The Animal Science M.S. graduate program is a research-oriented degree requiring the successful completion of a research project and thesis. The completion of 30 credits, including at least 18 at the graduate level, is required.

The Master of Science degree is oriented toward research and requires the successful completion of a research study and thesis. A student devoting half time to graduate studies typically requires two years (six semesters/summer sessions) of course work and research to complete the M.S. degree (see page 8 for limits of support).

Degree Requirements

Time Limitation

All requirements for a master's degree, whether satisfied on the University Park Campus or elsewhere, must be met within five years or a period spanning six consecutive summers.


At least 20 credits must be earned in residence at the University Park Campus.

Credits and GPA

A minimum of 30 credits and a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (4.0 basis) for graduate work done at the University are required for graduation.

Course Requirements

One credit of ANSC 503, Professional Skills for Graduate Students; one credit of ANSC 500, Current Issues in Animal Sciences; one credit of AN SC 501, The Ethics of Scientific Scholarship; and one credit of ANSC 504, Communication of Scientific Information.

At least 18 of the 30 credits required for the M.S. degree must be in the 500 and 600 series of courses. At least six of these credits must be in the formal 500 series. A minimum of six credits of thesis research is required. At least 12 credits must be taken as formal courses in the animal agriculture/biological science area. The student must take the core courses.

No thesis research credits (600) may be assigned a quality letter grade.

All graduate degree candidates shall assist in teaching at least one course. This teaching requirement will be met by completing one credit of AN SC 602 (Supervised Experience in College Teaching). Prior to assisting with a course for credit, students are encouraged to attend at least one teaching workshop provided for graduate students by the Instructional Development Program.

International students whose native tongue is not English must attend a certification workshop prior to teaching.

All candidates shall complete committee-approved courses and fulfill requirements for the specific degree. Note: Colloquium credit is not given for the mandatory paper/thesis/dissertation defense seminar.

Advisory Committee

The Student Advisory Committee shall comprise an adviser, who shall be a member of the graduate faculty, and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty. At times it may be desirable to have two faculty serve as co-advisers. If a minor is selected, a faculty member representing the minor field will serve on the Student Advisory Committee. Selection of the committee shall be by the chair of Graduate Program in Animal Science after consultation with the student and appropriate faculty members.

The Student Advisory Committee shall be appointed during the first semester of enrollment. The adviser, in consultation with the committee, shall be responsible for selection and direction of the course of study to be followed by the student and for selection and supervision of thesis research. A research proposal and formal seminar should be presented to the department no later than the end of the second semester. The Committee will meet following the presentation for a detailed evaluation and period of questions.


The student shall prepare a thesis reporting the results of the student's research in accordance with the regulations of The Graduate School and either the Department of Animal Science.

The thesis will be in a technical and grammatical form that is acceptable to the student's committee. The committee may require the candidate to employ the services of a technical editor (at the candidate's expense) to aid the candidate bringing the thesis into conformity.

In addition to the copy of the thesis required to be deposited at The Graduate School, at least two hard-bound copies must be prepared. If additional copies are required (e.g., for a granting agency or cooperator), they will be paid for by the committee chair's academic department.

Good quality copies on paper equal to that required by the Graduate School are acceptable. One bound copy will be placed in the Graduate Program in Animal Science collection. The second is for the committee chair. In cases where there are co-chairs or a separate chair and thesis research adviser, bound copies shall be prepared for both faculty members.

Electronic thesis can be submitted. Visit The Graduate School Thesis Information for details.


The student shall be required to prepare at least one manuscript based on the thesis research results in a form suitable for publication in an appropriate refereed scientific journal.


The student shall be required to pass an oral examination given by the candidate's committee. This examination shall cover both course work and thesis. The committee will file a report (form available in 312 Henning) on the student's performance. The committee may recommend that the student be passed, failed, or given a re-examination. Only one re-examination shall be offered. After passing the exam the student shall present a public seminar on the research