Animal Biosciences Ph.D.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree


An interdisciplinary program leading to the PhD degree in Animal Biosciences is offered under the direction of a committee composed of faculty members from the Department of Animal & Veterinary Sciences.  The goal of this interdisciplinary program is to provide advanced education and research training in mammalian physiology and endocrinology, mammary gland biology, basic and applied nutrition, animal genetics and genomics, or animal health.  All PhD students will complete a common core of courses as well as specific courses to support their research programs. The program provides the flexibility necessary for students to gain competence in the area of their choice.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Satisfactory scores on the General Graduate Record Examination must be presented.

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • The candidate must meet all the requirements as prescribed by the Graduate College for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
  • Candidates in the Animal Bioscience track are required to attend and participate in ASCI 301 and ASCI 302 for at least 2 semesters. These candidates must also participate in 1 semester of ASCI 303.
  • In addition, all courses and seminars as established by the graduate studies committee must be satisfactorily met. The student is expected to meet with their committee within the first 2 semesters and then at least annually until the doctoral research is completed and an acceptable dissertation written and defended.
  • It is also expected that a Ph.D. student will have at least 2 publications ready to submit, or already submitted, to an appropriate scientific journal. The specific publication expectations will be determined in consultation with the candidate’s Graduate Studies Committee.
  • All doctoral candidates must acquire appropriate teaching experience prior to the award of the degree. The nature and amount of teaching will be determined by the candidate’s program.
  • Proficiency in a modern foreign language or computer language and programming is optional at the discretion of the graduate studies committee.

Comprehensive Examination

For candidates in all tracks, the Comprehensive Examination will consist of both a written and oral component. The specific format of the written and oral exams will be determined in consultation with the candidate’s Graduate Studies Committee. Both the written and oral exams should typically be passed by the end of the third year of candidacy, but absolutely no later than 6 months before the dissertation is submitted. Should the candidate fail the examination, only 1 re-examination is permitted. Success in the comprehensive examination is prerequisite to standing for the Dissertation Defense Examination

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

When a student begins a graduate program, s/he is not yet a candidate for a graduate degree. To become a candidate for a graduate degree, a student must complete certain academic requirements to achieve the milestone of becoming a candidate for that degree. Advancement-to-candidacy signifies that the student has completed his or her coursework, comprehensive exams and other requirements and is ready to move forward to the dissertation phase. University policy requires students to advance to candidacy at least one semester before they can earn the degree.