Master of Science in Animal and Rangeland Science

The Master of Science in Animal and Rangeland Science prepares students to address critical regional and worldwide needs in animal science and rangeland ecology and management.

The master's degree is committee-driven, allowing students the flexibility to select courses and develop a program of study under the guidance of an advisory committee. It has few program-specific degree requirements, and required courses.

Curriculum in the program prepares students to do the following:

  • Apply scientific concepts to systematically create new knowledge related to the sustainable management of agricultural and natural resources.
  • Plan and execute a diversity of experiments using appropriate science and statistical approaches.
  • Effectively compose and articulate scientific concepts through written and oral communication.
  • Evaluate and apply professional ethics in the design and application of their research.

Animal and Rangeland Science Specializations

Students may select from a variety of academic specializations, such as the following:

Animal Science specializations

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

Rangeland Ecology and Management specializations

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

Admission to the Master of Science in Animal and Rangeland Science

An essential criterion for admission to the master's 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.

Other admission requirements include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A bachelor's degree or, preferably, a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education in an appropriate area of science.
  • An undergraduate/graduate grade point of 3.0 or higher.
  • A combined verbal and quantitative GRE score in the upper 50 percentile, a TOEFL score of 550 (paper version) or 79 (internet version) for international students). Students with a master's 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 Bachelor of Science 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).

Academic track options

The Master of Science in Animal and Rangeland Science offer two degree plans, including a thesis and non-thesis option. Course and program requirements vary by academic plan.

Plan A: Thesis Option.The thesis option requires 30 credits, including six credits of original thesis research. Of these 30 units, at least 18 must be at the 700-level and at least 21 graduate units must be earned at the University of Nevada, Reno (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 Option.The non-thesis option requires 32 credits and two credits of professional paper requirements. Of these 32 units, at least 18 must be at the 700-level and at least 23 units must be earned at the University of Nevada, Reno (this means that no more than nine credits may be transferred in). No more than two professional paper units (e.g. AGSC 796) may be included in the total.

The vast majority of incoming students are admitted to the Plan A degree program. Through their thesis, students are expected to make an original contribution to the research field of a quality acceptable to a major, peer-reviewed scientific journal. However, 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.

Regardless of their track, each graduate candidate is required to make a formal prospectus (study plan) presentation to their committee and defend in public either their thesis or professional paper.

Application deadlines and materials for the master's programs

Applications may be reviewed at any time. However, in order to receive full consideration, all application materials must be received by the following dates:

Fall admission: February 1st
Spring admission: November 1st

Students must submit an online application to the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School.

  • Official transcripts
  • GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose: A one- to two-page essay that describes reasons for undertaking graduate work, as well as an explanation of the student's study and research interests and their relation to the student's previous studies and professional goals.

Apply to the M.S. in Animal and Rangeland Science Program

Want to know more about the master's in Animal Science and Rangeland Ecology?

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the doctoral program, contact the program director Amilton de Mello.

Amilton de Mello | ARS Graduate Program Assistant Director

Download the Animal and Rangeland Science graduate program handbook

Related Degrees and Programs

Contact College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources

Phone (775) 784-1660
(775) 784-6237
Fax (775) 784-4227
Location Fleischmann Agriculture