Animal Biosciences M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


The research program focuses on farm animal agriculture involving a combination of courses and graduate research. Areas of research interest include nutrition, metabolism, lactation, reproduction, genetics, and/or animal health.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

An acceptable undergraduate major in animal science, chemistry, biology, or a related field. 

Minimum Degree Requirements

30 credits of study with a minimum of 15 credits in courses in animal science or related fields and a minimum of 9 credits of thesis research. Students are required to attend and participate in ASCI 301 and ASCI 302 twice during their programs. Students must also prepare a research proposal.30
Students are expected to meet with their Graduate Studies Committee during their second and third semester, and during the final semester for their thesis defense. Students are also expected to have 1 publication ready to submit or already submitted to an appropriate scientific journal at the time of their defense. Students are also required to participate in at least 1 semester of teaching.
30 credits of study with 24 credits in courses in animal science or related fields, and a minimum of 6 credits of literature research. Students are required to attend and participate in ASCI 301 and ASCI 302 twice during their program. Students prepare a literature review under the guidance of a mentor and Graduate Studies Committee. The format of the literature review is determined by the Graduate Studies Committee, which is composed of their research mentor and at least 2 members of UVM graduate faculty as described in the graduate college catalog requirements for the Master’s Degree. A thesis and oral thesis defense are not required. Students submit the written literature review for evaluation by their studies committee in their last semester of study.30

Comprehensive Examination

Animal Bioscience M.S. students are required to pass a written comprehensive examination, an oral comprehensive examination, or both, in their field of specialization. The student's Graduate Studies Committee decides the format of this exam (time and page limits, open or closed book, etc.). The comprehensive examinations are taken on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington. 1 re-examination only is permitted for any failed comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination is not the same as the oral thesis defense, and must be passed satisfactorily before defending the thesis. The studies committee members may differ from the thesis defense committee members, but often they are the same individuals. Usually the comprehensive exam process is completed at least 2 months prior to the thesis defense, and preferably, prior to the start of the semester they intend to defend their thesis.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

When a student begins a graduate program, they are 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 their required coursework, comprehensive exam(s) and other requirements and is ready to move forward to the thesis phase (thesis-based student) or literature research (non-thesis student). Department policy requires students to advance to candidacy at least 1 semester before they can earn the degree.