The Department of Animal Sciences offers major programs of study toward master's and doctoral degrees in a variety of disciplines including animal nutrition, biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology, behavior, growth biology, meat science and muscle biology, quantitative genetics and reproductive biology. The Department also formally participates in interdepartmental graduate minor programs in cell and molecular biosciences, ecology and environmental sciences.
The Master of Science (M.S.) degree program requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate-level course work and includes significant training in research. Students pursuing the M.S. degree achieve specialization in a particular discipline through course work and completion of an original research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. All M.S. candidates must complete and defend a written thesis based upon results of their research.
Regardless of the degree option being pursued or whether a student has been awarded a departmental research assistantship, all graduate students are expected to demonstrate a high degree of visibility and citizenship in the department and contribute to departmental teaching, research, extension/outreach and(or) administrative activities. Classroom /laboratory teaching is not the sole means of fulfilling this requirement for service to the department, nor is it a formal requirement for conferral of a graduate degree. Appropriate types and levels of service are identified and judged accordingly by the major advisor based on needs of the department and consideration of student interest and capabilities. Candidates for all degree programs are expected to bring to their programs a high degree of self-motivation and maturity which will enable them to benefit from the highly individualized and special relationship which ideally develops between student and major advisor.