Jun 25, 2022  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Animal Sciences (M.S.)


Application for admission to graduate school should begin as early as possible in the semester prior to the proposed admission date (i.e., for fall semester, begin application process early in the preceding spring semester).

All applicants to the Animal Sciences and Industry  graduate program must submit a completed application form, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts of all previous college work. In addition, the applicant should write a short statement of objectives which should include the discipline area (and animal species if appropriate) in which the student desires to study. The student should mention in the statement of objectives specific faculty with whom they may have had prior contact, and with whom they desire to work as graduate students. This information is important in placing prospective graduate students with major professors whose area of research coincides with their areas of interest.

In addition to the information noted above, international applicants must submit a TOEFL score of at least 550 (or 213 if computer-based test) or provide evidence of receipt of a degree from a U.S. university. International students must also provide a completed financial form and evidence of financial support for their entire graduate training.

The Graduate Record Examination is not required for admission, but may be helpful in the evaluation process.

Upon receipt of all of the required application documentation, the applicants file will be reviewed by the departmental graduate activities committee which includes graduate faculty members representing each of the six discipline areas. If the student is deemed acceptable for admission, a graduate faculty member willing to serve as major professor must be identified prior to forwarding of the students credentials to the graduate school.

Limited numbers of graduate research assistantships and graduate teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Those students awarded an assistantship have out-of-state fees waived.

Animal sciences and industry - program description

The Department of Animal Sciences and Industry is a comprehensive unit supported by about 50 faculty devoted to research, teaching, and extension activities related to domestic farm animals species. Currently, the department has approximately 700 undergraduate students advised in the department and about 75 graduate students pursuing both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

For graduate training, the department has animal research and teaching units located conveniently to the main campus. Those units include sheep, poultry, purebred beef, dairy, swine, and horse teaching and research units and the beef, forage, range and cow-calf research units. In addition, laboratories in both Call and Weber Halls contain state-of-the-art equipment that allow the student access to most analytical techniques required for their research.

Graduate training in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry is organized within six functional discipline groups including animal breeding and genetics, food science, meat science, monogastric nutrition, physiology, and ruminant nutrition.

Animal breeding and genetics

Graduate work leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in animal breeding is administered by participating faculty. Graduate programs are designed specifically for each student to acquire training in genetics, animal breeding, and statistics. Additional courses will be selected from the fields of biological and physical sciences. A typical program of study will include some of the following graduate level courses: statistical and population genetics; animal breeding; statistics and experimental design; physiology; and anatomy. Research is conducted using field data from cooperating ranches, breed association, and universities. Facilities are available for adequate analysis of most data set, including REML and BLUP procedures.

Food science

The food science program represents a large interdisciplinary degree program and is detailed in a separate area in the catalog.

Meat science

The meat science program is comprehensive and prepares students for fundamental and applied research, product and process development, and technical service in industry, academic, regulatory, and international positions. Faculty conduct research in tissue growth and development; germplasm characterization; ante- and post-mortem factors and processes affecting meat quality and composition; myofibrillar, collagen, and pigment chemistry; packaging; lighting; irradiation; low-fat products; byproduct value enhancement; processed meats; quality assurance; and safety of meat and meat products. Facilities include a fully equipped meat laboratory that permits experimental and industry-like fresh and processed meat processing; research laboratories for physical and chemical analyses; and thermal processing, display, and sensory facilities for instrumental and sensory panel evaluation of meat products. Graduate students are actively involved in teaching, research, and extension activities as part of their training.

Monogastric nutrition

The monogastric nutrition team offers comprehensive training that weaves a basic understanding of nutrition into an applied research program. Areas of specialized emphasis include: amino acid nutrition as influenced by age, sex, weight and physiological state of the animal; utilization of alternative feed ingredients; influences of technological advances on nutritional requirements; effects of feed processing technologies on nutrient utilization; and manipulation of the immune response through the diet.

Innovations by the K-State monogastric nutrition team include phase feeding programs for the young pig, high nutrient density starter diets, particle size and extrusion processing to improve nutrient utilization in both swine and poultry diets, and somatotropin influences on nutrient requirements. Additionally, K-State is a national leader in conducting field research in modern commercial swine facilities. This allows graduate students to be exposed to the swine business while conducting timely and industry-leading research.

Graduate students are offered an array of course work to develop areas of expertise. Common areas of training include basic nutrition, biochemistry, statistics, grain science, and immunology. Seminars and discussion groups are an integral part of the graduate program. Prospective graduate students should visit with the faculty and current graduate students about opportunities in the program.


Students pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. programs in physiology in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry will be exposed to a comprehensive, interdisciplinary degree program including course work, seminars and research experiences spanning many departments including biochemistry, statistics, biology, and anatomy and physiology.

Graduate training in physiology prepares students for various careers in research, teaching, technical services, consulting, adult education, and extension in animal reproduction and related fields of animal physiology. Graduate studies will be in reproductive endocrinology, establishment of pregnancy, cell and tissue culture, molecular biology of reproduction, stress-environmental physiology, gamete physiology, and exercise physiology.

Ruminant nutrition

The ruminant nutrition program is characterized by highly productive individual research programs and a concomitant commitment to the pursuit of collaborative research efforts. Scientists within the ruminant nutrition program maintain the dual goals of conducting research which will advance the understanding of fundamental nutritional phenomena but which also provide insight into practical aspects of the nutritional management of ruminant livestock. Students entering the program are provided with a strong foundation in ruminal and post-ruminal digestion, absorption, and metabolism as well as training in the fundamental experimental procedures necessary for conducting ruminant nutrition research.

Supporting course work is frequently pursued in the areas of biochemistry, grain science, microbiology, physiology, and statistics. Areas of research emphasis within the ruminant nutrition group include dairy cattle nutrition, feedlot nutrition, cow-calf and stocker nutrition (special emphasis on grazing livestock), rumen microbiology, and silage research.