Nutrition FAQs


How do I register for classes?

Go to You will need either an onyen or a PID and PAC numbers to log in.

At the end of the program, am I eligible to take the RD exam?

All Track 1 and Track 2 MPH students are eligible to take the RD exam at the end of the MPH program. The criteria for taking the RD exam include meeting both the Foundation Knowledge and Skills and the Competencies for entry level practice.

The BSPH program provides all coursework necessary to meet the ADA’s Foundation Knowledge and Skills. But after completion of the BSPH program, students must then complete a program to meet the ADA’s Competency Requirements. The Competency requirements can be met by the completion of an accredited supervised practice program or completion of the Department of Nutrition’s Track 2 MPH program.

The Coordinated MPH degree program is accredited by the American Dietetic Association (ADA). All ADA core competencies and emphasis area competencies are met through field experiences taken as coursework while enrolled in the Coordinated MPH program.

How do I apply to graduate?

Master’s and doctoral degrees are awarded at the end of each semester and the second summer session. Formal commencement exercises are held in May and December. Students must notify the Graduate School of their plan to graduate by submitting an application for graduation no later than the deadline shown in the University Registrar’s Calendar found in the Directory of Classes (on the Web at: for the semester in which they expect to graduate.

Applications for graduation forms are available from the department student services manager.

Doctoral Specific

Is financial aid available through the department for doctoral students?

The department offers support in the form of traineeships and research or teaching assistantships. Nutrition faculty are involved in many research activities, and opportunities for employment on faculty research grants are sometimes available to doctoral students. Each student holding an appointment carrying either service or non-service financial support must be registered in order to hold that position. The Department has a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for predoctoral and postdoctoral training. Grants provide a stipend, tuition and fees, and health insurance. These NIH traineeships, open only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, are awarded on a competitive basis, and require sponsorship by a faculty member.


While I’m in school, can I get a part-time job in the nutrition department?

Many jobs will come up in the department throughout the year. Some professors may need a student to specifically work for them, and there are also many studies and research projects that need assistance. Inquiries about jobs can be made directly to professors, or you can email Joanne Lee at to see if there are any openings. Job announcements will also be made throughout the school year via mass email.

How do I get a job after I graduate?

The SPH Career Development Center provides assistance with looking for jobs. It is located in the Office of Student Affairs, 4115 McGavran-Greenberg. Questions about the SPH Career Development Center should be directed to: Kathy Graham, Career Services Specialist, Director at 966-9139 or

Financial Aid

How can I apply for in-state tuition?

Application is made to the Graduate School and forms may be obtained from them at Appeal procedures exist for applications that are denied. Students considering application for NC residency status are advised to begin the process early in their graduate school career. Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to change their driver’s license and voting registration immediately and to following all other legal steps to become a N.C. resident. Foreign students without a green card can not claim N.C. residency status.

How can I apply for financial aid?

Application for financial assistance may be made to the University Student Aid Office: The Resource Library at the Research Services Office offers a free computerized search service to UNC graduate students. The database includes private and public sources of research funding that can be searched by the student’s area of research interest or by discipline of investigator, e.g., funding for nurses. The library is located at 306 Bynum Hall, 966-5625. Some agencies provide training support only, some dissertation support only, and some both training and dissertation support. Some funding agencies provide dissertation support by means of competitive grant applications. Students should be aware that the deadline for applying for many of these grants may precede the funding date by as long as a year.

MPH Specific

What types of organizations can I perform my block field experience with?

Students perform their block field experiences at approved state, local, or district field agencies. If a student performs his/her concurrent experience at a “traditional” public health site, then the options for the block field experience can be flexible. Many students still opt to go to health departments, but placements can also be with wellness centers and other less “traditional” sites. There is a list of past block field placements in the Rosenau 4th floor student study room.

If relocating for my clinical experience, is any assistance provided in looking for a place to live?

In order to be eligible for AHEC reimbursement, students must first inquire about the free AHEC housing that some locations have (North Carolina placement only). If this housing has room for the students, they can live there for free. If students choose to find somewhere else to live, AHEC will not reimburse. If AHEC housing is full, AHEC will provide reimbursement for up to $330/month per student.

Will everyone be placed near Chapel Hill for their clinical experience?

This will depend on the size of the NUTR 220 class, and the availability at local hospitals, which can change each year. The only location directly in Chapel Hill is at UNC Hospitals, which typically has room for 4-5 students. There are also many openings in Raleigh, and occasionally in Durham.

Student Life

Is there any parking near the School of Public Health?

Unfortuantely, there are no free, public parking options near the School of Public Health. You can pay to park anytime in the Health Affairs Parking Deck across from UNC Hospitals, which is in walking distance to the SPH.

The majority of faculty, staff, and students use the Chapel Hill Transit, which offers services on and around UNC. For more detailed information, please visit the UNC-CH Department of Public Safety website at

Are there any extracurricular nutrition programs/organizations I can get involved with?

The Student Union Board of the School of Public Health (SPH) is a representative voice of the student body. Essentially, this is the School’s student government, holding social events and contributing financially to SPH student clubs, such as the Minority Student Caucus and Nutrition Coalition.

The Minority Student Caucus consists of all students in the School who wish to join. Every year, since its founding by the Caucus in 1977, the Minority Health Conference has been conducted with the objective of highlighting health issues of concern to people of color and to attract individuals and organizations interested in minority health.

The Nutrition Coalition allows for a more social atmosphere, where students, faculty, and alumni can gather and exchange information, and participate in seminars. Open to the entire department, the Coalition strives to broaden the scope of understanding of the various fields and environments where nutrition is making advances.

Visit the following website for additional information: student organizations

How do I find a place to live?

Housing for UNC students can be found both on campus and off for students of all ages. The University has more than 20 residence halls for both undergraduate and graduate, married and single students. The halls are of varying sizes and are located throughout campus. There is also a privately-owned and operated residence hall complex near campus called Granville Towers.

In addition, there are apartments and condominiums in Chapel Hill and the nearby town of Carrboro. Rent can range from $400 to $800 for a one-bedroom apartment and $500 to $800 for a two-bedroom apartment. Housing can be difficult to find during certain times of the year. Prepare accordingly.

At, detailed information can be found on residence halls. I

Many students have also contacted the nutrition department directly to inquire about living with fellow nutrition students. To inquire, please email Joanne Lee at

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