2017-18 Academic Catalog

Poultry Science

Department Head: Dr. Mary M. Beck
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Christopher D. McDaniel

Hill Poultry Science Building
Box 9665
Mississippi State, MS  39762
Telephone: 662-325-3416
E-mail: cmcdaniel@poultry.msstate.edu

The Poultry Science Department offers the Master of Science degree in Agriculture with a concentration in Poultry Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in Poultry Science. The department also offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs with concentrations in the interdisciplinary programs of genetics and animal physiology.  Admission requirements and detailed information for those interdisciplinary degree programs can be found listed separately under each of the individual programs.

Highly qualified undergraduates in the Poultry Science Department at Mississippi State University are encouraged to consider applying to the Accelerated Program.  This program permits students to earn up to 9 hours of graduate-level coursework during their final year of undergraduate studies.  Students take graduate-level courses and earn both undergraduate credit and graduate credit simultaneously.  Students must consult with a potential major professor (graduate advisor) to ensure graduate credit could be applied to a program of study for the graduate degree.  Application to this program may be made as early as the end of the junior year (i.e., after completion of 90 or more hours of graded undergraduate courses).  Students interested in applying to the Accelerated Program should contact the Department's Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Chris McDaniel, for more details. 

Requirements for entrance into the Accelerated Program include the following.

  1. A GPA of 3.50 or higher for all undergraduate work
  2. A minimum of 60 hours toward a bachelor's degree
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Selection of a potential major professor from the departmental graduate faculty
  5. A statement of purpose that describes their academic and professional goals as well as how their prior academic and professional experiences have prepared them for the Accelerated Program and graduate study

The MSU Graduate Council has established the following guidelines in cooperation with the Registrar’s Office for students enrolled in the Accelerated Program. 

Once the student is accepted into the combined program, the student and the advisor may select up to 9 hours that will satisfy both undergraduate and graduate requirements.  These courses may be split-level (i.e., 4000-6000 level) or 8000 level classes, and the student should take the courses for graduate credit (i.e., 6000-level or higher). To do so, he/she must submit a completed form to the Office of the Graduate School requesting such permission:  http://www.grad.msstate.edu/forms/pdf/accel.pdf.  The OGS will notify the student by MSU email when the request is approved.  The combination of undergraduate and graduate credit hours may not exceed 16 hours within a semester.  After successfully completing the graduate-level classes, the student and undergraduate advisor will submit a request to the Registrar’s Office to grant credit for the course also at the undergraduate level with the same grade awarded as received for the graduate course.  In the case of a split-level class, the transcript will show credit for both the 4000- and 6000-level on the transcript.  In the case of an 8000-level class, a special topics undergraduate course of the same title will be entered on the transcript to allow dual credit.

Students are permitted to opt out of the combined program at any time, at which point they could complete only the undergraduate portion of the program.  No additional dual counting of courses would occur after the student leaves the combined program.

Students will receive the bachelor’s degree once the requirements for that degree are met.  Students will be required to complete all of the requirements for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in order to receive both degrees, and those requirements will be identical to the requirements for students enrolled in the traditional B.S. and M.S. programs.  Students will be classified as undergraduates until they fulfill at the requirements for the undergraduate degree.  At that time they will be classified as graduate students and will be subject to the guidelines pertaining to the M.S. degree.  

Admission Criteria

Admission requirements for the M.S. in Agriculture degree with a concentration in Poultry Science are the same as those listed in the General Requirements of the Graduate School in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) except that any request for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores is dependent upon the faculty member who will serve as the thesis director (major professor) but the GRE score is not a Department of Poultry Science requirement.

Admission requirements for the Ph.D. degree concentration in Poultry Science are the same as those listed in the General Requirements of the Graduate School in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) except that any request for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores is dependent upon the faculty member who will serve as the dissertation director (major professor), but the GRE score is not a Department of Poultry Science requirement.

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has not fully met the GPA requirement stipulated by the University may be admitted on a provisional basis. The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C).  The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's program of study.  Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.  If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program.  Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the graduate coordinator for the program’s specific requirements.  While in the provisional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.

Academic Performance

Satisfactory academic performance standards are the same as those for CALS, except as follows.

  • The student is allowed to make no more than two C grades in courses taken for graduate credit. 
  • The student will be recommended for dismissal if he/she receives a third C or any grade below a C. 
  • In addition, the student’s committee reserves the right to establish a “core” course or courses whereby any grade below a B in one of those courses is not accepted.
  • The student will be recommended for dismissal if he/she receives a C or any grade below a C in a core course. 
  • The student must have a final GPA of 3.00 or higher to graduate.
  • Doctoral students only: To be eligible for the preliminary/comprehensive examination, a graduate student must maintain an overall B average in all graduate courses attempted. 

Master of Science in Agriculture with Poultry Science Concentration - Thesis

Graduate-level coursework12
8000-level coursework12
PO 8000Thesis Research/ Thesis in Poultry Sciences6
Total Hours30

A comprehensive examination is required. The thesis director and graduate committee will determine specific course requirements for the student’s program.  Before the end of the first semester of graduate work, the student must establish his or her graduate committee, complete the necessary paperwork, and gain the faculty members’ consent to participate on the committee. Once the student’s research plan has been established, the student is required to present his/her research plan to the faculty in the form of a departmental seminar.

Master of Science in Agriculture with Poultry Science Concentration - Non-Thesis

Graduate-level coursework15
8000-level coursework15
Total Hours30

A comprehensive examination is required. The major professor and graduate committee will determine specific course requirements for the student’s program.  Before the end of the first semester of graduate work, the student must establish his/her graduate committee, complete the necessary paperwork and gain the faculty members’ consent to participate on the committee.

Completion Requirements

Requirements for completion of the M.S. in Poultry Science are the same as those for CALS except that students in Poultry Science are required to participate in a limited teaching capacity, such as a guest lecturer, in one course during work on the degree.  That limited teaching capacity will be determined by the student’s graduate committee when the student’s program of study is established. For additional information, email Dr. Chris McDaniel at cmcdaniel@poultry.msstate.edu.

Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences with Poultry Science Concentration

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of three academic years beyond the B.S. degree with the number of hours varying as determined by the student and major professor.  A minimum of 20 hours of PO 9000 Dissertation/Research is required in addition to coursework determined by the student and major professor.

Course requirements may include:

BCH 6603General Biochemistry3
BCH 6613General Biochemistry3
ST 8114Statistical Methods4
ST 8214Design and Analysis of Experiments4

A minor is not required, but if selected an additional 12 hours of graduate credit is required. 

The preliminary examination must be attempted by the end of the fifth semester of the program.  A Graduate Program of Study should be submitted and approved by the student’s graduate committee and Graduate Coordinator by the end of the first semester of graduate study.  The graduate committee should be composed of at least five members if the student has a minor and four members if the student does not have a minor.  Committee members include the major professor, who must be a full member of the graduate faculty, at least three other members, two of whom are from the student's major field of interest, and a minor professor if the student has a minor field.  Additional committee members may be included at the discretion of the major professor.

Completion Requirements

Requirements for completion of the Ph.D. in Poultry Science are the same as those for CALS except that each student in Poultry Science is required to participate in a limited teaching capacity, such as guest lecturer, in one course during his/her graduate study.  That limited teaching capacity shall be determined by the student’s graduate committee when the student’s program of study is established.

PO 6313 Management of Commercial Layers: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Management of laying flocks as related to production of edible eggs; including housing, cage design, equipment, feeding techniques, lighting, molting and other factors involved with efficient production

PO 6324 Avian Reproduction: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Principles of avian reproductive physiology and applications in poultry management to maximize reproductive performance. Reproductive characteristics of several bird species are included

PO 6334 Broiler Production: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Practical management problems encountered in the production of broilers including breeding, housing, brooding, diseases, and feeding; field trips to intensified broiler areas

PO 6413 Poultry Nutrition: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Study of the digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutrients in avian species. Special emphasis is given to practical nutritional needs of commercial poultry flocks

PO 6423 Feed Manufacturing: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Mill design and equipment; procurement, storage and quality control for ingredients and complete feeds; formulation of practical type poultry rations

PO 6512 Poultry Products Safety and Sanitation: 2 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing or greater.) Two hours lecture. Poultry product safety hazards, food safety systems (HACCP), principles and practices of food sanitation related to poultry products and poultry safety regulations (same as FNH 4512/6512)

PO 6514 Poultry Processing: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Study of commercial poultry processing including poultry inspection, regulations, processed poultry products, egg processing, and food safety. (Same as FNH 4514/6514)

PO 6523 Advanced Poultry Processing: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:PO 4513/6513). Three hours lecture. Study of preparation of poultry for consumption including all pertinent technology, product flow, equipment and applicable regulations

PO 6833 Avian Anatomy: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Anatomy of the fowl with emphasis on morphology and organization of the avian body structures

PO 6844 Avian Anatomy and Physiology: 4 hours.

Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Anatomy and physiology of the fowl with emphasis on morphology, structure, and function of the avian body. (Same as PHY 6844)

PO 6990 Special Topics in Poultry Science: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

PO 7000 Directed Individual Study in Poultry Science: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

PO 8000 Thesis Research/ Thesis in Poultry Sciences: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

PO 8011 Graduate Seminar in Poultry Science: 1 hour.

One-credit course for Master's graduate students. Focus will include, but will not be limited to, exploration of current and historical literature; in-depth analysis of selected research topics/journal articles; discussion of relevant analytical techniques in research; preparation and presentation of original research. May be taken 4 times for credit

PO 8111 Advanced Graduate Seminar in Poultry Science: 1 hour.

One-credit course for Poultry Science doctoral students. Focus will include, but will not be limited to, exploration of current/historical literature; in-depth analysis of research topics/journal articles; discussion of relevant analytical techniques in research; preparation and presentation of original research. May be taken 6 times for credit

PO 8123 Methods in Nutrition Research: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture. Three hours laboratory. Application of analytical methods used in research techniques;practice in writing research proposals, conducting a research project, and preparing research finds suitabale for scientific publication

PO 8443 Avian Nutrition: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Study of the nutrient functions, dietary relationships deficiency symptons,distribution in feedstuffs and quantitative requirements of nutrients

PO 8990 Special Topics in Poultry Sciences: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

PO 9000 Dissertation Research /Dissertation in Poultry: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged