About Graduate School
Each year, many students elect to begin graduate/professional study immediately following the completion of their undergraduate degree. The student must maintain a strong academic record and complete courses that are deemed appropriate for the particular area of graduate study. Graduate studies in animal science disciplines, as well as professional study in law, veterinary medicine, and business administration, are among the most commonly chosen programs by students and graduates.
Graduate (MS/PhD) Programs
The plan of study for each degree program is determined by the student and his/her advisory committee composed of faculty from the university the student chooses to attend. In the Master of Science degree programs, students are expected to take courses in areas that support their discipline or interest, that are above and beyond the courses normally required for a B.S. degree in that major or closely related major. For the Ph.D. degree, students take courses related to their major that are beyond those for the Master of Science degree. The emphasis is usually on research at the Ph.D. level.
Admission requirements for graduate study vary greatly among the different fields of study. Similarly, there is not a centralized admission process for applying to a graduate program within the Colleges of Agriculture. Each university handles its own application processing. Applications are usually for both admission and financial assistance in the form of fellowships or assistantships. Students are encouraged to contact the specific university in which they are interested. Graduate admissions personnel within each unit are also an excellent source of information on graduate programs in that discipline at other institutions.
What Will You Study?
Education in Animal Production, Care, and Use
Students enrolled in animal sciences curricula receive a firm background in the biological and natural sciences. This foundation is essential for understanding the principles of animal breeding, reproductive physiology, nutrition, meats and muscle biology, growth and mammary physiology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, and management of livestock and companion animals. Students can also gain expertise in the processing, quality control, product development, and marketing of meat, dairy, and poultry products.
So that animal sciences students can understand and fully appreciate the entire scope of agriculture, most programs of study offer a flexible choice of support courses in food science, forage and crop production, agricultural engineering, and agricultural economics. A well-rounded program of study also will permit students to focus on such related disciplines as computer science, economics, business, and communications. Programs of study are designed to give students a broad knowledge of animal and poultry production as well as the application of modern technology within agriculture systems.
Programs may emphasize:
- sustainable production systems and management
- animal behavior and welfare
- biotechnology (e.g. growth, meat quality, immune system modulation)
- genetics, molecular genetics
- computer modelling
- nutrition (biochemistry, feeds and feeding evaluation)
- pasture management and forage production