The Ph.D. program is based upon an area of specialization in research and intensive course work that would normally require three years of full-time work beyond the MS degree. Candidates must fulfill the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies.

General Requirements

  1. A minimum of 50 semester credits of course work beyond the BS degree.
  2. A minimum of 18 credits of ARNR 690.
  3. The 50 credits of course work must include:
    • 3 credits of ARNR 507.
    • A graduate (400- or 500-level) course in experimental design and 2 graduate statistical methods courses.
  4. A minimum of 30 credits must be taken through the regular registration process, on the campus of MSU after admission to the Ph.D. program
  5. Students must attend a seminar each semester in residence.
  6. The major professor and the student’ s graduate committee will determine additional specific course requirements for completion of the Ph.D. degree.
  7. Students must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits during a term that an examination is taken. Registration through Extended Studies does not fulfill this requirement.
  8. A maximum of 6 credits of Individual Problems (570) courses may be included.
  9. A maximum of 9 credits on a pass/fail basis (excluding 690) may be included. Individual Problems (570) courses may not be taken as pass/fail.
  10. Correspondence courses will not be accepted.
  11. Age of courses at time of graduation may not exceed 10 years. The maximum time between the comprehensive examination and granting the degree is 5 years.
  12. Students must choose either the Animal Science option or the Range Science option.
  13. By the completion of the Ph.D. students will have completed the following or equivalent (courses completed for the MS degree may be applied):
    1. Animal Science Option. Students must complete 3 of the following Animal Science courses, 1 of the graduate Range Science courses, plus 2 additional semesters of graduate (400- or 500-level) Biological Sciences:
      ARNR 520 – Nutrient Metabolism of Domestic Animals
      ARNR 521 – Advanced Ruminant Nutrition
      ARNR 523 – Advanced Physiology of Reproduction
      ARNR 524 – Advanced Animal Breeding
      ARNR 525 – Muscle and Growth Biology
    2. Range Science Option. Students must complete 3 of the following Range Science courses, 1 of the graduate Animal Science courses, plus 2 additional semesters of graduate (400- or 500-level) Biological Sciences:
      ARNR 541 – Range Ecophysiology
      ARNR 543 – Riparian Processes and Function
      ARNR 544 – Advanced Grazing Management and Ecology
      ARNR 553 – Grazing Behavior of Livestock and Wildlife

Admission Requirements

Students are expected to have completed the equivalent of a Master of Science degree in Animal Science, Range Science or a closely related area. In selecting applicants, the Animal and Range Sciences Graduate Committee will consider the prospective student’ s Statement of Purpose, undergraduate and graduate achievement (university transcripts), GRE scores and letters of recommendation (3 required). Applicants judged to have deficiencies in preparation could be admitted provisionally and required to enroll in additional courses to make up the deficiencies. Generally, a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 and minimum GRE scores of 450 verbal and 1000 combined verbal and quantitative are required for admission.
International students whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) before admission and/or award of an assistantship. These scores must meet the minimum standards required by the College of Graduate Studies at Montana State University.

Course Descriptions

Course Number Course Title Credits  Description 
ARNR 500 Seminar 1 cr Topics offered at the graduate level which are not covered in regular courses. Students participate in preparing and presenting discussion material.
ARNR 507 Research Methods  1-5 cr Application of scientific method and research techniques, including design of experiments and use of appropriate statistical procedures.
ARNR 520  Nutrient metabolism of Domestic Animals 3 cr Biochemistry of animal nutrition with emphasis on integration of biochemical principles to animal production systems. Nutrients emphasized are proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
ARNR 521 Advanced Ruminant Nutrition  3 cr Physiological and microbial aspects of ruminant digestion and their influence on the metabolism of extraruminal tissues.
ARNR 523  Advanced Physiology of Reproduction 3 cr Study of the basic concepts of reproductive process of mammals with special emphasis on the application of recent techniques in solving reproductive problems associated with fertility and infertility.
ARNR 524 Advanced Animal Breeding 3 cr Quantitative genetics applied to the improvement of animals. Biometrical relationships among relatives, methods of estimating genetic parameters, application of crossbreeding systems and selection techniques.
ARNR 525  Muscle and Growth Biology 3 cr Growth and development of muscle, muscle structure and how growth is controlled by hormones and DNA will be studied. The impact growth manipulation has on the final product, meat, will also be evaluated.
ARNR 541 Range Ecophysiology  3 cr Lectures and selected readings on the response of range plants and animals to daily and seasonal changes in their environment, including physiology, animal behavior, and plant population biology.
ARNR 543  Riparian Processes and Function 3 cr This course involves an in-depth investigation of the geomorphological physical and biological parameters unique to riparian areas of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Emphasis will be placed on how these parameters interact to create the biotic communities associated with riparian areas.
ARNR 544  Advanced Grazing Management and Ecology  3 cr Review of management principles for livestock grazing grasslands and shrublands and their ecological relationship to other areas. Study design and scientific results will be examined to critically review information.
ARNR 553 Grazing Behaviour of Livestock and Wildlife 2 cr Behavioral processes of foraging by livestock and wild ungulates; application of theoretical concepts to range livestock production and natural resource management.
ARNR 570 Individual Problems 1-3 cr Directed research and study on an individual basis.
ARNR 575  Research or Professional Paper/Project  1-4 cr A research or professional paper or project dealing with a topic in the field. The topic must have been mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her major advisor and graduate committee.
ARNR 580 Special Topics 1-4 cr  Courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular one time need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.
ARNR 589 Graduate Consultation 3 cr This course may be used only by students who have completed all of their coursework (and thesis, if on a thesis plan) but who need additional faculty or staff time or help.
ARNR 590 Master's Thesis 1-10 cr  
ARNR 690  Doctoral Thesis 1-10 cr