The Graduate School at NMSU offers 42 areas of study at the master's level and 19 at the doctoral level. With rapidly expanding facilities, laboratories, and library holdings, the Graduate School offers unique programs of high quality graduate study. The Department of Animal and Range Sciences offers graduate work in Range Science leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Specific areas of study include range ecology, animal and plant nutrition, plant taxonomy, range improvements, disturbed land reclamation, range animal behavior, range animal interactions, range physiology, grazing management, brush and weed control, ecophysiology, and watershed management. Department enrollment of graduate students usually numbers about 70 individuals.
The Animal and Range Sciences Department occupies the second and third floors of Knox Hall, a building completed in August, 1981. Approximately 12,300 square feet of floor space is devoted to faculty, technician, graduate student, and secretarial office space. The laboratory space of 14,500 square feet is planned by discipline, including nutrition, range ecology, brush and weed control, range physiology, herbarium, and watershed. Instrumentation available for graduate student use includes a glass house, growth chambers, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, gas chromotograph, high performance liquid chromotograph, uv/visible spectrophotometer, liquid scintillation counter, and gamma counter. A small animal research building is also available for nutrition/physiology/toxicology with mice, rats, and other small laboratory animals. On campus units include a farm (50 beef cows and 300 sheep) with irrigated pastures (appriximately 80 acres). Off-campus research locations include the 64,000 acre Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center located 20 miles north of Las Cruces, the 28,000-acre Corona Range and Livestock Research Center located 200 miles north of Las Cruces, near Corona, NM, and the 190,000 acre Jornada Experimental Range. Other research is conducted throughout the state on public lands in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Soil Conservation Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Masters and Doctoral Degrees are offered in several areas of Animal and Range Sciences at New Mexico State University. The responsibility of providing graduate training is taken very seriously at this institution and the faculty and staff expect graduate students to be equally serious in their goal of obtaining an advanced degree. Undergraduate programs are usually "classroom" oriented where as graduate work is generally characterized by more individual effort in the form of independent reading, seminar preparations, and research activities. The decision to pursue an advanced degree should not be made without a great deal of consideration. Once the decision is made, both students and faculty should strive to make the graduate program a valuable experience. Graduate students are an integral part of this Department and their research and teaching contributions are far too numerous to count. The attitude of both faculty and students, therefore, must be one of mutual effort since we are all here to learn and contribute to the advancement of science. Subsequent sections are intended to serve as a guide for policies related to graduate students/assistants in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences.
General Requirements for Graduate Students
Prerequisite for admission as a regular graduate student in the department is the completion of a curriculum substantially equivalent to that required for undergraduate students in animal science or range science at this institution.
- GPA 3.0 or higher
- GRE required only for Range Science Ph.D
- Graduate Application
- February 15 for Summer + Fall enrollment
- October 1 for Spring enrollment
Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average (4.0 system).
During the fall and spring semesters, graduate assistants must enroll in at least 9 credits
Enrollment in 11 or 12 credits requires an overload permit.
Enrollment during summer sessions is not required.
In certain instances, deficiency courses may be required
Attendance at graduate seminars is urged.
Graduate students are encouraged to adapt their thesis data for submission as a scientific journal or Experiment Station publication
A substantial number of scholarships are available for agricultural students. A list of these awards can be obtained by contacting the Office of Financial Aid. The Department of Animal and Range Sciences also employs several individuals to work on the various livestock units and to assist with research projects. Student employment is not only beneficial from a financial standpoint, but it allows students to gain valuable experience.
A limited number of assistantships are available on a competitive basis to qualified individuals. These assistantships are designed to offer the student valuable teaching and research experience while, at the same time, the Department benefits greatly from the contributions of these assistants. To be eligible for consideration for an assistantship, a person must be admitted as a "regular" student by the Graduate College and have maintained a 3.0 grade point average (A = 4.0) in the last half of all undergraduate or all graduate work. Letters of recommendation from at least three individuals familiar with the student's qualifications will also be requested. Receipt of an assistantship requires that the student then maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all subsequent graduate work. Graduate assistants are considered residents of New Mexico for tuition purposes during their first 12 months, after which the individual must establish New Mexico residency or pay out-of-state tuition. The university limits the time that a student can be supported to 3 years for Masters and 6 years Doctoral students when both degrees are earned at NMSU. Those with a M.S. from another university are also eligible for 6 years of support while a Doctoral student. The sixth year of support is contingent upon successful completion of the Doctoral comprehensive examination.
Duties of Assistants
Most graduate assistants are contracted under what is termed a half-time assistantship, which means that the student is obligated to contribute 20 hours each week toward Departmental activities. These duties are usually divided between teaching and research responsibilities. Teaching assistants will be assigned at least one course with which to assist each semester. The student will then be responsible to the faculty member in charge of that course for the teaching portion of his/her duties. The research segment of the assistantship duties will be under the direction of the student's major professor and will generally involve helping the faculty member with his/her research projects. Research activities directed toward the student's thesis/dissertation material are performed in addition to those required for the assistantship.
Relationship of Assistants to the Department
Graduate assistants are considered as part-time employees of the University and, as such, they are entitled to 11 days (22 half-days) of annual leave each year, as well as workmen's compensation should an on-the-job injury occur. From a teaching/research standpoint, graduate assistants are an integral part of the Department and they are considered by the administration, undergraduates, alumni, and other individuals to be representatives of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. The professionalism with which their duties are performed, as well as their general conduct, should, therefore, leave a favorable impression with university clientele.
Graduate assistants provide integral support for the teaching/research activities of the Department; it is, therefore, important that they have a study area in which they can be located by faculty and undergraduate students. Graduate students will not be officed in laboratories containing hazardous/radioactive chemicals. In addition, students should recognize that security can be a problem in public university buildings and the University does not carry insurance on any personal items. The Department will attempt to provide a desk/carrel for all graduate students as long as space is available. In the event that space becomes limited, graduate assistants will be accommodated first. Students working toward Masters degrees and Doctoral students who are not graduate assistants will, in general be housed in desk or carrel areas located in rooms 209A, 253, and 301 of Knox Hall. If adequate space is available, attempts will be made to provide Doctoral graduate assistants with a semi-private office area. A listing of currently used areas for Ph.D. students is maintained in the Departmental office along with a list of Doctoral assistants in order of seniority basis. When Doctoral study areas become available, the Department Head will reassign them on a seniority basis. In the event that an excess of Doctoral study space is available, the Department Head may assign such space to graduate assistants pursuing Masters degrees on a seniority basis (based on date of graduate enrollment).
Prior to completion of an advanced degree, graduate students are expected to adapt their thesis or dissertation material for submission as a scientific journal article or Experiment Station bulletin or research report.
Continuation of Graduate Studies at NMSU
Students completing a M.S. program in the Department of Animal and Range Sciences and who desire to continue in a Ph.D. program in this Department must submit a formal request to the Departmental Graduate Committee at least 6 weeks before the oral examination. The Departmental Committee will review the request, consult with the major professor and Department Head, and recommend to the Graduate Dean as to whether the M.S. oral examination should be allowed to serve as a Ph.D. qualifying examination.
Graduate seminars are offered during both fall and spring semesters and students are required to enroll in AnSc/RgSc 515 at least twice before completion of each advanced degree. All graduate students are expected to attend seminar (regardless of enrollment); research and class schedules should, therefore, be arranged accordingly.
Graduate students often require secretarial assistance for various types of projects. Because Departmental secretaries have a heavy work load, their time is spent on Departmental business. The following typing tasks may be performed by Departmental secretaries provided that they are given adequate notice:
- Departmental graduate seminar reports
- Journal articles, research reports, bulletins, proceedings papers, other publications
- Visual aids for papers to be presented at scientific meetings
- Placement materials for graduate students
- Video Editing
All work to be performed by Departmental secretaries should be channeled through a faculty member.
Departmental Supplies and Photocopy Machine
Stenographic supplies related to teaching and research activities are provided by the Department. Students needing materials for such activities should issue a request to their major professor or the faculty member in charge of the course with which they are assisting. Supplies are not provided for the student's coursework activities. A photocopy machine is available for Departmental business. All transactions require an access code number which may be obtained from the major professor. Personal use of the machine should be kept to a minimum and then only when it is not being used for official purposes. The Department will provide one copy of a graduate thesis or dissertation for each committee member before the oral examination. All other copying related to the thesis or dissertation (including required revisions) is at the student's expense.
Vehicles are available for official use only. Individuals intending to use university vehicles must have a valid New Mexico operator's license and a State of New Mexico permit which is issued after completion of the NMSU defensive driving course. Graduate students are encouraged to enroll in the NMSU defensive driving course as soon as possible after their arrival.
Other Opportunities for Graduate Students
Advanced degrees are most often research oriented. Students are encouraged to become involved in a variety of research efforts in addition to their own thesis work. Research, however, is of little benefit if it is not reported to the agricultural and scientific communities. Presenting results of experiments at scientific meetings and in scientific journals is, therefore, considered to be an integral part of the graduate experience. This process affords students the opportunity to share ideas and to become acquainted with other research programs. Teaching opportunities allow the student to handle a classroom setting.
Animal and Range Sciences Department:
Dennis Hallford, Interim Department Head
Dr. Andres Cibils
Dr. Clint Loest
Applications and Admission:
Admissions Office, NMSU
Scholarships and Financial Aid:
Office of Financial Aid, NMSU
Graduate Student Services, MSC 3G
NMSU, Graduate Student Services
International Student Services
Graduate School Website
NMSU Graduate School Catalog
See the NMSU graduate catalog for a description of classes and/or more information on classes available to graduate students.