The program requires the student to write a thesis based on original research and complete 24 hours of graduate coursework, plus 6 hours of ANSC 500 . Coursework must include the following:
- At least 14 hours in courses numbered at or above the 500 level.
- At least 1 hour of Teaching/Extension experiential learning.
- At least 3 hours in statistics chosen from courses approved for use in the intercollegiate graduate statistics program.
- 1 hour of research ethics coursework (preferably in the first year).
- 3 hours of graduate-level multi-systems physiology coursework (approved by the student's advisory committee).
- ANSC 696 each spring term for first- and second-year students (maximum 2 hours).
The remainder of coursework will be selected by the student in consultation with the major professor and advisory committee. A majority of coursework must be completed at the University of Tennessee.
The major professor, an animal science faculty member at the rank of assistant professor or above, chairs the student's graduate advisory committee. The student and major professor select the other members of the advisory committee which should contain at least two other faculty members at the rank of assistant professor or above, one of whom may be outside the Animal Science Department. The student's advisory committee assists in the planning of course work and may require specific courses in addition to those required by the Animal Science graduate program. The student's graduate advisory committee also aids in formulating an appropriate research project and assesses achievement of other degree requirements, including the research proposal and thesis defense.
Students are expected to choose their graduate advisory committee in their first semester, present proposed coursework and research plan to the committee before the beginning of the second semester, and present a written research project proposal to the committee no later than the third semester of matriculation.
Accelerated Five Year BS-MS Program, Animal Science Major
For qualified students, the Department of Animal Science offers an accelerated 5-year BS-MS degree program with a BS major in Animal Science and a thesis-based MS major in Animal Science. Central to this program is that a qualified student may take up to 9 hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both the BS degree and the MS degree. Students are typically considered for conditional admission to the program during, or immediately following, their third year of undergraduate study at UT. Because the MS program requires that a student write a thesis based on original research, efforts related to developing and starting a research-based project in consultation with a graduate advisory committee (that meets MS committee requirements) is required immediately following their third year of undergraduate studies.
To be considered for conditional admission to the program:
- A student must be a declared Animal Science major with a minimum GPA of 3.4, must have completed at least 15 hours of credit in Animal Science, and must have completed at least 90 hours of the 120 hours of coursework required for the BS degree with a major in Animal Science.
- A student must provide three letters of recommendation and complete a personal interview with individuals comprising the Graduate and Undergraduate Committees in the Department of Animal Science.
- A student must obtain a commitment from an Animal Science graduate research faculty member to serve as their graduate mentor-advisor (i.e., major professor) and at least two other graduate research faculty members to serve on their graduate advisory committee.
Applicants are required to have completed at least 6 credit hours from the following Animal Science core courses (i.e., ANSC 320, ANSC 330, ANSC 340, ANSC 380 or their Honors counterparts). The Department may consider other relevant factors such as an applicant's work experience and level of maturity before conditionally admitting a student to the BS-MS program. Conditional admission of a student into the 5-year BS-MS program must be approved by both the Department of Animal Science and the Graduate School. Students will be typically informed of the outcome of their application before the beginning of their fourth year of undergraduate study.
Any course taken for graduate credit before satisfying all requirements for the BS degree must be approved both by the Graduate Director and by the Graduate School. These courses must be identified in advance, in consultation with the graduate advisory committee members. The form "Senior Requesting Graduate Credit" is found on the Graduate School website and must be completed, signed, and submitted to the Graduate School for approval and processing.
UT's Senior Privilege rule imposes a maximum limit of 9 hours on the number of graduate-level hours that an undergraduate student may complete before completing an undergraduate degree and being formally admitted to the Graduate School. A student that is conditionally admitted to the BS-MS program completes 9 hours of graduate credit during the student's fourth year of undergraduate study (by submitting the "Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Form" to the Graduate School), and applies those 9 hours to satisfy BS degree requirements may also apply the 9 hours towards MS degree requirements.
Conditional admission into the BS-MS program does not guarantee acceptance into either the Graduate School or the MS program. Students in the BS-MS program must apply for admission to the Graduate School and to the MS program during their fourth year of undergraduate study, following the same procedures that all other student applicants follow. A GRE score must be submitted as part of the application for admission into any graduate program in the Department of Animal Science. Students will be fully admitted to the MS program after they have been accepted both by the Graduate School and by the Animal Science MS program. Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate students in the Graduate School.