M.S. & Ph.D. in
Animal Sciences

Caring for animals & feeding a growing population

The Department of Animal Sciences has three graduate degree programs in animal sciences. The Master of Agriculture, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy all offer in-depth study and research in a variety of specializations, such as animal nutrition, biochemistry, food technology and safety, meat science, muscle biology, reproductive biology, genetics and growth biology. 

Graduate programs in animal sciences provide advanced education and technical training that prepare students for public- and private-sector careers related to animal science and technology, food safety, animal biotechnology and agribusiness as well as university-level careers in research and teaching. Our graduates are doing crucial work not only studying and caring for animals but providing essential sources of food and nourishment to the world. 

Master’s & Doctoral Programs

The information below is a brief description of Master and Doctoral Programs in Animal Sciences offered by our department.

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.

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.

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PH.D.)

The graduate program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in animal sciences provides advanced education and technical training in preparation for careers in public and private sectors related to animal science and technology, food science and technology, animal biotechnology, agribusiness and university-level research and education. 

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Graduates with a Ph.D. in animal sciences from Auburn University will: 

  • Possess an advanced degree of theoretical and practical knowledge of scientific and technological developments related to their chosen fields of study, and the impact of these on modern science, industry and society.  
  • Demonstrate an advanced degree of independent scholarship and technical ability related to their chosen fields of study as evidenced by conceptualization and completion of original research. 

CURRICULUM & REQUIREMENTS

This doctoral program emphasizes original, scholarly research and includes significantly advanced coursework. A minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree and a dissertation describing original research are required. Graduate students are not normally admitted directly into this doctoral program unless they have first received a research-based master’s degree. 

There is no foreign language requirement, but knowledge of a foreign language may be recommended by the student’s advisory committee. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE COURSE CURRICULUM 

Master of Science Degree (M.S.)

The Master of Science in Animal Sciences offered by our department provides advanced education and technical training in preparation for careers in public and private sectors related to animal science and technology, food science and technology, animal biotechnology, agribusiness and university-level research and education.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Graduates with a Master of Science in animal sciences from Auburn University will:  

  • Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of scientific advances related to their chosen fields of study and be able to communicate the impact of these on modern science, industry and society. 
  • Display independent scholarship and competency in technical skills related to their chosen fields of study as evidenced by completion of original research.  

CURRICULUM & REQUIREMENTS

The Master of Science program requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate-level course work. The degree includes significant training in research. All M.S. candidates must complete and defend a written thesis based upon results of their research.  

Students pursuing the M.S. achieve specialization in a particular discipline through coursework and completion of an original research project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE COURSE CURRICULUM 

Master of Agriculture Degree (M.Ag.)

The M.Ag. in animal sciences program consists largely of course work and prepares students for careers in secondary education, agribusiness and other professions not requiring specialized training in research.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Graduates with a Master of Agriculture in animal sciences from Auburn University will:  

  • Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of scientific advances related to their chosen fields of study and be able to communicate the impact of these on modern science, industry and society. 
  • Display independent scholarship and competency in technical skills related to their chosen fields of study as evidenced by creation of an original scholarly product. 

CURRICULUM & REQUIREMENTS

A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level course work is required. While the Master of Agriculture does not require completion of original research and submission of a thesis, expectations for academic excellence and intellectual rigor are not different from those of the Master of Science program. 

Students pursuing this degree option are expected to engage in and report on some form of structured scholarly activity conducted under the supervision of the major professor and advisory committee. Examples of such mentored scholarly activity might include, but need not be limited to, completion of a field trial, writing a comprehensive literature review or professional paper on a focused scientific subject, development and validation of a novel laboratory procedure, or development of educational resources. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE COURSE CURRICULUM

    GRADUATE DEGREE Info

    For more information in detail please reference these graudate degree documents or links regarding our master’s and doctoral programs in Animal Science.

    Assistantships

    ANSC Graduate Student Assistantships

    Graduate research assistantships are not viewed as compensation for services rendered, but rather as stipends awarded competitively to eligible students on the basis of academic merit, research potential and sustained scholarly achievement. Assistantship stipends for M.S. and Ph.D. students are currently $16,044 and $19,657 per year, respectively, including full tuition waiver; non-thesis M.Ag. students are ineligible to receive departmental research assistantships because of statutory restrictions on research expenditures from state appropriations and federal formula funds. Faculty support their graduate students on research assistantships with grant funds or other monies, and assistantship support is negotiated directly between the student and prospective major professor.

    Students can start a graduate program any semester. Prospective students wishing to be considered for assistantship support beginning in the fall semester should have completed their application to the graduate program by March 1, and by September 1 in order to be considered for assistantship support beginning in the spring semester. U.S. citizens receive priority consideration for assistantship support, and continuation of financial assistance is dependent upon satisfactory performance and progress toward degree requirements.

    ANSC Admission Requirements

    The Department of Animal Sciences makes admissions decisions based on the compatibility of the applicant’s goals with departmental resources, the availability of spaces for new students and a holistic evaluation of the applicant’s potential for success in the program. Other considerations will routinely include standardized test scores, grades and(or) grade point averages and letters of recommendation and might also include writing samples, research or applied experience and(or) interviews.

    To be considered for admission, the applicant must satisfy the following requirements:

    • The applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree in an agricultural, biological or related life science from an accredited U.S. institution, or the equivalent from an international institution. Applicants lacking suitable preparatory course work in the basic sciences will be required to correct deficiencies by satisfactorily completing additional courses. The Department’s Pre-professional curriculum option provides a model of preparatory course work at the undergraduate level that optimally prepares students for graduate study in the animal sciences.
    • The applicant must be in academic good standing at the institution last attended.
    • The successful applicant normally will be expected to have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on all undergraduate course work, or of at least 3.0 on the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate course work. Applicants who hold a graduate degree should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all graduate work.
    • All applicants must submit an official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score report to the Auburn University Graduate School.
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must score at least 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (pBT), 213 on the computer-based TOEFL (cBT), 79 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT) or 6.5 Overall Band Score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to be considered for admission. On the iBT, students must score a minimum of 16 on the four component parts of the iBT (reading, listening, speaking and writing).

    Application Procedures

    Prior to making formal application, prospective applicants are required to directly contact a faculty member(s) in the Department of Animal Sciences whose area(s) of research specialization are compatible with their interests, and inquire about availability of openings for new graduate students in their programs. The departmental graduate-program committee will not review an application from a prospective graduate student unless requested to do so by a prospective faculty advisor, nor will it recommend that a student be admitted unless a prospective faculty advisor agrees to sponsor the applicant’s graduate program.

    Prospective graduate students should apply directly to the Auburn University Graduate School, indicating the degree program (M.Ag., M.S. or Ph.D) to which they are applying and designating “Animal Sciences” and area of specialization on the electronic application form. Applicants should arrange for official academic transcripts and standardized test (GRE and, if applicable, TOEFL) reports to be sent directly to the Auburn University Graduate School, Hargis Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849; phone: 334/844-4700.

    Applicants are required to submit a letter of purpose/intent to the Department’s Graduate Program Officer that indicates the applicant’s area of interest and the basis of his/her motivation for undertaking a graduate degree program. Also, applicants are required to have three letters of recommendation forwarded to the Graduate Program Officer from individuals who can attest to the applicant’s scholarly aptitude and provide insight into the applicant’s qualifications and potential for success as a scientist/educator following completion of a graduate program. Letters of intent and recommendation can be ink-original hard copy sent by surface mail, or .pdf with electronic signature attached to an e-mail message.

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    Contact

    Kim Mullenix
    Graduate Program Officer
    303A Upchurch Hall
    Auburn Univ, AL 36849
    334-844-1546

    mullemk@auburn.edu