Applicants are expected to have completed the equivalent of a B.S. (for the M.S. program) or M.S. degree (for the Ph.D. program) in Animal Science, Range Science, or a closely related area prior to applying.

IMPORTANT: Prior to applying, please investigate tenure-track faculty research areas to find which faculty member's interests best align with your area(s) of interest and contact them to request a meeting. A faculty member must  agree to serve as your major advisor as a condition of acceptance. 

In selecting applicants, the Animal and Range Sciences Graduate Committee will consider:

  1. Statement of Purpose that includes:
    1. the name of the faculty member with whom you have been in contact, You MUST have a faculty member agree to serve as your advisor or your application is incomplete and will not be considered.
    2. why you're interested in pursuing this graduate degree at Montana State University
    3. how this degree fits into your career goal.
  1. Undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts
    1. All applicants must upload unofficial transcripts during this online process, even if you are currently working on your degree. Should the department extend an offer, MSU must received official  transcripts directly from all university(s) attended.
    2. Transcripts should be sent electronically to or mailed to MSU, Animal and Range Sciences, P.O. Box 172900, 103 Animal Bioscience Building, Bozeman, MT 59717-2900.
  2. GPA: Minimum GPA of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00 = "A"
  3. Reference Letters
    1. Submit three (3) letters of recommendation, including one from the potential faculty advisor. The electronic application process will prompt each reference to submit a signed reference letter. Letters should be written by professionals who are able to judge your ability to succeed in graduate school. 
    2. Do not submit letters from family members, friends, roommates, etc. 
  4. GRE: The department does not require a GRE; however, specific faculty advisors may request a GRE as a condition of accepting an advisee.
  5. International Applicants: Additional application requirements for international students are found at

IMPORTANT: Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Minimum Requirements for M.S. in Animal and Range Sciences

  • At least 3 credits upper level (400 or 500) course in statistics.
  • One semester of ARNR 507 — Research Methods.
  • One semester of ARNR 594 — Seminar.
  • Students must declare either the Animal Science, Range Science, or Biology Emphasis:
    • Course requirements for students in the Animal Science Emphasis:
      • At least six credits from the Graduate Animal Science block (must be 500 level)
    • Course requirements for students in the Range Science Emphasis:
      • At least six credits from the Graduate Range Science block (must be 500 level)
    • Course requirements for students in the Biology Emphasis:
      • At least six credits biology-related 500-level courses in their area of emphasis
      • AND
      • At least 3 credits from the Graduate Animal Science block, or Graduate Range Science block
      • NOTE:  Students emphasizing meat science in the Biology Emphasis can substitute BCH 441– Biochemistry of Macromolecules for one of the two 500-level courses.
    • Graduate Animal Science Block
      ARNR 505 – Ruminant Microbiology
      ARNR 513 – Advanced Forage Production
      ARNR 520 – Nutrient Metabolism in Domestic Animals
      ARNR 521 – Advanced Ruminant Nutrition
      ARNR 523 – Advanced Physiology of Reproduction
      ARNR 524 – Advanced Animal Breeding
      ARNR 525 – Muscle and Growth Biology
      ARNR 527 – Livestock Mineral Nutrition
    • Graduate Range Science Block
      ARNR 508Rangeland Ecological Theory & Application                                                                                
      ARNR 541 – Range Ecophysiology
      ARNR 543 – Riparian Processes and Function
      ARNR 544 – Advanced Grazing Management & Ecology

      ARNR 555 - Rangeland Wildlife Ecology & Management

  • Students in the Animal Science or Biological Science Emphasis areas must meet the Proficiency Requirements below.

Proficiency Requirements

By the time a student completes a M.S. in Animal & Range Sciences, they must have successfully completed undergraduate or graduate coursework in the content areas given below depending on their degree emphasis.

Examples of MSU courses that fulfill these requirements are shown. Students who have successfully completed an equivalent course may apply that course toward the proficiency requirements, subject to the approval of the student’s Graduate Committee.  

A. Proficiency Requirements for Animal Science Emphasis (must complete 3 of the 4 areas)

  • Breeding/Genetics  (ANSC 322 – Principles of Animal Breeding & Genetics, or BIOB 375 – General Genetics)
  • Physiology/Reproduction  (ANSC 321 – Physiology of Animal Reproduction)
  • Nutrition  (ANSC 320 – Animal Nutrition)
  • Production/Management  (ANSC 434R – Beef Cattle Management)

B. Proficiency Requirements for Biological Science Emphasis (must complete 15 credits from the areas listed, at least 9 credits upper division)

  1. Biology  (BIOB 256, 258, 260 – Introductory Biology)
  2. Ecology  (BIOE 370 – General Ecology, BIOE 405 – Behavioral & Evolutionary Ecology)
  3. Chemistry  (CHMY 141, 143 – College Chemistry I & II, CHMY 211 – Elements of Organic Chemistry, CHMY 311 – Fundamental Analytical Chemistry, CHMY 321, 323 – Organic Chemistry I & II)
  4. Biochemistry  (BCH 380 – Biochemistry)
  5. Entomology  (BIOO 262IN – Intro to Entomology)
  6. Food Science/Meat Science  (Introductory Food Science or upper division food science or food safety course)

Minimum Requirements for Ph.D. in Animal and Range Sciences

The Ph.D. program is based upon an area of specialization in research and intensive coursework that would normally require three years of full-time work beyond the M.S. degree.  

  • In addition to departmental requirements, candidates must fulfill the requirements of The Graduate School.
  • Animal and Range Sciences doctorate students must complete the following:
    • One credit of ARNR 507 Research Methods
    • Two credits of ARNR 594 Seminar
    • A three credit graduate (400-500 level) course in experimental design and six credits of graduate statistical methods courses within the M.S. and Ph.D. programs.
  • Ph.D. students in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences within the Animal and Range Sciences department must complete the following:
    • One credit of ARNR 507 Research Methods
    • One credit of ARNR 594 Animal and Range Sciences Seminar
    • One credit of LRES 593 Grand Challenges in Ecology and Environmental Sciences (EES).
    • A three credit graduate (400-500 level) course in experimental design and six credits of graduate statistical methods courses within the M.S. and Ph.D. program