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Animal Sciences (PHD) 
Program Description

The School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences offers programs leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Animal Sciences. Th program provides students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience while working with distinguished faculty in state of the art facilities.   Areas of study include reproductive biology, nutritional and mammary gland biology, molecular genetics, heat stress physiology, and racetrack management.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences -

The School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences (ACBS) brings together animal scientists, veterinarians, microbiologists and others to offer the strongest possible programs in research, education and outreach. This school was formed in order to offer more integrated research and educational opportunities in the animal and biomedical sciences.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
J. Christina Garcia
Graduate Program Coordinator
J. Christina Garcia
Director of Graduate Studies
Sean W Limesand
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Statement of Purpose
3 Letters of Recommendation

Prerequisite courses: 1 semester (3 units) each of Biochemistry, General Physiology and Statistical Methods; 1 year (8 units) Organic Chemistry with Laboratory

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
Required GRE Subject tests:
Recommended tests:
Recommended GRE Subject tests:
Minimum GRE Verbal:
Minimum GRE Quantitative:
Minumum GRE Written:
Minimum GMAT:
Minimum MAT:
Minimum TOEFL: 550
Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Limited numbers of Graduate Assistanships (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) are available through the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences.  The GTA positions are provided on a semester- by- semester basis and generally require the recipient to assist in teaching courses in the core cirriculum of the undergraduate Animal Sciences major.  The GRA positions are generally supported by funding acquired by the major professor and are provided during semesters when the student does not have formal teaching assistant duties.  Since faculty support is required, applicants are accepted upon the commitment of Animal Sciences Grad Program faculty member to provide supplemental financial aid to assure successful completion of the graduate degree.  Animal Science Grad students may also apply for a wide range of graduate student scholarships and fellowships offered by the University of Arizona.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 1st

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 15th
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Animal Sciences, Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics, Physiology

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Minumum credits: 63 units
Core coursework: The equivalent of at least six semesters of full-time graduate study is required for the Ph.D. A minimum of 36 units of course work in the area of the major subject, 9 in the minor area of study and 18 units of dissertation must be completed. Graduate credit earned at other approved institutions, if accepted by the major department and the Graduate College, may be counted toward the requirements of this degree.

Students must meet the minimum requirements established for the Master's degree in Animal Sciences. Additional required graduate courses are: three units of statistical design; three units of biochemistry (a grade of C or above must be earned if an undergraduate level course is taken); and two units of seminar (ANS 596.) All required units of credit in the major must be at the 500 level or above at the University of Arizona (or, in the case of transfer units, their equivalent at other institutions.) At least 23 units must be in courses in which regular grades (A, B, C) have been earned. A maximum of 10 units of individual studies (599, 699, 900) will be allowed toward the Ph.D degree. Additional requirements for completion of the degree will be determined by the major professor and the student's graduate advisory committee but must include a minimum of six units from departmental graduate courses.

The student's graduate committee advises the student, helps plan and approves the Doctoral Degree Study Program and evaluates the student's progress during all phases of his/her training. Usually at the end of the first year, the student files the Doctoral Degree Study Program (this form is available from the Graduate College.)

The student and his/her Advisor usually plan the course work for the doctoral degree in consultation with the student's graduate committee. This is usually the basis for the initial graduate committee meeting.

A Qualifying Examination, administered by the student's graduate committee is required prior to filing of the study program (see below) with the Graduate College.

The overall Plan of Study, once developed by the student and the Advisor and approved by the student's graduate committee, must be approved by the Animal Sciences Graduate Committee Chair and the minor department before submission to the Graduate College. (See the Graduate Calendar for deadline dates.)

Language requirements:
Other requirements: Comprehensive Examination and Advancement to Candidacy
Before advancement to candidacy for the degree, the student must pass a general comprehensive examination in the chosen field of study. The comprehensive exam will be held when essentially all course work has been completed, not later than three months prior to the date of the final oral examination. This examination will test the student's general knowledge of Animal Sciences and will test in greater depth fields of specialization within the major and minor subjects of study. The comprehensive examination consists of two parts, a written portion covering the major and minor fields and, no later that two months after the successful completion of the first of these portions, an oral portion which shall be conducted before the student's committee.

The Dissertation Proposal
In the semester following the comprehensive exams, students should complete and present to the Dissertation Committee a proposal that provides a compelling rationale and research plan for the dissertation topic. The goal is to develop a rigorous and feasible experimental plan that will serve as a guide for the dissertation research. Upon completion of this research proposal the student must write and defend his/her dissertation to the Dissertation Committee. It is expected that the dissertation research will result in at least two peer-reviewed journal articles.


Minor Requirements

The Ph.D. minor in Animal Sciences requires nine graduate units (six of which must be A, B, C grades.) Specific courses will be determined by the minor department representatives on the student's graduate committee.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 0%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.00
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 21%
Enrollment Percent Female 79%
Enrollment Percent International 16%
Enrollment Percent URM 32%

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Last revised 10 Apr 2019