The program requires the student to write a dissertation based on original research and complete at least 24 graduate credit hours of coursework at the 500- and 600-level beyond the master's degree, plus 24 credit hours of ANSC 600 . Coursework must include the following:
- A minimum of 6 credit hours at the 600 level.
- A minimum of 8 credit hours in related courses outside of animal science (ANSC cross-listed courses may be used for this purpose).
- At least 1 credit hour of Teaching/Extension experiential learning.
- At least 3 credit hours in statistics chosen from courses approved for use in the intercollegiate graduate statistics program (or 6 credit hours if student has no previous graduate level statistics coursework).
- 1 credit hour of research ethics coursework if not taken for the Master of Science degree.
- 3 credit hours of graduate-level multi-systems physiology coursework if not taken for the Master of Science degree (as approved by the student's advisory committee).
- ANSC 696 each spring term for first- and second-year students.
The remainder of coursework will be selected by the student in consultation with the major professor and committee, reflecting the student's area of emphasis and professional objectives. A majority of coursework must be completed at the University of Tennessee.
The student and major professor select the graduate advisory committee which must be comprised of at least 5 faculty members at the rank of assistant professor or above. The major professor serves as chair, 3 members must reside within the Department of Animal Science, and one member must be from outside the Department. The major professor and at least 2 other members must be approved to direct doctoral research. 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 graduate advisory committee also aids in formulating an appropriate research project and administers other degree requirements, including the comprehensive exam and dissertation 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 fourth semester of matriculation.
Concurrent Master's Degree requirements
In exceptional cases where an individual is admitted to PhD program having a BS and/or DVM only but no thesis-based MS degree, individual will be required to complete a MS degree in the continuum of PhD program efforts. Individual would work with their graduate advisor to submit a manuscript containing their initial original research efforts to a scientific peer-reviewed journal. Submitted manuscript would then be formatted into a thesis for presentation of an oral defense. Upon completion of MS degree requirements (24 graduate credit hours + 6 credit hours of ANSC 500 ), the individual would complete PhD requirements as outlined in departmental graduate student handbook.