Regents Allow Tarleton to Pursue PhD in Animal and Natural Resources

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STEPHENVILLE — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents today authorized Tarleton State University to seek final approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for a PhD in animal and natural resource sciences.

This will be the first doctoral program for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the fourth for the university. Tarleton’s doctorate of educational leadership, an EdD, launched in 1998; a PhD in criminal justice began in 2019; and a PhD in counseling is slated for 2023.

A 60-hour offering, the new PhD will prepare cutting-edge researchers to help feed and clothe the world’s growing population. Animal and natural resource scientists will drive the multidisciplinary program, the only one of its kind in Texas.

“This is a huge win for Tarleton and for the global community,” said Dr. Diane Stearns, Tarleton Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The demand for food alone is expected to increase at least 2.5 times by 2050 as the world’s population approaches 10 billion.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for agricultural, food, environmental and conservation scientists is projected to increase 8% over the next decade. And the Texas Workforce Commission estimates that more than 2,000 job vacancies in animal and natural resource sciences already exist.

“This is a major step forward,” said Dr. Barry Lambert, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. “This new program supports Tarleton’s commitment to integrated and innovative teaching and research that improves employment options for students and directly addresses the challenge of feeding a growing world population while helping preserve our vital natural resources.”

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