Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences - MS, PhD

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

About This Degree

This department hosts a broad range of studies, from traditional animal and dairy management to in-depth biological areas, including cloning, molecular biology, genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. The department has access to lab facilities and equipment allowing research in all of these areas and in studying animal reproduction, nutrition, and disease. Its Center for Integrated Biosystems has been recognized for its cloning expertise twice by Popular Science magazine. Approximately five new students are admitted each year, making this a competitive program with a strong sense of community amongst its graduate students and faculty.


Animal Health and Disease:

In this specialization, students focus on molecular biology, pathology, and disease detection using conventional and advanced molecular technologies, epidemiology, parasitology, pharmacology, and microbiology.

Animal Molecular Genetics:

This specialization involves technologies in genome analyses, whole genome scanning, marker assisted selection, and the identification of economically important trait loci in food-producing animals.

Animal Nutrition:

Students in this specialization have the opportunity to study things like the development of new feed additives that improve animal performance, innovations in grazing practices that optimize ruminant production, the development of feasible approaches for sustainable agriculture, and more.

Animal or Dairy Management:

For students seeking careers in production animal agriculture, this specialization prepares students for the challenges facing the animal industry and commodity groups in the 21st century.

Reproduction and Development:

Students in this specialization work with faculty exploring aspects of early embryo development, differentiation, gene regulation, embryonic stem cell characteristics and applications, reproductive immunology, and more.


MS: Logan (Main Campus)

PhD: Logan (Main Campus)

Please fill out this form with your information and you will get access to a degree sheet with a sample 4-year plan.
You will also be contacted via text or email to answer any questions you may have about the program.

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Description Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

Nearly all graduates of the PhD program pursue careers as university faculty and researchers. Additionally, many MS graduates go on to doctoral programs. Graduates can also work in the following areas:

  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Reproduction clinics, both animal and human
  • Public health
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Agribusiness
  • Animal management
  • Animal feed industry
  • Nutritional companies
  • Diagnostic medicine
  • Medical technicians, both animal and human

Job Outlook


Lee Rickords

Associate Professor
Office: AGSC 248
Phone: (435) 797-2195


Admission Requirements

Applicants with undergraduate majors other than animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences are considered, but they must have strong undergraduate backgrounds in the sciences, particularly biology.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation

International students have additional admissions requirements.


The department has the following deadline:

  • Fall semester – March 15
  • Applications are accepted after this deadline, but students are less likely to be considered for financial assistance.

Program Requirements

PhD Qualifying Exams:

PhD students must pass qualifying exams after their second year, at a time determined by their major professor. The student will meet with their supervisory committee and receive a focus area on which their exam will be concentrated. The exam will have a written and oral component and is designed with the goal to fine tune the student's understanding of the focus area.

Plan Options

For the MS, students must pursue the following option:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.

For the animal management specialization, students have two options:

  • In the Plan A option, students complete graduate-level coursework and must write a thesis.
  • The Plan B option requires the production of a paper and is expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards as a thesis. This option is considered to be a terminal degree, and graduates are not eligible for acceptance into USU’s PhD program in animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences.

Financial Aid

All graduate students in the department receive some sort of funding. In particular, the department offers competitive teaching and research assistantships on a rotating basis. Students awarded these assistantships are given $15,000 per year. Students earning a master’s degree receive this amount for two years, those earning a PhD will receive it for three years, and those who enter the PhD program directly out of a bachelor’s degree will receive this assistantship for five years. In addition to these amounts, students will also receive subsidized health insurance.

A variety of funding opportunities are available on the graduate school website.

Take The Next Step

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