Research Information

Research Requirements

The program has a strong research component requiring completion of statistical methods, applied research design, trends in nutrition, and seminar.  The research preparation includes a choice of Option 1 (two research intensive classes completed in sequence in fall and spring) or Option 2 (a research preparation class along with either a Plan A or Plan B applied research paper). The research paper can be either a six credit thesis (Plan A) or a two credit problems in food science and nutrition (Plan B). Our students in process or completing research are noted for the number of quality research presentations at national, state and local conferences that include the Institute of Food Technology, Experimental Biology, American Dietetic Association, and the Society of Nutrition Education to name a few. Many students have published their papers in peer-reviewed journals and newsletters as well as the UW-Stout Research Journal. Upon graduation many graduate students build on their master's research through doctoral studies at other educational institutions.

Choosing a Plan A or Plan B

Plan A is a six-credit thesis. You form a committee with at least three members (one is your research advisor) and one is from a department other than the food and nutrition department. A fourth committee member can come from outside the Graduate Faculty but must be approved by the Graduate School. Generally, Plan A theses are more involved and more scholarly in that students plan and execute an experimental/quasi-experimental study or an involved descriptive study to test one or more hypotheses.

Plan B, Problems in Food Science and Nutrition is a 2 credit course. Compared with a thesis, the 2-credit investigation answers an equally important, yet less rigorous question, and is completed with one research advisor. Plan Bs earn less credit and take less time but still require some statistical applications. Discuss your options early with the Program Director and your adviser.

In addition, if your study (Plan A or Plan B) involves human subjects, the research design and all data collection instruments must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects in Graduate Student Research. The forms to obtain these approvals will need  your research adviser's signatures before they are submitted to the Research Services office.

Choosing a Research Topic and Adviser

At some universities, students are assigned their research topic and adviser but that is not the case here. The answer to how one chooses a research topic and adviser at UW-Stout is not easy or straightforward. A student's experience and interest, faculty interests and resources and departmental needs may influence the appropriateness of a topic for your research paper. Conversations with the program and program faculty about your interests will help identify an appropriate topic. Research topics and methods of research will be presented in your first year courses.

Paying attention to semester deadlines is important. Although, the graduate program director and your research adviser will assist you with form completion and adherence to deadlines, responsibility for following Graduate School requirements ultimately rests with the graduate student.