How to appy:

  • The MS degree in Dairy Science has recently become a part of the MS in Life Sciences program.  To apply, please select the degree MS LFS and then select Dairy Science under the Program Option. 
  • It is also recommended that applicants contact a Dairy Science faculty member directly and to mention this faculty member and the research area of interest in the goals statements section of your application.
  • In addition, please notify Ms. Becky Michael ( that you have applied to the program.  If you are in contact with a specific dairy science faculty member, please notify them as well.  This will help ensure that your application is routed appropriately.


Enrollment Qualifications:

  • All new graduate students must complete the GTA Workshop (GRAD 5004, 1cr.)
  • International students with a 26 or below on the Speaking subtest of the Internet-based TOEFL must take either the SPEAK or TEACH test offered during graduate orientation.
  • Students on graduate assistantships must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained both overall and for all coursework on the Plan of Study (minimum for any one course is C-).
  • Full time enrollment = minimum of 9 credit hours, maximum of 18 credit hours
    • Graduate assistants, fellowship and scholarship recipients minimum is 12 credit hours.


Degree Requirements:

  • Plan of study
    • All students must submit a Plan of Study meeting minimum degree requirements.
    • Plan of Study and Plan of Study Change Form must be approved by Advisor, Advisory Committee, Department Head, and Graduate School.
    • All courses on plan of study must be taken for a letter grade (A/F)
    • Grades below C- must be repeated.
    • Master's Deadline: Prior to completion of the second academic semester of enrollment.
    • No more than 50% of the graded credit hours needed to satisfy the minimum requirements for a Virginia Tech graduate degree may be transferred in from another accredited university.
    • A maximum of six credits of courses numbered 4000-level courses can be used on the Plan of Study.  Additional credits should be used as supporting courses.
    • Plan of Study Changes. A Plan of Study Change Form is necessary whenever changes are made to the course work on the Plan of Study.


Graduate Advisory Committee:

  • Advisory Committee approves Plan of Study, provides advice, and regularly assesses the students progress and accomplishments.
  • At least 3 faculty members (with a Master’s degree or higher).
  • At least 1 faculty member from outside student’s major department – appropriate but not required.


Credit Hour Requirements:

  • 30 minimum total graduate credits
  • 20 minimum graded graduate credits (24 for non-thesis Master’s)
    • Minimum of 12 credits of 5000-level or higher (15 for non-thesis Master’s)
    • Minimum of 0 credits in 4000-level courses (Maximum of 6)
    • Maximum of 6 credits total in 5974, 5984, and 6984
    • 4974 and 4984 courses cannot be used
  • 6 minimum research hours (DASC 5994)



  • Students must be registered for the minimum of three credits in the semester/summer they take an examination or when a degree is completed.  If a dissertation is ready for defense by the beginning of a semester, the student may qualify for Defending Student Status (DSS, 1 credit; contact the graduate school for information).
  • Examinations must be scheduled through the Graduate School at least 2 weeks before the examination date requested.
    • Signed examination card must be returned to Graduate School within 1-2 days after the examination
  • Final Examinations
    • Oral and/or written final examination is required
  • To pass any of the required examinations, a graduate student is allowed at most 1 unsatisfactory vote.
    • 1 full semester (15 weeks min) must elapse before scheduling of 2nd exam.


Detailed information can be found under the policies section of the VT Graduate Catalog.  You are responsible to meet the requirements for the year that you began your graduate work.

Students and advisors are responsible for making sure that all deadlines and requirements are met.