University offers new project-based animal sciences master’s degree


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The ACES library is located at 1101 S. Goodwin Ave. in Urbana. The library is hosting a the Plant Sciences Symposium on Friday.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

The Department of Animal Sciences is looking to enroll students in a new Master of Animal Science program this fall.

The project-based program requires 32 credit hours and intends to provide students with an opportunity different from the traditional thesis-based master’s degree.

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Depending on the need of the student, the program can serve as a research project or as internship experience, which could be initiated during the undergraduate program, and would end with the student’s graded report.

The program can be completed in two semesters, and it will allow students the chance to work with a variety of animal sciences faculty members.

“For some time now, undergraduate students at Illinois and students applying to our M.S. and Ph.D. programs have been asking for a program that allows them to advance their skills without requiring a thesis,” said Sandra Rodriguez-Zas, graduate program coordinator.

Rodriguez-Zas said the private sector is “supportive” of a flexible graduate program that allows students to learn at their own pace.

“It allows dedication to advanced studies in animal science disciplines and application of coursework into a capstone project,” she said. “The combination of coursework, seminar and project ensures that the students receive rigorous scientific education.”

She also said the hands-on experience is very important for those working in animal sciences.

“Hands-on experiences improve the students’ learning and offer a competitive advantage later in the professional career.” she said. “All undergraduate students in animal sciences are expected to complete at least one research or internship experience.”

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