Pursuing Graduate School in a Rural Area?

I currently a sophomore animal science major, I’m not pre-vet, but I am considering graduate school in the future for a career in animal nutrition or in extension work. I go to UF which is a very large school in an urban area. I’m originally from a small town in Florida so it is a big difference for me that I don’t really like. I been here for 2 years and I like my major and my individual college (which is away from main campus) but I just don’t like the urban area around UF. If I go to grad school I’m considering moving out of state to go to another school that has a more rural setting and also offers more agricultural programs/ opportunities than UF does. I’d prefer to stay in the southeast and so far from doing a few searches I found that Auburn, Clemson, and. Mississippi state offer graduate animal science programs and are more rural. How are any of these colleges? Are there any other schools worth looking at? how do suburban schools compare?

Cornell’s vet school is pretty rural

I wouldn’t call Gainesville “urban”, but I can see how it could not be to your taste. I would highly recommend Auburn and Clemson, try to visit each campus, both have great programs. I would also recommend you talk to your Professors at UF. Based on your interest, they can not only tell you which schools may be the best fit, but which Professors are doing research in your areas of interest.

Focus on professors’ research and coursework offered at universities and colleges. A rural setting for what you want to do seems logical, while it would be illogical for other programs. What I would do is type in the research you want to do and see what colleges come up. Then look at the surrounding area/cost of living. Then email potential advisers that you can see yourself working with. I just got done with this process myself!

You are very lucky in your field if you want to study in a ‘less-urban’ area!

Right now, though, you are putting the cart before the horse. The reality of grad school is that you apply to programs that suit your interests and choose from the ones that take you- so you may end up in all kinds of unexpected places.

ASAP (as in deadlines are looming now) get summer work / internship in a related area - talk to your adviser for suggestions, as well as about what areas of animal nutrition/extension work would be interesting to you, and what the usual requirements are for grad programs. Make sure that you have a timeline that will have the coursework and any tests required finished by fall of senior year to meet application deadlines. During junior year start researching grad school programs, and line up a good summer job.