Doctor of Philosophy 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 Doctor of Philosophy is a thesis option research degree requiring 96 hours with a BS, or 64 hours with an MS degree. The PhD is the terminal Poultry Science degree with a focus on conducting independent research. The degree holder will become the preeminent expert in a focused area of study. Similar to the MS degree, the student will learn by teaching, research, coursework and scientific writing. A PhD candidate will typically conduct three or more major independent research projects that will become peer-reviewed manuscripts. These data will be presented and defended at scientific meetings. A PhD degree graduate may work in government (FDA, USDA), industry (poultry integrators), the allied industry (nutrition, vaccine and drug companies), medical research labs and academia. These individuals will utilize their training to analyze data, write publications, conduct independent research and help stakeholders with technical service in the field. A PhD degree holder may mentor colleagues with BS and MS degrees.

Steps to Fulfill a Doctoral Program