Animal Science M.S./Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Animal Science

Program Description

Graduate faculty in the Field of Animal Science include members from the Department of Animal Science, Division of Nutritional Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Students training towards MS and PhD degrees in the field develop a unique program applicable to their particular goals under the mentorship of a special committee composed of faculty with the relevant expertise.  In addition to doing research, students are encouraged to gain experience in teaching, extension and public outreach.

Students applying to the Field of Animal Science choose from the following concentrations:

  • Animal nutrition
  • Animal science
  • Physiology of reproduction
  • Animal genetics
  • Animal genomics

The field requires one more member on the Special Committee of both M.S. and Ph.D. degree candidates (i.e., three for the M.S., four for the Ph.D.) than is required by the Graduate School. At least one member of the Special Committee must be a member of the faculty in a department other than that of the chairperson.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-2862

149 Morrison Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • animal genetics (M.S., M.S./Ph.D., Ph.D. only)
  • animal genomics (M.S., M.S./Ph.D., Ph.D. only)
  • animal health (M.P.S. only)
  • animal nutrition
  • animal nutrition (M.P.S. only)
  • animal production sustainability (M.P.S. only)
  • animal science (general)
  • dairy business management (M.P.S. only)
  • physiology of reproduction (M.S., M.S./Ph.D., Ph.D. only)


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Jan. 1

Requirements Summary:

Preference is given to applicants whose credentials indicate strong undergraduate preparation both in the animal sciences and in related biological and physical sciences.

Learning Outcomes

Students will work toward developing a broad appreciation of the field of animal science while focusing on a specific area of research. They will gain understanding of how the various aspects of the field of animal science are integrated, from unraveling biological mechanisms to understand animal physiology, to applying knowledge to improve animal health and productivity, and to devising management practices to improve the efficiency of animal production systems and animal health. Students will have the opportunity to gain exposure and experience in the practice of outreach and extension to promote communication of advances in animal science and their application in the field. Extensive opportunities are offered to obtain experience in teaching.

Students will develop a unique program applicable to their goals under the mentorship of a special committee composed of faculty with relevant expertise. Common skills essential to becoming an accomplished animal scientist are developed including analyzing the scientific literature to determine the state of knowledge, identifying research questions, designing experiments to test hypotheses using appropriate methodologies, communicating through scientific publications and oral presentations, working collaboratively with other scientists and acquiring skills in teaching and mentorship.


A candidate for the doctoral degree will demonstrate advanced knowledge within the broad discipline of Animal Science and contribute new knowledge within their focus area. They will develop the skills needed to direct an independent research program. At completion of the PhD degree, a student should demonstrate the ability to:

  • analyze the scientific literature to assess current knowledge in the field.
  • develop hypotheses and design experiments. 
  • continually learn new research techniques to address evolving questions in the field. 
  • analyze data using appropriate statistical methods. 
  • maintain adhesion to ethical standards in animal and laboratory research. 
  • communicate science in peer-reviewed publications and oral presentations. 
  • deliver lectures to academic and non-academic professional audiences and lay audiences to disseminate knowledge in the field. 
  • serve as a mentor to students and trainees.