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Introduction

This is an exciting time, please let me welcome you to the Department of Animal Sciences (AS) at Washington State University! We offer world‐class M.S. and Ph.D. graduate programs that focus on a broad spectrum of areas including basic and applied research. We endeavor to facilitate your career path, enabling you to become one of tomorrow’s leaders, scientists and educators, people capable of making valuable contributions in their chosen field.

Animal Sciences provides graduate students opportunities to be mentored by world renowned faculty and obtain in‐depth knowledge in their chosen field, to conduct original, innovative cutting‐edge research, and to develop critical thinking skills. Furthermore, we provide our students the opportunity to develop a breadth of knowledge across the varied AS disciplines through interactions with colleagues and faculty working in progressive and diverse research areas. Teaching opportunities and training exist in the classroom and in outreach programs. This is a time for much personal growth and personal investment in yourselves. This handbook serves to acquaint students with AS and Graduate School guidelines and regulations. Failure to adhere to these regulations and to observe the degree requirements inevitably result in complications and can confound completion of your degree. Therefore, we highly encourage you to read this document and keep it for further reference. Animal Sciences has a long‐standing commitment to financially support our graduate students with funds from Washington State and from various external private and governmental grants. Since the availability of these funds fluctuates from year to year, we cannot guarantee support for all students throughout their entire programs. Nevertheless, our faculty have an outstanding track‐record of fully supporting their productive students from the day they start to the day they graduate. Graduate students on formal Teaching Assistant (TA) or Research Assistant (RA) appointment and receiving a stipend are considered full‐time “graduate assistants” in the department. These appointments represent a contractual agreement between the student and the department with each party having defined responsibilities. Simultaneous employment, in addition to an assistantship, is not acceptable. Academic responsibilities are defined in this handbook and your advisor and committee define your research responsibilities. Being a graduate student is more than a full-time endeavor and requires your full attention and effort to succeed, at the same time there is a direct relationship between your hard work and your personal rewards. Students generally devote half of their time to class studies and half to their research under the guidance of a major professor. Production of a thesis, and publication of research are expected outcomes of your graduate program and we strive for timely completion of graduate degrees. The AS faculty, staff and fellow students are dedicated to enriching your graduate experience and we wish you every success in your program and in the Animal Science related professions that you will inevitably proceed to.

Gordon K. Murdoch
Professor and Chair
Department of Animal Sciences