The Department of Animal Science offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Breeding & Genetics, Meat Science, Nonruminant and Ruminant Nutrition, and Physiology. The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees granted by the Department of Animal Science are research based. A student is expected to pursue an independent research program for each degree under the guidance of a major professor.

The M.S. program can be completed in about two years. Thirty semester credit hours, including 6-10 research thesis hours, are required.

The Ph.D. degree program is administered by a Supervisory Committee approved by the Department Graduate Committee and the Office of Graduate Studies. Course work and dissertation research areas are developed by the student and the major professor and must be approved by the Supervisory Committee. One-half of the Ph.D. program (90 credit hours total beyond the B.S. degree) must be completed in residence at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Students in Animal Science usually complete requirements for the Ph.D. degree in four to five years after the B.S. degree; two to three years beyond the M.S. degree.

Students in both M.S. and Ph.D. programs are encouraged to consider serving as teaching assistants in undergraduate or graduate courses. In addition, opportunities exist for students to gain first-hand Cooperative Extension experience by interacting with faculty specialists.

Please follow the link to request additional information from the Animal Science Department.


Graduate Student Manual UNL Campus Links


Admissions and Application Information

Complete Admissions information can by found at the UNL Office of Graduate Studies .

Graduate Admissions and/or the Animal Science Department require all materials to be submitted for graduate admission consideration:

Additionally for International Students:

Deadlines for Applying

Admissions are reviewed on a continual basis; however, it is strongly encouraged to submit all materials to Graduate Admissions no later than:

  • January 7 to be considered for financial support in the coming academic year.
  • February 1 for summer
  • March 1 for fall
  • September 1 for spring

TOEFL Requirement

Complete Information regarding the Tests of English as a Foreign Language proficiency can by found at International Graduate Applications.


Demonstrate English proficiency by providing at least one of the following:

  • paper-based TOEFL score of at least 550
  • internet-based TOEFL score of at least 70
  • IELTS score of at least 6.5

TOEFL scores are valid for two years. If your scores are more than two years old, you may be required to retake the TOEFL.