The Poultry curriculum provides for in-depth study of scientific principles important in the production, processing and marketing of poultry and poultry products. The curriculum is designed with academic and experiential components to ensure that graduates are prepared to manage people and resources vital to this important food industry. Poultry students should also expect to develop creative thinking skills that will allow them to develop solutions for complex real world problems as they develop their careers as managers. The strong science content of the curriculum also makes it an excellent fit for pre-vet students and students interested in graduate studies. The department provides one-on-one advising for all Poultry Science students.
Applied Poultry Management
The applied management concentration satisfies all the requirements for a minor in Agribusiness. It prepares students to enter into all areas of the poultry industry with the knowledge necessary to be successful.
Science and Pre-Veterinary Science
The Science and Pre-Veterinary Science concentration prepares a student for future programs at a graduate level and also allows a student to satisfy the pre-veterinary requirements while completing a B.S. in Poultry Science.
The need for people who have specialized knowledge outside of classic poultry science is growing rapidly. Currently the industry recruits and employs personnel trained in areas such as accounting, biological sciences, computer science, human nutrition, nursing, microbiology, engineering, food technology, advertising and marketing, veterinary medicine, human resource management and law. A minor in Poultry Science provides these individuals with enhanced employment opportunities in the poultry industry.
Students may transfer to Mississippi State University from regionally accredited community, junior or senior colleges for any period of enrollment, provided they have earned a 2.0 GPA (as computed by Mississippi State University) on all college courses attempted as well as earned a 2.0 GPA on the 30-hours of core courses. Transfer students should look at the transfer course equivalent guide to determine which courses will transfer.
Alcorn State University
Mississippi State and Alcorn State University have launched a dual-degree program that will allow students to earn bachelor's degrees from both universities. Students can complete 91 hours toward an ASU Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Science with a focus in animal science and then transfer to Mississippi State to complete the remaining 31 hours in coursework for an MSU Bachelor of Science in Poultry Science. Upon completion of the MSU coursework, students will graduate from both institutions with dual degrees.
Jones County Junior College
JCJC students transferring to MSU's poultry science program can expect a smoother transition thanks to a new two-plus-two agreement. The agreement goes into effect Fall 2013 and allows specific courses in JCJC's curricula to transfer to MSU's poultry science program. It is one of numerous two-plus-two curriculum agreements MSU has with Mississippi community colleges. As Mississippi's premier agricultural industry, poultry generates $2.47 billion each year and represents 33 percent of the state's total farm-gate value. Jones County is home to the state's biggest broiler producer, Sanderson Farms.
Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture/University of Nebraska
To address the needs of the expanding poultry industry in Nebraska, Mississippi State has partnered with the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) to develop an Associate of Applied Science Agricultural Production Systems with a concentration in Poultry Science. Students attend three semesters at NCTA and one semester at MSU, plus work a summer internship. This provides hands-on curriculum and workforce training for NCTA students, who receive in-state tuition.
Students may apply for university, college and departmental scholarships through one application. You can find the scholarship application once you logon to myState. Under the banner tab, select Financial Aid and Scholarships. The application is listed as Submit/Revise General Scholarship Application.
Academic Common Market
Academic common markets are available to out of state students residing in Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina. For more information visit the ACM page.
Our research programs and teaching curriculum mirror current industry practices. As such, we have a large percentage of graduates that work in the industry and allied industry (62% as a current average). However, all seniors have opportunities for employment in the poultry industry. The department supports Mississippi's largest commodity, which has provided 100% placement of our graduates since the first Poultry Science degree was awarded in 1948. The poultry industry employs approximately 24,000 people in Mississippi with an additional 23,000 jobs created as an indirect effect of the poultry industry. Mississippi is home to seven broiler companies and the world's largest egg producing company. Entry-level jobs and training programs in these companies requiring a four year degree include, but are not limited to, the following areas: live production areas, the hatchery, the feed mill, and processing and products. Further, since poultry is a growing business and there are a limited number of Poultry Science graduates, students have career opportunities throughout the United States. A baccalaureate degree in Poultry Science is an excellent start to a career in agribusiness, or entry into veterinary school or graduate school.
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. Aaron Kiess, for more details.
Requirements for entrance into the Accelerated Program include the following.
- A GPA of 3.50 or higher for all undergraduate work
- A minimum of 60 hours toward a bachelor's degree
- Three letters of recommendation
- Selection of a potential major professor from the departmental graduate faculty
- 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
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: 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.