Frequently Asked Questions

Select a question below to reveal the answer:

What are the campus and the city of Menomonie like?

University of Wisconsin-Stout is located in the small, friendly and safe community of Menomonie, Wisconsin, which has a population of 15,000. An international dimension is added by the presence of more than 150 students from some 30 countries. The university's attractive, flower-gardened campus is situated on a lake surrounded by rivers and hills with biking and hiking. Entertainment and cultural events are offered on campus, in the community and the nearby cities Eau Claire (30 minutes east) and Minneapolis-St. Paul, one hour west on Interstate 94.

The university is well known nationally and internationally for its programs that lead to employment in professional careers, especially in dietetics/nutrition and food science. The university is in the middle of the city and most businesses and stores are nearby. Bus and taxi service is available. Most students prefer to walk or bicycle; some students own cars. Off-campus student housing is affordable and is within walking distance of the campus.

How many graduate credits can be transferred to UW-Stout from another university?

Up to 11 credits (or 1/3 of credits) of our 34 credit requirement can be transferred with program director approval. Our Graduate School has established guidelines for the transfer of credits. The student must have earned a "B" or better in the course, the credits must come from an accredited university, are masters level credits, are applicable to the degree sought, and are approved by the program director prior to beginning your program. The credits are transferred at the end of the program when you declare degree candidacy. The credits are allowable for seven years; thus a course taken in 2013 plus seven years would be good until 2020 and the semester in which it was completed.

If I have an unrelated bachelor's degree and have never taken nutrition and food science courses, am I eligible for the graduate program in food and nutritional sciences?

Yes, you are eligible if the GPA is at least 3.0 or eligible for probational basis if the GPA is lower than 3.0. Depending on the undergraduate course of study, competency courses may be required because there is an expectation that you have a foundation background. 

See the Program Plan for required competency courses for each concentration.

What would be considered a full time student?

Graduate students are considered full time if carrying nine credits. Graduate assistants must carry at least 6 credits. Graduate students are allowed to register for a maximum of 16 credits during fall and spring semesters, and 10 credits during the summer.

How long will it take to complete a Master of Science degree in Food and Nutritional Sciences?

It will take approximately one and one-half to two years to complete your degree. Students may complete some requirements in summer school. If a UW-Stout undergraduate student completes dual enrollment courses their senior year, it is possible to graduate in one year. Progress on the graduate research project may influence the time to degree completion.

Is a graduate degree really worth the expense?

No matter how you define the term "worth," a graduate degree adds value to a career in dietetics or food science and technology. From a financial perspective, professionals with a graduate degree can expect to earn more. In a survey of 87 northern Wisconsin dietetic professionals, after controlling for experience, master's prepared dietitians earned nearly $5,100 per year more than a dietitian with only a bachelor's degree. That difference increases to $13,181 for foodservice management dietitians.

Obtaining a graduate degree makes a job more interesting and challenging because of the additional knowledge about nutrition and food topics that can be applied. Knowing how to develop and analyze a survey or measure performance outcomes increases employment opportunities and personal satisfaction; a graduate program allows development of these skills.

I have heard that at UW-Stout I can achieve dietetic registration and a master's degree in less time than if I pursued these two goals elsewhere. Is that true?

To become a registered dietitian, one must complete the competencies required by ACEND, the agency that oversees registration of dietitians. Each university has courses students take to meet these competencies. At UW-Stout we have these courses but have dual enrollment which allows graduate students to take the same courses that undergrads take to meet the competencies. These dual enrolled courses have additional course objectives and assignments above those for undergrad, but you will be completing both the competencies and the master's degree requirements at the same time.

Dual enrollment is rare and it makes UW-Stout unique in how quickly course work to meet both competencies and master's degree can be accomplished. Some of the courses required to meet the competencies are definitely undergrad (principles of management, biochemistry, and the like); however, our Graduate School allows you to pay undergraduate fees for undergraduate courses. A student with a B.S. in Dietetics would not have to take any additional courses to meet competencies and could proceed directly into the masters program. After completing the internship, then you could sit for the national registration exam and become a registered dietitian, the recognized expert in nutrition.

What are the requirements for graduation?

Our program requires that 34 credits (17 credits at 700 levels or above) be completed as indicated in the program plan developed by the student and program director.

Information about graduation, including details, graduation deadlines and information on the ceremony are found at Graduate School and Dean of Students websites.

In summary, you file an Application for Degree Candidacy (program directors signature required), with your program plan and current graduate transcript attached and the form to request transfer credit if needed. After the application is approved by Graduate School, you must file online for graduation and file early in the semester you wish to graduate as your records are reviewed to determine if they are in order. All requirements must be met which includes your research requirements or research paper which is due by 4 p.m. of the last day of evaluation week or last day of summer classes.

Aerial shot of the Stout Campus