We welcome your interest in graduate programs in Animal and Dairy Science (ADS) at the University of Georgia. This web page should help answer some of your questions regarding the application process and opportunities for support. Please contact Alex Stelzleni, Graduate Coordinator ( or Susan Bradley, Graduate Coordinator Assistant ( directly with additional questions.

The department offers three graduate degrees:

  •  Master of Science in Animal and Dairy Science (MS-thesis) - research based program
  •  Doctor of Philosophy in Animal and Dairy Science  (Ph.D.) - research based program
  •  Master of Science in Animal and Dairy Science (MS non-thesis) - non-thesis degree program

Admission Requirements

Acceptance to one of the ADS graduate programs is limited to academically well-qualified students and collectively based on the applicant’s:

  • GPA
  • GRE test scores (TOEFL-international students)
  • Three letters of recommendation, letter of intent, and availability of a faculty mentor.

A 3.0 GPA is considered the minimum for admission to the graduate program. The minimum overall score on the TOEFL exam is 80, with at least 20 on both the speaking and writing portions. The GPA and TOEFL minimums are UGA Graduate School requirements. The minimum score on the GRE (Verbal + Quantitative) is 290, with a score of 20th percentile or higher on verbal and 40th percentile or higher on the Quantitative portion of the test.

How to Apply

Applicants should review available research programs in the department and find a faculty member with whom you are interested in working prior to applying to the graduate school. View descriptions of current faculty and their research.

Admission to the graduate program requires:

  1. acceptance by the ADS graduate committee,
  2. identification of a faculty member who is willing to serve as major professor, and
  3. overall acceptance by the UGA graduate school.

Contact the UGA graduate school admissions office and complete the online electronic application (Application fee: $75 for domestic students, $100 for international students) and choose a degree program in Animal and Dairy Sciences: MADS (Master in Animal and Dairy Science, non-thesis), M.S. in Animal Science or Dairy Science (thesis) or the Ph.D. in Animal and Dairy Science.

All applications require official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended and GRE scores (sent to the UGA Graduate School). A test of English language proficiency (TOEFL or IELTS) is required of all applicants whose primary language is not English. As part of the online application process, please provide the email addresses of three professionals who have the ability to evaluate your potential for success in graduate school. Typically, individuals writing recommendations should hold doctoral degrees and be able to assess the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate school. Letters from veterinarians in private practice or employers may not be appropriate for this purpose. These individuals should be able to evaluate your academic, communication and thinking abilities. Their names should be listed on the application form along with their email addresses. These individuals will receive a link to access a secure page where they can submit their recommendation online. The department also requires a statement of purpose that should be uploaded with the application or mailed or emailed directly to the graduate coordinator. This should be a brief document (1-2 pages) that clearly indicates your area of interest and long-term career goal within animal and dairy sciences - it should not be a story about your childhood and love of animals. This statement can be sent directly to Alex Stelzleni, Graduate Coordinator ( or Susan Bradley, Program Specialist (

Once a student’s admission file is complete, the ADS graduate committee reviews the application file and determines if the student is qualified to be recommended for acceptance. Acceptance is collectively based on the student’s GPA, GRE test scores (TOEFL-international students), three letters of recommendation, the statement of purpose and availability of a faculty mentor. The process of applying for admission and identifying a source of assistantship funding (M.S. and Ph.D. only) should occur simultaneously. Graduate assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis based on the same criteria as well as availability of funds. Earning a M.S. or Ph.D. is a full-time endeavor. Acceptance into M.S. and Ph.D. programs without an assistantship is highly discouraged.

A faculty adviser must have agreed to accept the student into their program before the final recommendation for acceptance can be made to the graduate school. Applicants are encouraged to identify potential advisors from the ADS graduate faculty as soon as possible in during the application process. If students do not show preference for a particular research program, or there is no faculty member who is willing to mentor the student, it is unlikely they will be accepted. It is in the applicant’s best interest to contact individual graduate faculty to learn about their program areas and opportunities for financial support. You can learn about research programs and how to contact individual faculty members from our departmental web page. Students whose major professor is on the Tifton campus typically spend a year in Athens doing their coursework and then move to Tifton for their research.

Graduate School Application Deadlines

Fall Semester:

  • Domestic Students - July 1
  • Foreign Students - May 15

Spring Semester:

  • Domestic Students - November 15
  • Foreign Students - October 15

Summer Session:

  • Domestic Students - May 1
  • Foreign Students - February 15

The admission deadlines are well past the deadlines to be considered for assistantship support. It is suggested that students begin contacting potential advisers 9-12 months before desired enrollment. It is hoped that this information helps you understand the acceptance process and the opportunity for financial support for graduate students in our Department. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have additional questions. Again, we appreciate your interest in our Department and we look forward to receiving your application.