Doctor of Philosophy 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 PhD program is the agreement of a 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:

  • A Bachelor degree or preferably a MS degree from an accredited institution of higher education in an appropriate area of science,
  • An undergraduate/graduate grade point of 3.0 or higher, and
  • 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.
  • 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 graduate 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 their potential advisor(s).

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 previous studies 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.

Doctor of Philosophy Graduation Requirements:

  • Students for the PhD in Animal and Rangeland Sciences (ARS) must satisfy the general requirements of the Graduate School.
  • Students must select a PhD graduate advising committee consisting of at least five members of the graduate faculty, including the advisor, at least one other member from the advisor's department, a member representing a closely allied discipline to the area of specialization, and one member serving as the Graduate School Representative.
  • Students must present a dissertation proposal within their first year. It will clarify how their research will create new knowledge in a variety of related sub-disciplines.
  • Courses should be selected to complement the student’s fields of interest and enhance his/her conceptual and research skills. A minimum of 72 graduate credits (with grades of “B” or better) beyond the baccalaureate are required.  As many as 24 credits may be used from a completed master’s degree.  A minimum of 24 credits of dissertation are required and Thirty (30) 700-799 level credits of coursework are required, with as many as 18 that may be used from a completed master’s degree.  Only 9 credits of satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading are allowed.
  • 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 (2 units). 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 Restoration Ecology, OR AGSC 613 Rangeland Livestock Interactions, OR AGSC 608 Rangeland Ecosystems
  • Students will take and pass a 1-credit (e.g. AGSC 795) comprehensive examination in order to be admitted into Candidacy for the Doctoral Degree.  The written and oral comprehensive examination will be administered by the student's advising committee.
  • Each candidate will write and defend in public their dissertation. The student's advising committee will pass judgement about the quality and sufficiency of the dissertation and its defense.  The dissertation must also be accepted by the graduate school.

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