Animal Science

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The School of Agricultural Sciences offers programs of study leading to the Master of Science degree in Animal Science. Programs may be designed either as thesis or non-thesis in the various disciplines of nutrition, reproductive physiology, biotechnology and/or growth and development with emphasis on beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, swine, fish or humans. Other animal or cell culture systems are sometimes used as research models.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Animal Science


Admission to programs administered by the School of Agricultural Sciences must be approved by the Graduate Programs Committee. Application forms are available online at Applicants must have the registrar of each college previously attended send official transcripts directly to the Animal Science program.

This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee that must be submitted with the application for Admissions to Graduate Study in Animal Science. Applicants pay this fee by credit card.


Minimum requirements for students entering the M.S. in Animal Science program are:

  1. a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, Dairy Science, Biological Sciences, or related field
  2. a minimum 3.0 cumulative undergraduate G.P.A. (= 4.0)
  3. 300 cumulative score; 3.0 analytical writing score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  4. Statement of Research Interests
  5. three letters of recommendation (at least two from undergraduate professors)
  6. TOEFL exam for international students. Students can be admitted with a G.P.A. under 3.0 or for a GRE deficiency on a conditional basis and must enroll in a minimum of seven credit hours of structured courses at the 400-500 level during their first semester and achieve a B or better in each course or be dropped from the program. Undergraduate courses cannot be given graduate credit.

Minimum requirements for the M.S. in Animal Science degree may be fulfilled by satisfactory completion of 35 hours of graduate credit, with a minimum of 20 credit hours inside animal science, at least eight credit hours outside the School of Agriculture Sciences, and a minimum of 50% of coursework must be 500-level graduate courses. A maximum of two animal production related courses (ANS 409, ANS 430, ANS 465, ANS 485) may be counted for graduate credit in the thesis option. Additional University requirements are stated in the SIU Graduate Catalog. Specific required course work includes:

  1. Two semesters of ANS 581 (Seminar)
  2. Two semesters of graduate-level statistics
  3. A minimum of one semester of upper-level biochemistry
  4. Six credit hours of ANS 595

Each student, whether in the thesis or non-thesis option, will be mentored by a member of the Animal Science Faculty designated as the major professor. The major professor will serve as the research mentor and academic advisor. A graduate advisory committee will be selected with consultation of the major professor. The committee will consist of no fewer than three graduate faculty members. Two members of the committee must be from the Animal Science Faculty, and one of the members of the committee must be from outside the program. The major professor will chair the student’s graduate committee.

All candidates in the thesis option are required to conduct original research. All candidates in the non-thesis option cannot take ANS 599 (Thesis) for graduate credit. All students are encouraged to participate in research within the program to provide a broader experience. Each M.S. in Animal Science degree candidate must pass a comprehensive oral examination covering all graduate work including the thesis or research paper.

Information concerning admission policies, requisites for graduation, and availability of financial assistance for graduate study in animal science may be obtained from the School of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, MC  4417,  Carbondale, IL  62901 or 618-453-2329.