Graduate Program

Graduate Programs

The Department of Animal Science offers master's and doctoral degrees in various discipline areas and species.

Graduate Student Handbook


  • Genetics - molecular and quantitative
  • Health - immunology and well-being
  • Muscle Biology - meats and food safety
  • Nutrition - nonruminant and ruminant
  • Parasitology - herbivores and nonherbivores
  • Physiology - growth and reproduction


  • Beef Cattle
  • Dairy Cattle
  • Equine
  • Laboratory Animals
  • Sheep and Goats
  • Swine

Graduate Coordinator

Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Beth Kegley

Dr. Beth Kegley

Phone: 479-575-3050


B-110 AFLS Building

Application Process

  1. Apply to the University of Arkansas Graduate School
    • The Department of Animal Science does not require submission of GRE scores for consideration for acceptance or assistantships. However, if you hope to be considered for some fellowships, those may require submission of GRE scores.
  2. Based on your interests, email potential faculty mentors and start a conversation to determine if you have a good match in personality and interests. 
  3. After you have secured a mentor, the mentor will inform the animal science graduate program coordinator and your application will continue on the approval process.
    • If an animal science graduate faculty adviser does not agree to mentor you, then unfortunately your application will be denied.
  4. If you have any questions, please contact animal science graduate program coordinator Beth Kegley (

Master of Science Degree Requirements

Option 1:  Thesis

 Minimum 30 credit hours post-baccalaureate

    • 24 credit hours of University of Arkansas graduate course work
      • 1 credit hour of departmental seminar
      •  other credits, as approved by graduate adviser and graduate committee
    • 6 credit hours of thesis research
    • graduate advisory committee, minimum of three graduate faculty, recommended four with one outside of ANSC

Option 2:  Non-thesis

 Minimum 30 credit hours post-baccalaureate

    • Basic Program Core (4 credits)
      • ANSC 5901 – Animal Science Graduate Seminar
      • and, 3 credit hours of statistics from the following list:
        • AGST 5023 – Principles of Experimentation
        • ESRM 5393 – Statistics in Education and Health Prof.
        • ESRM 6403 – Educational Statistics and Data Processing
        • STAT 4003/4001L – Statistical Methods, and Lab
        • or any graduate level statistics course approved by graduate advisory committee
    • Animal Science Core (8 - 9 credits; one class in each of the following disciplines)
      • Genetics
        • any 5000 or higher genetics course in ANSC
      •  Nutrition
        • any 5000 or higher nutrition course in ANSC
      • Physiology
        • any 5000 or higher physiology course in ANSC
    • Animal Science Electives (9 credits)
      • any ANSC graduate courses
    •   General Graduate Course Electives (8 - 9 credits)
      • comments
        • at least 15 of 30 credits must be 5000 or 6000 ANSC
        • no more than 3 credits of ANSC 500V Special Problems
        • no more than 6 credits of 4000-level graduate courses
    • Graduate advisory committee, minimum of three graduate faculty, recommended four with one outside of ANSC

Transition Between M.S. Programs: 

A student can transition from the non-thesis to a thesis program with the approval of the graduate adviser and the department head.  A student desiring to transition from the thesis to the non-thesis program must have the approval of the graduate adviser, the M.S. thesis committee, the department head and the graduate dean.  In addition, no credit will be granted for thesis hours, and a maximum of six hours of course work completed at the time of transition can be counted in the non-thesis degree program. Students in the non-thesis option are not eligible for departmental assistantships.

Doctorate of Philosophy Degree Requirements

Minimum of 72 graduate semester credit hours post-baccalaureate and/or 42 graduate credit hours post-M.S.

    • Students are allowed to pursue a Ph.D. in ANSC without receiving a M.S. first, but they must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher on all undergraduate coursework.
    • 24 credit hours of University of Arkansas graduate course work
      • as approved by graduate adviser and graduate committee
      • 2 credit hours of departmental seminar
    • 18 credit hours of dissertation research
    • graduate advisory committee, minimum of three graduate faculty, recommended four with one outside of ANSC
  • Student should at minimum plan annual meetings with their graduate advisory committee.
  • Doctoral candidacy examinations should be completed before 24 months in their doctoral program.

 All potential graduate students are encouraged to review the requirements and resources at

Graduate Assistantships

Screening of graduate applications desiring departmental financial assistance will begin on March 15 each year; therefore, the deadline is March 14.

  • Initial screening will be based on student GRE scores and cumulative grade point average.
  • We have a limited number of assistantships; therefore, it is a very competitive process.  The sooner you have your application approved and a mentor serving as your advocate for funding, the better.
  • Typical assistantships are for ¼ time or ½ time, which equates to 10 and 20 hours of departmental work per week, respectively.
  •  Specific wages, benefits, and responsibilities will be stated in student’s letter of offer.