Master's program 


The School of Animal Sciences offers graduate degrees with areas of specialization in breeding and genetics, growth and metabolic physiology, meat science and technology, dairy production, ruminant and nonruminant nutrition, reproductive physiology, and biotechnology.

Research is performed with beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry, and various laboratory species. Interactions of school faculty with scientists in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Institute, and units of the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES) throughout the state provide a vast array of research opportunities for graduate students in the animal sciences.

Animal Sciences, MS

The departmental-level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with the student’s graduate advisory committee. The committee will include the student’s major advisor and at least two additional members of the graduate faculty such that the LSU Graduate School’s requirements for graduate committees are satisfied. At least one of the graduate faculty members in addition to the major advisor must be from the School.

The curricular requirements include:

  • At least 15 hours at the 7000 level or above; no more than six hours of ANSC 7061 Research in Animal Science (1-6) may be applied to the degree.
  • At least one hour of seminar (ANSC 7091).
  • All coursework must be approved by the student’s examining committee.

Both thesis and non-thesis options are available.

Thesis option

The thesis option requires a thesis research project; a minimum of 30 hours of credit at the graduate level must be earned including a maximum of six hours of credit for the thesis (ANSC 8000).

Thesis option students are required to present a 30-45 minute public seminar in defense of their thesis research prior to a comprehensive final oral exam with the student’s examining committee.

Non-thesis option

Non-thesis option students must pass a comprehensive final oral exam administered by the student’s examining committee; a written portion of the final exam may also be required by the committee.

For the non-thesis option, a minimum of 36 hours of coursework is required; at least half of the 36 hours (18 hours or more) must be at the 7000-level. Up to six hours of ANSC 7061 Research in Animal Science (1-6) may be applied to the degree and towards the 7000 level requirement. All coursework must be approved by the student’s examining committee.

  • ANSC 7091 Seminar (1)
  • ANSC 7900 Special Topics in Animal Science (1-6)
  • ANSC 8000 Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.)
  • ANSC 9000 Dissertation Research (1-12 per sem.)

  • ANSC 7001 Experimental Methods (2)
  • ANSC 7018 Rumen Physiology and Metabolism (3) – only offered every other year or as needed
  •  ANSC 7052 Biotechnology of Gamete and Embryo Physiology and Micromanipulation (4) – Even number years.
  • ANSC 7061 Research in Animal Science (1-6)

  • ANSC 7004 Population Genetics in Animal and Plant Breeding (4)
  • ANSC 7040 Animal Epigenetics (3)
  •  ANSC 7051 Advanced Physiology of Reproduction (3) – Odd number years



Applications for admission are received and evaluated by the School of Animal Sciences for each semester (fall, spring, summer). Applicants must adhere to the application deadlines established by the Graduate School.

Students seeking admission must submit satisfactory credentials from previous study, acceptable GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation. International students whose native language is not English must also submit an acceptable TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score.

When all admission requirements are met, full admission will be considered by the graduate faculty members in the prospective student’s area of interest. Final admittance to the program must be supported by a member of the graduate faculty in the school, thus students are encouraged to communicate with faculty directly about the possibility of working in a faculty member’s program. If a student does not meet all requirements, he or she may be admitted provisionally (e.g., on probation if the GPA is not 3.0 or better).

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available to some students. Support may be available through the school or other units in the form of research or teaching assistantships. Assistantships are awarded through faculty members, so applicants should contact individual faculty members concerning the availability of funding. Students on assistantship receive full tuition waivers but are responsible for university fees. To ensure consideration for financial aid, all application materials should be submitted as early as possible before the actual admitting semester.

Graduate Catalog

LSU Graduate School

LSU College of Agriculture


Phil Elzer
Director, School of Animal Sciences

Kenneth R. Bondioli
Graduate Coordinator, School of Animal Sciences 

Graduate Faculty

Kenneth R. Bondioli
Reproductive physiology/biotechnology; embryo biotechnology

Richard K. Cooper
Animal diseases

Philip H. Elzer
Infectious diseases

Xing Fu
Muscle biology

Neely L. Heidorn
Equine extension

Jerome F. La Peyre
Oyster diseases

Zongliang Jiang
Adjunct Associate Professor Molecular genetics

Vinicius R. Moreira
Dairy cattle nutrition and management

Christine B. Navarre
Extension veterinarian, animal health and diseases

Erin L. Oberhaus
Equine reproduction, ovarian function

Constantine Simintiras
Developmental Biology

Cathleen C. Williams
Dairy calf and heifer nutrition, dairy management