Master of Science in Animal and Rangeland Science

Graduate study in Animal and Rangeland Sciences areas of specialization include:

Sub-disciplines related to Animal Science:

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Health
  • Reproduction
  • Welfare
  • Livestock Production
  • Meat Industry & Food Safety

Rangeland Ecology and Management:

  • Riparian Ecosystems
  • Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Hydrology
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Rangeland Animal & Wildlife Interactions
  • Grazing Management
  • Invasive Species Ecology
  • Remote Sensing


An essential criterion for admission to the MS program is the agreement of a GPARS graduate faculty member to serve as a student's advisor. Prospective students must correspond with potential advisors early in the application procedure as no students are accepted in the absence of the agreement by a faculty member to serve as advisor. Link to the database for these faculty: Robert Washington Allen, Bruna Alves, Felipe Barios Masias, Amilton DeMello, Bradley Ferguson, Mozart Fonseca, Andrew Nuss, Barry Perryman, Juan Solomon, Tamzen Stringham, Sherman Swanson, Mike Teglas, and Melinda Yerka.

Additional admission requirements include:

  • Students who seek admission to the program should have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0, a combined verbal and quantitative GRE score in the upper 50%, a TOEFL score of 550 (paper version) or 79 (internet version) for international students). Students with a MS degree from a recognized institution can have the GRE requirement waived.
  • Each student must have an advisor among the GPARS faculty before they are accepted into the Program.
  • Students must meet a set of coursework requirements consistent with career objectives in either animal science or rangeland ecology and management. Required undergraduate classes must be taken prior to admittance or while in their MS program.
    • Students emphasizing animal science must have completed a degree in (or similar to) animal science or veterinary science, or complete course work in physical sciences (6 credits), organic chemistry or biochemistry (6 credits), and biology, agriculture, or natural resources (24 credits, including genetics, anatomy, physiology, soils, hydrology, ecology or plant or animal science).
    • Students emphasizing rangeland ecology and management must have completed the equivalent of a B.S. degree in Animal Science, Rangeland Science, or a closely related area.
    • In selecting applicants, the Animal & Rangeland Sciences Graduate Selection Committee will consider the prospective student’s statement of purpose, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation (3 required).
  • Students who do not meet these criteria but who remain interested in the graduate program should contact the Director of the Graduate Program

Application Deadline:

Applications may be reviewed at any time. However, in order to receive full consideration for Fall admission, all application materials should reach the department by February 1st. For Spring admission, please provide all materials by November 1st. You must use the on-line application to submit materials to the Graduate School. In addition to transcripts, and a report of your GRE scores, you will need three letters of recommendation and a Statement of Purpose and Intent. The Statement is a one to two page essay that describes your reasons for undertaking graduate work, as well as an explanation of your study and research interests and their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals. All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School. You may also submit copies of all materials, including informal transcripts, to the faculty member who is considering or has agreed to be your advisor.

Master of Science Graduation Requirements:

  • Students for the M.S. in Animal and Rangeland Sciences (ARS) must satisfy the general requirements of the Graduate School.
  • Students must select a M.S. graduate committee consisting of at least three members of the graduate faculty, including the Advisor. At least two members represent the area of specialization; one member serves as the Graduate School Representative.
  • Courses should be selected to complement the student’s fields of interest and enhance his/her conceptual and research skills.
    • Required Core Curriculum (The animal science or rangeland science requirement below can be waived if students enter the program with strength in that field):
    • AGSC REM 790 Animal and Rangeland Science Seminar (1 unit). Students are also expected to attend Seminar whenever they are enrolled in on-campus classes.
    • Graduate level statistics class (3 units)
    • AGSC 610 Sheep Management, OR AGSC 618 Beef Cattle Management, OR AGSC 606 Advanced Nutrition Management.
    • NRES 698 Rangeland Restoration Ecology, OR AGSC 613 Rangeland Livestock Interactions, OR AGSC 608 Rangeland Ecosystems

Two degree plans are available: Plan A (30 credits) includes a thesis on original research; Plan B (32 credits) replaces the thesis with a non-thesis, professional paper option.

  • Plan A includes a research thesis: (30 units minimum). Of these 30 units, at least 18 must be at the 700-level and at least 21 graduate units must be earned at UNR (this means that no more than 9 credits may be transferred in).  Six thesis units (e.g. AGSC 797) must be included in the total.
  • Plan B Non-Thesis: (32 units minimum). Of these 32 units, at least 18 must be at the 700-level and at least 23 units must be earned at UNR (this means that no more than 9 credits may be transferred in). No more than 2 professional paper units (e.g. AGSC 796) may be included in the total.

Each candidate will be required to make a formal prospectus (study plan) presentation to their committee.
Each student will write and defend in public their thesis or professional paper. The student's advising committee will pass judgement about the quality and sufficiency of the thesis or professional paper and its defense.  The thesis must also be accepted by the graduate school.
The vast majority of incoming students are admitted to the Plan A degree program.  This is the option in which the student is expected to write a thesis making an original contribution to the research field of a quality acceptable to a major, peer-reviewed scientific journal.  A small number of students, primarily those without research funding and/or who have a full-time job commitment, are admitted to the Plan B degree program.  This program requires the writing of a professional paper of a quality suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  Occasionally, Plan B students transfer to Plan A if research funding becomes available.  Only under very special circumstances is a Plan A student allowed to transfer to Plan B.

View the Animal and Rangeland Science graduate program handbook

Program Director
Amilton de Mello
University of Nevada, Reno / MS 202
Reno, Nevada 89557
Campus Location:

Department of Agriculture, Nutrition & Veterinary Science
Mail Stop 202
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada 89557-0014
Campus Location: Max C. Fleischmann Agriculture
Fax: 775-784-1375,/p>