in nutritional sciences.

Program Dismissal

When the program’s professor-in-charge, on the advice of the student’s research committee determines that a student must be dismissed for unsatisfactory scholarship, the student must be given advance notice, in writing. This notice will advise the student of the reason(s) for dismissal.

Examples of reasons for dismissal include, but are not limited to, inability of the student to maintain a B (3.0) level grade point average, failure to successfully complete the Candidacy Examination or the Comprehensive Examination, inability to meet scholarly goals and objectives required for attainment of the Ph.D. degree, unsatisfactory academic or research progress as assessed by the advisor/research mentor during the annual review or exceeding the time limitation for the Ph.D. degree [within eight (8) years from the date of the completion of the Candidacy Examination].

Upon receipt of this notice of unsatisfactory performance, the student has the opportunity to seek a review of this decision. If the student desires such as review, the student must, within 10 days of receipt of the notice, submit to the professor-in-charge and/or the Chair of the Graduate Student Grievance Committee a written proposal.