Animal Science

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Meat Science and Muscle Biology
  • Non-Ruminant Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Ruminant Nutrition
Areas of Study
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • Non-Ruminant Nutrition
  • Ruminant Nutrition
Promo image for Animal Science

Contacts for Animal Science

On the Web

Animal Science

Graduate Chair

Professor Sheila Purdum

Graduate Secretary

Heather Wilson


Campus Address

C203 Animal Science

Lincoln NE 68583-0908

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Animal Science in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s): GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 79, IELTS 6.5
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Statement of goals and objectives

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Animal Science
For financial considerationFall: January 7
OtherwiseSummer: February 1 Fall: March 1 Spring: September 1


The Department of Animal Science offers graduate study emphasizing animal breeding and genetics, meat and poultry products, non-ruminant and ruminant nutrition, and physiology. Analytical laboratories and animal facilities are available for graduate research.

The department's contemporary facilities enhance basic and applied research capabilities for intensive large animal, poultry, and laboratory animal work. An extensive, federally inspected meat laboratory is available for meat and poultry research. In addition, the department maintains facilities 40 minutes away from Lincoln for research in all disciplines of beef and dairy cattle, sheep, and swine. Graduate programs conduct collaborative research at four university district research and extension centers and the USDA Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska.

Courses and More

Students in Animal Science are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

Don Adams
Range Beef Systems; Beef Cow Management
Kathy Anderson
Equitation; Horse Management
Larry Berger
Ruminant Nutrition; Protein and Energy Nutrition; Animal Management Techniques to Improve Production Efficiency
Marvel L. Baker Department Head
Dennis Brink
Mineral Requirements; Immunocompetence of Ruminants Fed Forages
Tom Burkey
Nonruminant Nutrition; Gastrointestinal Physiology
Dennis Burson
Food Safety; Meat Quality
Chris Calkins
Meat Quality and Palatability; Beef Muscle Traits; Consumers and Value
Daniel Ciobanu
Functional Genomics; Systems Genetics; Physiology
Andrea Cupp
Reproduction and Gonadal Development and Function
Galen Erickson
Environmental-Nutritional Interactions in Feedlots; Grain Processing and Starch Use; Corn Byproduct Utilization; Protein Requirements of Feedlot Cattle; Nutritional Effects on Pathogen Excretion
Samodha Fernando
Ruminant and Non-Ruminant Microbial Ecology; Microbial Meta-Functional Genomics; Host-Microbe Interactions
Rick Funston
Beef Cattle Physiology; Heifer Development
Ronnie Green
Animal Breeding; Improvement of Beef Cattle through Breeding Methods
Debora Hamernik
Reproductive Endocrinology
Kathy Hanford
Mixed Linear Models; Breeding and Genetics
Karla Jenkins
Ruminant Nutrition; Cow/Calf and Range Management; Grazing Systems; Enhancing Native Range Resources
Steven Jones
RNA Translation; Meat Quality
Lisa Karr-Lillienthal
Companion Animal Science Nutrition
Paul Kononoff
Forage Quality; Ruminal Fermentation
Ronald Lewis
Quantitative Genetics and Genomics
Matthew Luebbe
Feedlot Nutrition Management; Yearling Production Systems, Nutrition and Management Effects on Environment
James MacDonald
Ruminant Nutrition; Beef Cattle Nutrition and Beef Cattle Production Systems
Phillip Miller
Swine Nutrition; Liver Metabolism; Nutrient Intake; Growth Criteria
Jessica Petersen
Animal Functional Genomics
Sheila Purdum
Monogastric and Poultry Nutrition
Rick Rasby
Cattle Reproduction and Management Systems
Bryan Reiling
Livestock Production, Management, and Evaluation
Ty Schmidt
Muscle Biology and Physiology
Matthew Spangler
Quantitative Genetics; Molecular Information in Genetic Evaluations; Commercial Ranch Genetic Evaluations
Aaron Stalker
Ruminant Nutrition
Richard Stowell
Animal Housing Systems; Odor and Gas Emissions; Heat Stress Abatement
Gary Sullivan
Value-Added and Processed Meats Quality; Safety and Nutritional Value; Nitrate/Nitric Oxide Chemistry
Andrea Watson
Ruminant Nutrition
Brett White
Embryology; Endocrinology
Jennifer Wood
Female Reproduction; Ovarian Physiology; Steroidogenesis

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