Student in Lab


Graduate students enroll in cross-cutting, disciplinary focused graduate groups. Graduate groups bring together scholars from across campus to address common research interests in a highly collaborative fashion. Department of Animal Science faculty host students in the following graduate groups: Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry, Animal Biology, Animal Behavior, Avian Sciences, Ecology, Forensic Science, Immunology, Integrative Genetics & Genomics, International Agricultural Development, Microbiology, Molecular, Cellular & Integrative Physiology, and Nutritional Biology.

Graduate Programs housed in Animal Science

  • Animal Biology Graduate Group

    Animal BiologyUniversity of California, Davis has an international reputation for excellence in animal biology. Current research within the Animal Biology Graduate Group extends from lipid modification and the interaction of the immune system and animal growth to conservation of indigenous species, cloning and reproduction and the interaction of animal behavior with genetic modification. Mentoring faculty are recognized as leading researchers in their fields. Students trained by our faculty have excelled in their chosen careers in academia, non-governmental organizations, industry and government.

    The Animal Biology Graduate Group is designed for students interested in integrated animal biology. Research typically focuses on a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary question and is strengthened by an understanding of organismal animal biology. The Animal Biology Graduate Group offers a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Animal Biology.

    Chair: James W. Oltjen, PhD
    Graduate Group Coordinator: Jennie Buse
  • Avian Sciences Graduate Group

    Avian SciencesThe Avian Sciences Graduate Group aims to provide broad training in the underlying principles of the biology of Aves to students who want to obtain a Masters of Science degree. Birds are unique in many aspects of their biology and the wide range of expertise represented by the faculty allows Avian Sciences to offer graduate students a broad program of training with an emphasis ranging from cellular and molecular sciences, to organismal sciences, to environmental sciences. Collaborative research is common within the Avian Sciences Graduate Group and can be attributed to the interdisciplinary nature of the program. This specialized study provides unique qualifications for a variety of job opportunities as well as further academic training towards a professional degree or a PhD in a related program.

    The Avian Sciences Graduate Group is the only graduate program that focuses on avian biology within the University of California System, and one of only a few in North America. We feel that the primary strength of our program derives from its teaching of the fundamental disciplines of genetics, cell biology, physiology, behavior, medicine and environmental biology as they relate to birds in general. Students are then able to focus this basic information on the species and problems that relate to their interest.

    Chair: Annie King, PhD
    Graduate Group Coordinator: Jennie Buse

Graduate Groups affiliated with Animal Science

UCD has a long history of interdepartmental graduate groups where students are mentored in individual laboratories but have access to and training by all faculty members in the discipline in the graduate group. Below are the graduate groups affiliated with Animal Science.

How to Apply for Admission

Graduate students mentored by Animal Science faculty earn degrees in disciplines, i.e., graduate groups, not a Ph.D. in Animal Science. The application process for admission and support for graduate students who are applying to work with Animal Science Department faculty is as follows:

  1. Apply to Graduate Studies for admission to the Graduate Division
    The application for admission is completed online and note that there is a $90 application fee.
  2. Apply to the appropriate Graduate Group as well
    The graduate program that has the course of study you would like to follow and in which your prospective major professor is a faculty member. Contact the Graduate Group administrative office from the list above for their application procedures.
  3. Apply for fellowships and scholarships
    Contact the graduate program in question to find out about available fellowships and scholarships as well as application deadlines.
  4. File a FAFSA
    FAFSA is available at ) and should be submitted by March 1.
  5. Contact your prospective Major Professor
    Contact your prospective major professor for possibilities of a research assistantship from one of his/her research grants.
  6. Apply for teaching or research assistantships in the department
    Mail an Application for Animal Science Teaching  Assistantships by March 1 to the Animal Science Department (form). This requires copies of transcripts and letters of recommendation. Confidential letters sent by the evaluator are preferred but these may be copies of letters sent for admission purposes. These should be sent to:
    Jennie Buse
    Graduate Group Coordinator (Animal Biology Graduate Group, Avian Sciences Graduate Group)
    Animal Science Welfare Committee Administrator
    1249 Meyer Hall, UC Davis
    One Shields Avenue
    Davis, CA 95616