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Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences Ph.D.

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


An interdisciplinary program leading to the Ph.D. degree in Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences is offered under the direction of a committee composed of faculty members drawn from the departments of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Nutrition and Food 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, and food microbiology and technology. While all Ph.D. students will complete a common core of courses, they will choose from one of three tracks for specialized study: nutrition, food sciences, or animal science. The program provides flexibility necessary for students to gain competence in the area of their choice. The extensive research facilities of the participating departments are available to all graduate students enrolled in the program.

Specific Requirements

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

Satisfactory scores on the general (aptitude) 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 Science track are required to attend and participate in ASCI 301 and ASCI 302 every semester that the courses are offered. These candidates must also participate in one semester of ASCI 303.
  • Candidates in the Nutrition and Food Sciences tracks are required to attend and participate in NFS 350 (minimum of 3 credits) and NFS 295 (Journal club, minimum of 2 credits). These candidates must also participate in one semester of NFS 360.
  • 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 two 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 two 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 six months before the dissertation is submitted. Should the candidate fail the examination, only one 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

The applicant must satisfy the prerequisites of the Graduate College and complete one semester with satisfactory performance in graduate courses or courses prescribed by the graduate studies committee.