Animal Sciences (MS)
Graduate Chair

 Rajesh Jha, PhD

Agricultural Sciences 314H
1955 East West Road
Honolulu, HI  96822
p: 808-956-4122
f:  808-956-4024


Animal Science Graduate Studies


Animal Science Graduate Program Degree Requirements

Course requirements and other degree requirements are subject to change.  For up-to-date requirements contact the Graduate Program Chairman.

TIME ALLOWED TO COMPLETE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: Graduate Division regulations concerning the time allowed for completion of degree requirements state that candidates for the M.S. degree will be expected to complete all requirements within 7 years after admission into the program. Candidates who fail to complete all requirements in the specified time are automatically dropped from the program. Reinstatement for a limited period of time is only possible upon favorable recommendation of the field of study and with the concurrence of the Dean of Graduate Division. Candidates for the M.S. degree in Animal Sciences are expected to meet all requirements within 3 years

Degree Requirements

Two program options leading to the M.S. degree are available to graduate students in Animal Sciences. Students may elect to pursue either a thesis (Plan A) or non-thesis (Plan B) program. Requirements in these two programs are as follows:

Requirements of both Plans A and B:


Students are required to attend weekly seminars (ANSC 641) each semester and present a minimum of three formal seminars during the graduate program, including the final thesis defense seminar. Attendance is mandatory unless a legitimate reason is given for being absent. A maximum of 2 credits of graduate seminar (ANSC 641) can be applied to meet degree requirements.

Recommended Core Courses

ANSC 601, ANSC 641 (twice) and one graduate-level statistics class (ANSC 603 or others), any four of the following: ANSC642, ANSC643, ANSC644, ANSC650, ANSC652, ANSC657 and ANSC687

Preliminary Conference

This conference will be scheduled within two months after the beginning of the fall or spring semester. Its purposes include: introduction of the student’s background and specific interests; expertise of faculty members in the Department and UH community; assignment of an interim advisor for the student if this has not already been arranged; discussions of course deficiencies which need to be corrected; and determination of the degree plan (A or B).

Teaching Experience

Each graduate student will be required to serve as a teaching assistant (in either a paid or non-paid status) during at least one semester of their program. This experience must include leading a laboratory or discussion section for the semester. Performance as a teaching assistant will be evaluated and unsatisfactory performance may require additional assignments. The teaching experience requirement is met if the experience is evaluated and approved by the graduate chair via letter from major advisor.

Candidacy and Comprehensive Examination

Admission to candidacy depends on the student’s knowledge and proficiency in the general areas of animal science and on the student’s attitude and preparedness to carry out research. Students will not be able to be admitted to candidacy if they have not completed their M.S. degree deficiencies and met minimum requirements. They must also pass a Comprehensive Examination. The responsibility of giving the examination is that of the student’s advisor. In consultation with the student, the advisor will determine the disciplines to be covered, provide general guidelines for the exam, and determine the date for the exam. General practice has been to give written exams, followed by an oral follow-up exam if there were questions about completeness or accuracy of written answers. The examination will be administered by a committee consisting of at least 3 faculty members (the advisor and 2 faculty selected by him). Written and oral (if given) parts will be considered as one exam. The examination may be repeated only once. Either fail or pass will be determined by the examining faculty members.

The examination should be taken no later than three (3) months prior to the thesis defense or four (4) months prior to graduation.

The examination will cover at least 2 of the following disciplines:

The examination will also cover at least one animal species. For further assistance or information, consult your advisor or the Graduate Chair. A letter from the graduate student’s committee verifying successful completion of this exam must be sent to Chair of Animal Science Graduate Program. Student Progress Form I will be completed and submitted for admission to candidacy.

Flow Chart of Graduate Training

Description Average months Student progress forms, paperwork suggestions
Enter U.H. Animal Science Dept. Probationary/ Non-probationary Begin immediately to discuss and plan graduate career. Decide on plan A or plan B. 0 None
Preliminary advising conference. Any deficiencies are identified. Conducted by faculty. One faculty member assigned as interim advisor. 1 Student progress form I indicates plan A or B, signatures needed, interim advisor/chair.
Admission to candidacy. All deficiencies and/or minimum requirements completed. First semester. Called general exam on form. 3 Student progress form II. Course transfers considered.
Assemble thesis (plan A) or program (plan B) committee. Choose final thesis/program advisor and committee. 4 Student progress form III, obtain names and signatures of committee (for plan A and B).
Select research topic. Write research proposal. Consult with advisor and committee members. Write proposal before doing research and in consultation with full committee. 4-6 None
Acceptance of research proposal. Must be completed by end of second semester after admission. 6 Student progress form IV, notes acceptance of topic/proposal.
Do research. Plan A and plan B research. 6-21 None
Animal Science Comprehensive exam
Written and/or Oral
Covers all topics in animal science, made up by faculty. Taken in second year of graduate work, pass/fail evaluated on basis of both written and oral. 12-21 Students are encouraged to see each faculty member for guidance on preparation, including reading list. First time, failures given one more chance; second time, failures rejected. Student's thesis/program committee notifies graduate chair by letter of pass/fail.
Finish thesis/research work, write up results. Seek guidance from committee. 16-22 Be prepared to write several drafts.
Submit thesis to committee for consideration. - 20-22 Final copies of thesis to committee members at least 2 weeks prior to exam.
Thesis research defense (plan A)
Mini thesis defense (plan B)
a) Department seminar open to public.
b) Closed examination by thesis research committee.
21-23 Student progress form VI covers thesis defense exam.
Completion of thesis Graduation Plan A
Plan B
22-24 Form VII is used to indicate satisfactory completion of thesis. Use only form VI for mini thesis defense, because mini thesis is not submitted to graduate school.

Because of the diversity among fields of specialization, specific elective course requirements will vary considerably among students. On the recommendation of the student’s major advisor, courses can be selected from those offered in Animal Sciences, as well as in the graduate programs of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Molecular Bioscience and Bioengineering, Anatomy and Reproductive Biology, Genetics, Information and Computer Sciences, Microbiology, Oceanography, Physiology and Zoology.

HNFAS Department

1955 East West Road
AgSci 216

Honolulu, HI 96822

phone: 808-956-7095

fax: 808-956-4024


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