Assistantships, Hourly Positions, and Fellowships


The Department of Nutrition & Health Sciences offers both Research Assistantships (RA) and Teaching Assistantships (TA). These assistantships are funded from federal, state, local and other sources. Graduate students who accept an assistantship are considered employees of the department and receive a monthly salary. The number of work hours required is usually established at 15 or 20 hours/week and students agree not to work more than 20 hours/week at all employment positions combined. Tuition is waived for graduate assistantships of 14 hours/week and greater. While it is possible to have a 10-hour/week assistantship, students must pay tuition at this level.

Important considerations regarding graduate assistantships:

  • Students must register for at least 1 credit hour when holding an assistantship.
    • To avoid FICA (Social Security) and Medicare withholding, students must register for at least 4 credit hours.
  • Maximum registration is 12 credit hours/semester for assistantships of 15 hours/week and greater.
  • Students holding a 20-hour assistantship during the academic year are eligible for summer tuition remission of up to 6 credit hours.

Hourly Positions to Support Teaching

Hourly work is available to support teaching for approximately 6 to 7 hours per week. Preference is given to students who hold a nutrition degree and are admitted to the Professional Studies in Dietetics program.


Graduate students awarded a fellowship are not considered employees of the department and must pay their own tuition. Department fellowships generally range from $500 to $2500 per semester. Students holding a graduate fellowship must register as full-time students (9-15 credit hours/semester).  If a student holds both an assistantship and fellowship, the maximum registration is 12 credit hours/semester. Ph.D. and M.S. with thesis students in their last semester of graduate study may request less than full-time registration by submitting a Certification of Full-Time Graduate Status to the Office of Graduate Studies, online at (students in the M.S. without thesis specializations are not eligible).

Fellowships from UNL and from the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences are awarded on a competitive basis to students who have been admitted to our graduate program ($500-$2500). Preference for the awarding of Fellowships is to doctoral students with outstanding academic performance, those who are awarded assistantships, as well as for students in the Professional Studies in Dietetics Specialization in the M.S. in Nutrition and Health Sciences. You will be notified directly if you receive a Fellowship. All Fellowships begin in the fall of each year. Additional information about university-wide fellowships is also available from the Office of Graduate Studies, online at:

Applications will re-open for submission in early 2024 - please check back at that time.