Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Graduate Study

Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Acceptance of an applicant is determined by the department in which the applicant wishes to do his or her major work, with the approval of the dean of the college, after consideration of the applicant's academic record, experience, personal qualifications, and objectives. Applicants who are admitted are classified in one of two groups: regular, for students who are fully qualified to undertake master's degree programs, or provisional, for students who have some remediable inadequacy of qualifications, or deficiency in subject matter preparation.

Normally an undergraduate grade–point average of 3.00 (B) or higher is required for admission to any status. Credits earned in regular or provisional status are acceptable as part of a student's degree requirements upon approval of the major professor and the dean.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

PROGRAM. The student, in consultation with the major professor, develops the prescribed program of study. The program should be established at the earliest possible date, consistent with departmental requirements, and filed with the department and the dean. Two plans of study are available:
Plan A—Completion of a research program and preparation of a satisfactory thesis are required. Research credits must equal at least 6, but not more than 10.
Plan B—Preparation of a thesis is not required. The program may include research or special problems not exceeding 6 credits.
EXAMINATION. The candidate must pass a final examination on the program of study before a committee selected by the major professor and approved by the department chairperson, in accordance with University and departmental policy for Plan A and Plan B programs.

In case of a failure, the student may appear for reexamination at a time specified by the examining committee.

Academic Standards

FOR RETENTION. The major professor and department in which the student is majoring review and make a decision concerning the retention of any student failing to fulfill departmental requirements, and may dismiss a student at the end of any semester. Notice of dismissal from a departmental program is given to the student by the department chairperson, and the dean is notified of such action.


The student should spend at least one full semester in residence on campus. At least 8 credits excluding research must be taken in course work on the campus in East Lansing.