Graduate students in animal science can pursue an interdisciplinary program rooted in research areas such as genetics, nutrition or physiology while exploring both basic and applied scientific approaches in a variety of animal species.
Learn more about our flexible options for students to dual major and gain advanced training through independent research.
research interestsVisit our Research Department
Research Faculty in Animal Well-Being
Research Faculty in Biotechnology
Genetics and Genomics
Research Faculty in Genetics and Genomics
Nutrition Research Faculty
Physiology Research Faculty
Production Management Research Faculty
Master of Science
The M.S. program is intensive research training and experiences that familiarize students with the methods, ideas, and goals of independent investigation.
Students must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, and complete and defend a thesis based on their research.
- MS-Required Courses-4 credits:
- Animal Science Seminar (ANS 601-Sec. 001) – 1 credit, in person seminar, fall semester
- Safety and Ethics in Animal Science (ANS 610) – 1 credit, fall semester, 1st eight weeks
- Supervised teaching (ANS 685) – 1 credit
- Master’s Supervised Research (ANS 693) or Master’s Thesis Research (ANS 695)– 1 credit
- A minimum of one (1) full academic year or its equivalent in residence as a graduate student at the university
- A minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work in the degree program, unless the specific program requires more hours, including a minimum of 18 hours of 500-700 level coursework
- No more than six (6) hours of 400-level courses can be counted toward the minimum 30-hour requirement, and they may not come from the major field
- No more than three (3) credit hours of Masters Supervised Teaching (ANS 685) can be included in the minimum 30-credit program
- No more than six hours of Thesis Research (ANS 695/693) in the minimum 30-hour program
- No more than two (2) credit hours of seminar (S/U graded) may be included in the minimum 30-credit hour program
- Masters Thesis Preparation (ANS 699) credits may not be used to satisfy the 30-credit hour requirement
- A thesis
- A departmental defense seminar
- A comprehensive oral examination
Master of Animal Science
The MR program gives students a deeper academic background in sub-disciplines associated with animal science, including nutrition, physiology, genetics, biotechnology and animal management. This is a coursework-only program.
Master of Animal Science Online
The MR program is also offered online through Distance Education (MAS-DE). Shannon Pratt-Phillips is the MAS-DE coordinator. Visit our program website for more information and to apply for the online Master of Animal Science program.
Master of Animal Science Requirements
- 19 Credits of core courses
- 17 Credits of elective courses
- No more than two (2) credit hours of a seminar to be included in the 36 credit hour total
- A minimum of one full academic year or its equivalent in residence as a graduate student at the university
- The non-thesis Master of Animal Science degree requires a minimum of 36 credit hours, of which a minimum of 9 credits are in Animal Science courses at the 500 or above level
- Non-thesis programs may include no more than three (3) hours of independent student study credits of special topics project (ANS 610) in the minimum 36-credit program
- The research credit is not permitted in non-thesis programs, except upon approval by an associate dean of the Graduate School in cases where the student was initially enrolled in a thesis program but later transferred to a non-thesis program
- 400-level ANS courses are not permitted in a graduate plan of work
- No more than six (6) hours of 400-level courses from outside departments may be counted toward the 36-credit hour requirement
- Non-Thesis Masters Examination (ANS 690) credits may not be used to satisfy the 36-credit hour requirement
- Non-Thesis Masters Continuous Registration (ANS 688 and ANS 689) credits may NOT be sure to satisfy the 36-credit hour requirement
- No more than three (3) credit hours of master’s supervised teaching (ANS 685) may be included in the minimum 36-credit hour program
- A graduate mentor (advisor) is required
- Mentor certification of a graduate plan of work and program completion
- Meet with the graduate mentor at least once per semester
- Complete the annual graduate student progress report
- Committee not required, oral examination not required
- The director of graduate programs and the Graduate School must approve the graduate plan of work
Ph.D. in Animal Science
A Ph.D. in animal science symbolizes a student’s ability to conduct high-level original research and scholarly work without supervision.
To earn a Ph.D., students must demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and scholarship in a specialized field of study. They are required to write a dissertation reporting the results of an original investigation, pass a series of preliminary comprehensive examinations in the field of specialization and related areas of knowledge, and successfully defend the dissertation.
- Required Courses:
- Animal Science Seminar (ANS 801-Sec. 001) – 1 credit, in-person seminar, fall semester
- Safety and Ethics in Animal Science (ANS 810) – 1 credit, fall semester, 1st eight weeks
- Supervised teaching (ANS 885) – 1-3 credits
- At least two residence credit points secured in continuous semesters’ residence as a graduate student at the university
- Doctoral degrees at NC State require a minimum of 72 graduate credit hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree
- For a student who already holds a master’s degree upon initial admission to the doctoral program of study, a maximum of 18 hours of relevant graduate credit from the master’s degree may be applied toward this minimum upon the recommendation of the student’s graduate advisory committee. Therefore, the minimum credit-hour requirement, in this case, is 54 credit hours
- If a student completes a master’s degree at NC State and chooses to continue on for a doctoral degree thereby maintaining a continuous registration status, up to 36 credit hours taken while in master’s status may be used to meet the minimum requirements for the doctoral degree
- Students cannot take 400-level courses or lower as part of the credit-hour requirement for the doctoral program of study
Students cannot transfer courses into a Ph.D. program (including those taken in PBS status)
- A successful preliminary comprehensive examination which includes both written and oral components
- A dissertation
- Departmental defense seminar
- A final comprehensive oral examination
Ready to Start Your Journey?