Graduate Handbook

Animal Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences Program

Introductionstudent looking at slide in microscope

The  Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences offers Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in Animal Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences (ABBS). The ABBS Graduate Program encompasses several scientific disciplines with particular strengths in reproductive and developmental biology, toxicology, cancer biology, and immunology and infectious disease.  Research topics focus on issues directly relevant to humans and agriculturally important animals.

The ABBS Graduate Program emphasizes research and all degree candidates complete a research-based program of study.  Dissertation research is completed for the Ph.D. while independent study research is done for the Master's thesis program.  Coursework is required for all degree programs. Teaching experience (as a teaching assistant) is required for Ph.D. students. While there are no strict rules regarding publications, it is expected that the research for all levels of graduate work will result in at least one research publication or a major contribution to a publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal for Master's level. Generally more than one publication and first authorship on at least one of those publications is expected for the Ph.D level. Additionally, our program offers a Fifth Year Master's degree that requires transfer of six graduate credits taken in the senior year of a Bachelor’s degree program at UMass and previous research with a faculty member. The accelerated Master's degree is usually completed in approximately 15 months and requires an independent research project with or without a thesis. 

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Kathleen Arcaro, the Graduate Program Director, reports to the Graduate School of the University and its designated officers. In addition, the Graduate Program Director is responsible for monitoring compliance with the rules and regulations set by the department to govern the graduate program in ABBS.