Animal Science and Veterinary Technology

Master of Science in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Animal Science Concentration

An applicant who is admitted to the College of Graduate Studies will also need to check with their department to make sure of any other program admission requirements.  Below are guidelines for admission and success in the Department of Animal Sciences and Veterinary Technology.

INFORMATION FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Tarleton State University offers a Master of Science, Agricultural and Natural Resource, Animal Science with two tracks: (1) the non-thesis track and (2) the thesis track. The purposes of these tracks differ somewhat according to the objectives, plans, and employment areas of individual students. The following provides general information concerning the two tracks. In either case, it is critical that students identify and obtain a Chairman for their committee before being accepted and subsequently select two more committee members in the first semester of their course work.  It is the responsibility of the student to complete this task.

ADMISSION

Upon application for admission to the College of Graduate Studies, the students’ information will be sent to the Department of Animal Science & Veterinary Technology for acceptance. The student will receive a Department application that, when completed, will be reviewed by Department’s graduate committee for approval as a candidate for the master’s program within the department.   

To be considered for the Master of Science, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Animal Science, must have completed a BS in Animal Science or a closely related field with a minimum GPA of 2.7.  Preference will be given to those students with a GPA of 3.0 and higher.  [Leveling courses that will promote student success may be needed for those students lacking “core” Animal Science courses (Reproductive Physiology of Animals, Animal Nutrition/Feeds and Feeding, Animal Breeding, Meat Science, Beef Production, Swine Production, Sheep and Goat Production, Dairy Management, Genetics, etc.)  Note, leveling courses will not count for graduate credit.]  Upon review of the student application, the Department’s graduate committee will recommend acceptance, acceptance with conditions, or rejection.  The ASVT Department Head will convey the decision to the College of Graduate Studies and to the prospective. 

COMMITTEE SELECTION

Because of the close interaction and cooperation required between the student and the graduate faculty advisor, pursuit of the MS degree must be arranged in advance.  The chair of a student’s graduate committee must be a graduate faculty member in Animal Science.  Co-chairs are acceptable.  Upon admission and prior to completion of one semester, the student selects an advisory committee. The student is encouraged to select one committee member from outside of the Animal Science & Veterinary Technology Department to serve on the committee. The student is responsible for securing committee approval of a formal degree plan and submitting the degree plan during the first semester. The two or more committee members should be chosen based upon expertise in the student’s area of study. In addition to the chair, one committee member must be a faculty member in Animal Science.  A proposed plan of study and degree plan will be prepared by the student and committee chair, approved by the committee, approved by the department head then submitted to the graduate school within the first semester.

Non-thesis vs Thesis Track

The non-thesis track may be attractive to both full-time students and to part-time or commuting students who desire advanced course work beyond the BS degree. It is a more general degree with course work flexibility to allow students to design a program emphasizing specialized interests in specific subject areas, or one emphasizing broader-based advanced studies. This degree should be considered “terminal”: it will not qualify nor prepare the recipient for further graduate study at the Ph.D. level. General requirements include 36 semester hours of advanced course work in agriculture and supporting fields above the bachelor’s degree.  Courses should be presented by the student and approved by their graduate committee during the first semester of the students’ curriculum.  Each student will complete 36 credit hours of advanced course work in agriculture and supporting fields above the bachelor’s degree, including three credit hours of Seminar (ANSC 5085) and a minimum of 6 credit hours of a directed study (ANSC 5086).  The directed study will be some form of scholarly activity agreed upon by the student and committee during the first semester of work and presented in conjunction with the oral comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the program of study. 

The thesis track may be attractive to students who not only desire advanced course work, but who also wish to develop a deeper, more thorough understanding of researching a specific aspect of animal science. Usually, pursuit of this degree necessitates full-time and uninterrupted graduate enrollment. This is the degree track that should be pursued if there is an intention to continue one’s education at the Ph.D. level, or if there is a desire for employment in the more scientific or technological segments of the animal industry. General requirements include 36 semester hours of advanced course work in agriculture and supporting fields above the bachelor’s degree.  Each student should complete three credit hours of graduate seminar (ANSC 5185).  In addition, students will complete a minimum of six credit hours of Thesis.  This track includes a research project under the direction of the student’s graduate committee and the preparation and defense of a thesis. Upon acceptance of the thesis by the graduate college, 6 semester hours (AGRI 5088) will be awarded. The remaining credit hours are determined by the student and committee approval. Thesis proposals are due to the graduate school as soon as possible but no later than one semester before expected graduation. Students in this track will complete the oral defense of the thesis in conjunction with an oral comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the program of study.

Expectations of all graduate students AND timeline

All graduate students will maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.  If a student fails to maintain a 3.0, they will be placed on academic suspension. Students may be granted one suspension appeal (unless otherwise stated in conditional acceptance).  All graduate students will follow the College of Graduate Studies policies, designated deadlines and due dates for graduation according to the university policies and calendar.  All graduate students will follow the designated deadlines and due dates according to the university calendar.  The student is responsible for communicating with their committee and staying on track in accordance with the university calendar.

All graduate students will teach/assist teaching lectures and/or labs as assigned by the department head as part of the graduate education process.  Students accepted as department Graduate Assistants will be expected to assist the department with all student related activities, including lectures, laboratories, orientation and service activities (Graduate Assistants paid from grant funds may be excluded from some activities).. 

Students interested in receiving a graduate assistantship should indicate that on their Animal Science graduate application.  Selection will be based on the material provided with the application, with priority given to those students accepted with an undergraduate/graduate GPA of 3.25 or higher.  Preference will also be given to students in the Thesis Track.  Graduate Assistants must maintain a GPA of 3.00 or higher.  Failure to maintain this GPA will result in loss of the assistantship!  Individual faculty may have assistantships funded by grants.  The faculty member will determine the guidelines and recipients of these assistantships. 

Completion of the Master of Science degree

Upon completion of the plan of study, the student will schedule an oral comprehensive exam.  The exam will be in conjunction with the thesis defense (Thesis Track) or scholarly presentation (Non-Thesis Track).  At the conclusion of the oral exam, members of the student’s graduate committee will decide if the student passed or failed.  If the student failed the exam, the committee can assign conditions (coursework, reading, projects, etc.) the student must meet prior to retaking the exam.  If the student fails the oral comprehensive exam the second time, they will be removed from the program and will not be granted the degree. 

The thesis defense is an oral presentation of the thesis, followed by questions from the general faculty and graduate faculty.  It is the responsibility of the student to provide their graduate committee with a completed thesis (not a draft) at least two weeks prior to the defense.  At the conclusion of the defense, the student must comply with the recommendations of the committee before the thesis is approved.  Once the thesis is approved by the committee and the student has passes the oral comprehensive exam, Department’s requirements for the degree are met.

For students in the Non-Thesis Track, a presentation of their scholarly activity will be made in conjunction with the oral comprehensive exam.  The “product” of the activity will be presented to the committee at least 2 weeks prior to the exam.  When the committee is satisfied with the product and the student has passed the oral comprehensive exam, Department’s requirements for the degree are met.

Master of Science in Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Required Courses
MS Non-Thesis Track
Of the 36-hour MS (non-thesis) requirement, a minimum of 18 hours of courses offered by the above departments is required for a major in Agriculture. A 12-hour minor may be chosen in another field but is not required. Two-thirds (24 hours) of the total 36 hours must be 5000-level courses. At least one-half of all hours in a 12-hour minor must be 5000-level. A rigid, standard curriculum required of all students is not imposed; instead, the graduate curriculum is individually planned within certain guidelines by each student and approved by the advisory committee and the Dean of the College of Graduate Students.
All candidates are required to take a graduate-level research course selected from a discipline area most appropriate to their interest and approved by the committee.
A curriculum summary and guideline for the MS in Agriculture (non-thesis) includes the following: 1
Agriculture Sciences (major)18-30
Supporting Fields (may include a 12-hour minor)0-12
Required Research Course (May be a part of a major or support field depending upon discipline emphasized in MS program)3
AGRI 5380Research Writing for Agricultural and Environmental Science3
Total Hours24-48
MS Thesis Track
Minimum requirements for this track are 36 hours above the BS, excluding any required leveling or background courses. The thesis and associated research may be counted as six hours toward the total. Of the remaining 30 hours, a minimum of 18 hours must be in the major. No more than one-third of the major hours may be approved upper-level undergraduate courses. A 12-hour minor in another field may be chosen but is not required. If a minor is declared, no more than one-half of the hours may be approved upper-level undergraduate courses. Of the total 36-hour minimum requirement, no more than one-third may be undergraduate level.
Because of the diversity of agricultural specialties, the student and advisory committee are given discretionary latitude in developing the specific course of study to allow desired specialization in major and minor courses. A typical program of study is as follows: 1
Agriculture Sciences14-16
AGRI 5385Graduate Seminar for Agriculture and Environmental Science1-3
AGRI 5688Thesis1-6
Supporting Fields (may include a 12-hour minor)0-12
Approved Research Course (Selected from discipline most appropriate to research)3
Total Hours19-50
Accelerated (4+1) Option
Dual Credit coursework (counted toward both the BS and MS degree)
AGRI 5385Graduate Seminar for Agriculture and Environmental Science1-3
AGRI 5360Research Methods for Agricultural and Natural Resource Scientist3
AGRI 5380Research Writing for Agricultural and Environmental Science3
AGRI 5390Special Topics3
One graduate course as approved3
Total Dual Credit Hours13
_
Other Program Hours:
18-24 hrs in major as approved by committee
0-6 hrs as advised from supporting fields
Total Hours31-43
1

 36 hour minimum

Courses

AGRI 5385. Graduate Seminar for Agriculture and Environmental Science. 1-3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A graduate seminar with content varying according to the needs and experiences of students and the instructor of record. May be repeated for up to three hours credit as content varies. Credit for more than a combined total of 3 hours of AGRI 5385, ANSC 5385 or ENVS 5185 will not be granted. Prerequisites: Open to all students with graduate classification majoring in agriculture. Cross-listed with ENVS 5185 and ANSC 5385.

AGRI 5390. Special Topics. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Selected topics in agriculture offered as needed and dependent upon departmental, faculty, and student interests. May be repeated as topics vary. Instructor approval required prior to registration.

AGRI 5688. Thesis. 1-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-6 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Scheduled when the student is ready to begin the thesis. No credit until the thesis is completed. Prerequisite: Approved research methodology course and approval of instructor of record.

Dr. Frank Owsley
Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Technology
Joe W. Autry Building, Room 116
Box T-0070
Stephenville, Texas 76402
(254) 968-9222
(254) 968-9300
owsley@tarleton.edu
http://www.tarleton.edu/animalsciences/

Graduate Faculty

  • Guay, Kimberly Dr.
  • Jones, Trinette Dr.
  • Lambert, Barry Dr.
  • Kinman, Lea Dr.
  • Owsley, Frank Dr.
  • Roper, David
  • Rosiere, Randall Dr.
  • Sawyer, Jason Dr.
  • Snyder, David Dr.
  • Waddell, Jolena Dr.