Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Department of Animal Science

Graduate Study
Animal Science - Master of Science

Programs of study are based on the strengths of the department and the goals of individual students. Although individual students' programs vary, all graduate programs in animal science are designed to:

  1. Provide a strong foundation in biological science and an in–depth knowledge of a specific biological discipline of importance to animal agriculture.
  2. Develop creative potential and foster independent thought.
  3. Improve technical skills.
  4. Provide the foundation for effective, independent careers in extension, research, teaching, or agribusiness.

The department offers the following areas of specialization within the field of animal science: quantitative genetics, systems science, nutrition, physiology of growth, lactation and reproduction, microbiology, molecular biology, toxicology, and livestock and farm management.  Research for theses or dissertations may focus on beef or dairy cattle, sheep, swine, horses, poultry, or fur–bearing and laboratory species.  Modern animal, computer, and library facilities support research.

Students who are enrolled in the Master of Science degree program in the Department of Animal Science may elect a Specialization in Environmental Toxicology.  For additional information, refer to the Graduate Specialization in Environmental Toxicology statement.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the student must meet the requirements specified below.


To be admitted to the master's or doctoral degree program in animal science, students must have a bachelor's degree in animal science or in a related biological science.  To enroll in advanced courses in animal science and supporting sciences, students should have completed courses that establish principles in animal science and in basic physical and biological sciences pertinent to the area of specialization within the field of animal science that the student chooses.  In some cases, students may need to complete collateral courses in addition to the courses that are required for the graduate degree.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Animal Science

The student may elect either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B.  In cooperation with the student's major professor, the student plans a program of study that includes courses related to one of the areas of specialization within the field of animal science referenced above, seminars, and teaching experience.  The student's major professor and guidance committee must approve the student's program of study, including thesis research for students under Plan A.