Graduate Programs

Graduate Training

At the graduate level, students have the option of completing a thesis-based M.Sc., a course-based M.Sc., a Ph.D. or a DVSc., with a specialty in animal welfare. Graduate students entering the animal welfare program typically have a background in animal science, animal biology, zoology, psychology, or veterinary medicine. 

Graduate students become part of a large group of faculty, students and staff who support one another via weekly meetings, and who have the opportunity to meet with visiting scientists and participate in symposia and conferences. Our students conduct high calibre animal welfare research and typically publish a thesis plus several peer reviewed publications in various journals. All theses are available via the Atrium.

If you are interested in applying to a graduate program at the University of Guelph, minimum requirements for admission to graduate studies as well as application deadlines can be found on the Graduate Program Services Webpage.  If interested in a thesis-based M.Sc. or Ph.D., visit the Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Webpage. You are strongly advised to contact the faculty member whose work most closely aligns with your interests to learn if they are accepting new students prior to applying to your program of interest.  Our Core Faculty and the programs they support are listed below, by department.  Our Associated Faculty span the University of Guelph across a variety of colleges.

If you are interested in grad school, please email your prospective advisor answering the following questions:

  • Are you interested in a PhD position, or MSc? If MSc, thesis or coursework?
  • What potential research projects with them interest you, and why?
  • What is your GPA for the last 2 years? Please also attach a copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine)
  • What relevant experience do you have (research-related or animal-related)?
  • Who else have you approached about grad school?


Specific information on the course-based M.Sc. program curriculum can be found in the M.Sc. by coursework program flyer.  For more info, please review these Frequently Asked Questions. All Core Faculty are able to supervise coursework projects. Some examples of past coursework projects are listed below: 

N. Germanakos. 2016.
Feeding enrichment of two captive African lion (Panthera leo) prides and the correlation between time spent chewing and critical facial muscle temperature

J. Espinosa Grossman. 2016.
Effects of owner training on owner assessment of fear behaviour in companion dogs

N. Hill. 2016.
The Current Status of Equine Rescue Facilities in Ontario

L. Serpa. 2016.
Assessing the effectiveness of two non-penetrating captive bolt devices for on-farm euthanasia for broiler breeders

K. Dicker. 2015.
Effects of previous housing and social environment on the behaviour of dairy heifers on pasture

S. Pond. 2015.
Are stereotypic mice impaired in social learning tasks?

J. Hatch. 2015.
Validating indicators of heat stress in mink

E. Germain. 2014.
Auditory startle response as an indicator of fearfulness in laying hens

H. Prinold. 2014.
Effects of pullet rearing conditions on adjustment to furnished cages in laying hens

S. Deelen. 2013.
Evaluation of behavioural and physiological parameters during treatment of respiratory disease in dairy heifer calves

S. Nicholson. 2013.
Perception of roping calf well-being before, during and after "The Show"

B. Lostracco. 2013.
Behaviour and welfare of broiler breeder pullets reared on different feeding schedules

M. Lam. 2012.
The effects of lidocaine and meloxicam on piglets during and post-castration

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