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Graduate Program


The Department of Animal Sciences offers postgraduate degree programs at the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy levels. Advanced degrees can be obtained with major emphasis in Animal Breeding, Meat Science, Nutrition, Nutritional Physiology and Physiology of Reproduction.

Prospective MS or PhD candidates are encouraged to reach out to Animal Sciences faculty members as potential advisors prior to submitting an application. 


NDSU Graduate School
NDSU Graduate Bulletin



Assignment of a major advisor follows discussion among the graduate student, faculty members in the area of interest and the department chair.


A major advisor shall direct each candidate in the organization of the plan of study (list of courses to be taken and when) to best prepare the student for situations and opportunities that may arise in the future. Development of the plan of study will be a joint effort between the major advisor and the candidate, seeking to correct weak points in the candidate's background and provide guidance in areas of future concern. The major advisor will assist the candidate in the selection of an advisory committee and in the formulation of a plan of study. Once a plan of study is developed, it must be approved by the chair of the department, the dean of the College of Agriculture and the dean of the Graduate School, in that order. It is recommended that the student and their advisory committee meet to discuss the plan of study and possibly make changes prior to submission of the document.

The major professor and the student must decide on a thesis or dissertation problem that is suitable to the abilities of the candidate, capable of providing new information and lends itself to an orderly set of results such that conclusions can be drawn. The thesis problem shall be sufficiently limited in scope such that it can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. This timeframe is approximately two years for an M.S. degree and three years for the Ph.D. degree. The department may decline to provide continued financial support to encourage the timely completion of the graduate program by individual students. The major professor shall chair the student's advisory committee. It is required that the student write a thesis project proposal with the guidance of the major advisor and then meet with the student's advisory committee to discuss the proposal prior to the initiation of the research.

After completion of the oral examination and thesis or dissertation defense, the major advisor shall aid in making necessary additions and/or corrections to the completed thesis, as suggested by the advisory committee before submission of the thesis to the graduate school for final approval.