Master of Science in Poultry Science
Poultry meat and eggs in their myriad forms remain the most consumed, high quality animal proteins in the human diet. Flexible, economical and sustainable; poultry production provides the means and methods to improve human health and diet quality in even the most under-developed countries. Therefore, poultry production is expected to take on an ever-greater proportion of animal agriculture into the foreseeable future. The Poultry Science Department at Texas A&M University aims to lead the way to further advancements in poultry production and development of poultry professionals who seek lifelong discovery and optimization of the poultry industry and translation of poultry production into human health improvement. The industry still has significant opportunities for advancement in the areas of nutrition, health, disease prevention and treatment, food safety, antimicrobial resistance, processing and products, genetics and breeding, animal welfare and husbandry, environmental/agricultural engineering and nutrient management. While the industry requires many undergraduate students for entry-level positions of processing, sales and live production areas, there is also a demand for students with advanced graduate degrees trained in basic and applied research to address industry challenges and provide translational studies for human medicine. Poultry have been used as experimental animal models in medical research, and are utilized for vaccine development and comparative studies. In addition to serving the industry by teaching future employees, conducting research, extension, sales, and technical support, poultry science graduate students have been successful in pursuing veterinary degrees and careers in medical research. The Texas A&M University Poultry Science Department has over a 100-year history and is the largest of six Poultry Science Departments by twofold. The department offers Master of Agriculture, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with generous assistantships to help defray costs of graduate education. The Department of Poultry Science is recognized nationally and internationally as the preeminent university location to conduct poultry research. The collective expertise of faculty includes the areas of nutrition, intestinal physiology and microbiota in health maintenance as well as disease, reproduction, genetics, poultry welfare, immunology, food safety, and management of birds and their waste. Our comprehensive intellectual resources support integrated investigations into complex interactions among nutrition, production, disease and sustainability in poultry.
The Master of Science (MS) in Poultry Science offers a thesis option degree where an individual with a BS may develop a better understanding of poultry science through coursework, student teaching, research and scientific writing. These students are closely mentored by a faculty member and work within their laboratory. The experience begins with forming a graduate committee, developing a degree plan and writing a research proposal. The student should be working on his/her literature review from the beginning, which will be used to improve the quality of the research and to help with writing research publications. A MS student will conduct two or more major research projects of which two peer reviewed publications are expected prior to or soon after graduation. These projects will be presented at scientific meetings for the student to gain experience with public speaking, networking opportunities, and professional development skills. Students may also assist with teaching undergraduate classes and laboratories, as required, to gain instructional experience. The degree will conclude with a final exam where the student will defend their research projects in front of a panel of experts. A MS degree graduate may go on to pursue a terminal degree or career in the industry, government or academia. These students are hired as research technicians, technical support on an allied industry sales team, or work in academia as a lecturer.