PhD in Animal Sciences

Degree Requirements

You and your committee develop a program of study cooperatively.  An official form must accompany any change in a program.  A satisfactory scholastic standard must be maintained.  All courses taken for graduate credit must have a cumulative average of 3.0 or higher.  If the GPA falls below 3.0 cumulative, you will be placed on academic probation.  There will be no waiver of fees during this probationary period.  You must regain a 3.0 level at the end of the following semester or become subject to dismissal.  This GPA must be maintained exclusive of problems, research and departmental seminars.

Graduate students taking 7000 level courses should expect course requirements beyond those of undergraduate students in order to warrant receiving graduate credit for those courses.  The Division of Animal Sciences allows no more than two 7000 level Animal Sciences courses in a graduate program.

The number of credit hours in formal course work and in research varies with the student's background, training, interests, and the nature of the research.  A dissertation based on original research is required of each candidate.  Completion of requirements for a doctoral degree is generally expected within four years (five years without prior MS) after initiation of a PhD program.


Four credit hours of seminar beyond the B.S. degree, are required for the PhD degree. To meet the seminar requirement courses must require presentations of technical information. Seminars provide an opportunity to develop skills in presenting technical information to a group of peers and permit you to become acquainted with specialists in the area of animal and biological sciences.

Responsible Conduct of Research

PhD students are required to take a course in “Responsible Conduct of Research”. This requirement can be met by taking either:

BIOCHM/BIO_SC 8060Ethical Conduct of Research1
V_PBIO 8641Introduction to Research Ethics1
Other Responsible Conduct of Research course approved by the Director of Graduate Studies1

Back to Top 

Teaching Expectations

To fulfill the requirement for teaching, all graduate students are required to assist with teaching for two semesters. Students are encouraged to volunteer to assist with additional courses.

Qualifying Process

The qualifying process is determined by the doctoral committee. The committee may accept successful completion of a master’s degree, may require an exam, or may require presentation of a dissertation proposal as evidence of the student being qualified to continue to pursue the Ph.D.

Comprehensive Examination Process

The format of the comprehensive exam is determined by the doctoral committee. It is usually in two parts, a written exam consisting of questions submitted by each committee member, followed by an oral examination by the doctoral committee.

Dissertation Requirements

A dissertation is required for PhD students, comprised of original research findings from their program. This typically takes the form of a literature review followed by multiple data chapters. These data chapters are often presented as independent journal articles, but may also take the form of Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, and Discussion.

The dissertation defense seminar will be presented by the student for division faculty, staff, students, committee members, and other interested persons. It must summarize the research conducted by the student during the PhD program. It also provides the doctoral committee members an opportunity to evaluate the work completed by the student.

Back to Top 


Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission:  the requirements of the PhD in Animal Sciences program and the minimum requirements of the Graduate School. Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program's graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process. Before official admission to the University of Missouri, your application materials will be reviewed by both the Graduate School and the degree program to which you've applied.

Admission Contact Information

Becki Schnell
920 E. Campus Drive
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-8336

Back to Top