Beef Cattle Production Specialization

The Beef Cattle Production specialization is available for University of Nebraska Masters of Applied Science (MAS) students and works synergistically with the MAS program to offer students with an interest in beef cattle production the opportunity to become more familiar with nutrition, meat science, genetics, and growth topics.

All courses necessary for the specialization are available online – allowing students to pursue further education while continuing to meet their other responsibilities. Courses are offered synchronously with on-campus sections, allowing distance students to become involved in the classroom.

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with University of Nebraska resources dedicated to Beef Cattle Research – allowing students to become lifelong learners as these resources will still be available after they complete their degree.
  • Develop an understanding of beef production as a system and be exposed to alternative production practices that may enhance profitability and stewardship.
  • Have a base understanding of statistics in order to better evaluate research data.
  • Understand the biochemical underpinnings of agricultural production and how these processes affect cattle growth and nutrient metabolism.
  • Be able to critically evaluate research literature, effectively synthesize data, and communicate results in both written and oral form.

Course Requirements:

  • Elements of Biochemistry (AGRO 818; 2 credits)
  • Cattle Industry Seminar (ASCI 806; 1 credit)
  • Scientific Research Review Seminar (ASCI 905; 1 credit)
  • Introduction to Research Methods Statistics course (2-3 credits)
  • Develop and complete a Research Project (AGRO 897; 3-6 credits)

Remaining courses to be chosen from Animal Science courses listed below (to equal 18 credit hours for the specialization)

  • ASCI 810 (Processed Meats; 3 credits): Understand processing techniques and basic formulations as well as evaluate processed meat products for composition and quality.
  • ASCI 820 (Feedlot Management and Nutrition; 3 credits): Identify and analyze issues facing the feedlot industry including animal health, feed yard design, bunk management, and personnel management.
  • ASCI 821 (Advanced Animal Nutrition; 3 credits): Develop an understanding of the processes associated with digestion, absorption, and metabolism of the major classes of nutrients.
  • ASCI 822 (Advanced Feeding and Formulation; 3 credits): Better understand the connections between nutrient content of feedstuffs and cattle nutrient requirements and use this knowledge to formulate diets.
  • ASCI 824 (Forage Quality; 3 credits): Develop an understanding of the factors that influence feeding values of forages and the laboratory procedures utilized to quantify feeding value.
  • ASCI 865 (History & Perspectives in Animal Breeding & Genetics; 1 credit): Historical perspective of animal breeding and genetics and contributions of geneticists who have significantly impacted the discipline.
  • ASCI 917 (Advanced Meat Science; 3 credits): Understand the process of muscle becoming meat at the molecular and cellular level.
  • Ranch Practicum (3 credits): Hands on program following a cattle herd through 3 seasons.  Requires travel to North Platte or Whitman, NE 7 times throughout the year (June – January).

For more information or questions contact Andrea Watson Email:, Phone: (402) 472-6058