Skip to main content

DN 854 Non-Thesis Research

Important Documents

Schedule and Assignment Details PDF document

Presentation Guidelines PDF document

Signature Forms PDF document

Course description:
DN 854 Special Problems in Dietetics & Nutrition (1-4 credit hours)
Directed study of special problems in nutrition or nutrition care. This course provides for the individual or group study of special problems. Through directed readings, investigation, and projects, the student acquires information with reference to questions in dietetics and nutrition not covered in organized courses.

This course number is used for a number of different types of special problems for a variable number of hours. For the non-thesis research project, the number of credit hours is 3 hours and the project is usually completed in one semester.

The non-thesis research project may include one or more of the following areas:

  1. Writing an intensive review of the literature on a given topic using a recognized review method.

  2. Participation with a faculty member in the development of a research proposal or grant.

  3. Participation with a faculty member in conducting a pilot project.

  4. Participation with a faculty member in the design, implementation or the evaluation of a program in a specialized area of dietetics practice.

  5. Collection and/or analysis of data in conjunction with a faculty member engaged in research.

Objective of the non-thesis MS degree:
To prepare students to practice dietetics and nutrition and to interpret research in nutrition in healthcare organizations. The graduate would be prepared to translate research into practice and may assist a principal investigator in research.

Course objectives:
At the end of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Describe generally, in writing and in a presentation, the advisor’s research project on which the student is working.

    1. Pertinent literature

    2. Purpose and research questions

    3. Methods

    4. Ethical issues

    5. Results

    6. Discussion

  2. Describe in detail, in writing and in a presentation, the part of the research on which the student worked.

  3. Be able to participate in a research project with the guidance of a principal investigator.

  4. Interpret research in nutrition and translate it into practice when appropriate.

Textbooks and References:
Information for Authors for the Am J Clin Nutr (located in January issue of the journal) for text, references, tables, figures, units and abbreviations, or online at

AMA Manual of Style, 9th Edition (D&N Library) for grammar and other style details.

Policies for Meetings:

  • The graduate student is expected to meet with the assigned advisor the first week of classes in order to establish a regular meeting schedule for the semester (approximately weekly).

  • The student will need to schedule meetings with the research project committee and may need to schedule meetings with other professionals and/or subjects to complete the research project.

  • The student is expected to communicate clearly about the dates, times and locations of meetings, to arrive at the scheduled time and to be prepared.

All written assignments must be word-processed using the format specified by the advisor. Assignments are to be turned in to the advisor on time. The assignments common to all students are the following:

  1. Non-thesis MS research project committee agreement form

  2. Written proposal

  3. Approval of proposal by research project committee

  4. Final written assignment

  5. Oral presentation

Adherence to a schedule is important in finishing the project. (See the General Schedule.) See section on assignment details. PDF document

Academic Conduct:
Students are expected to do their own work. Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be dealt with according to School and University policies.

The research project advisor will assign a letter grade. The research project committee will recommend a grade for the quality of the write-up and the presentation of the research project. The student receives an “Incomplete” if the activities scheduled for the semester are not completed.

Point Allocation:
20 – Adherence to the established schedule
10 – Written proposal
10 – Presentation of proposal to research project committee
20 – Work habits and work quality
10 – Research ethics
15 – Final written work
15 – Oral presentation of research project

For certain projects, this point allocation may not be appropriate. In these cases, the advisor will ask the student to document the point allocation in the proposal. The research project committee will be asked to give its recommendation.

Requirements of Course:
A student enrolled in the non-thesis MS research project (DN 854) will work approximately 2 hours per credit hour per week for 16 weeks on the project in Fall or Spring Semesters. In the Summer Term of 8 weeks, the student will work 4 hours per credit hour per week. Because of the nature of research, the work may not be evenly distributed over the 16 weeks of a semester or the 8 weeks of the Summer Term. Distribution of the work over the semester/term should be discussed between the advisor and student prior to making an agreement to work together.

Any student who has a disability or condition that compromises his/her ability to complete the requirements of this course must notify the instructor in writing immediately.

Any student who does not understand and/or accept the contents and terms of this syllabus must notify the instructor in writing within one week after receiving the syllabus.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

This program begins three times each year, once each in fall, spring and summer semesters. Students may enroll full-time or part-time and many classes are available online.

Application Deadlines
Fall start: July 1
Spring start: Dec 1
Summer start: May 1

Learn about the program:

Program Overview

Eligibility and Requirements

How to Apply

Tuition and Fees