Aquaculture is the culture of aquatic plants and animals under controlled or semi-controlled conditions. In its simplest terms, aquaculture is underwater agriculture. While the human population long ago transitioned to agriculture for its land-sourced foods, in the area of aquatic foods, mankind has largely remained at the hunter and gatherer stage until recent years. Aquaculture is now the world’s fastest growing food producing sector.
Kentucky State University became involved in aquaculture in the mid 1980s. The Division of Aquaculture at KSU is now widely considered one of the top five aquaculture programs in the United States. The program is widely recognized as being the lead program nationally and internationally in the areas of paddlefish culture, freshwater prawn culture, production of largemouth bass on-feed, and fish meal replacement research.
Materials needed to apply include official transcripts, a letter of interest and three letters of recommendation. Academic requirements include an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale and a GRE of 1,000 points (on the old system). However, some allowance can be made for those with significant experience in the field. International students (citizens of countries other than the U.S.A. or Canada) have special requirements which are spelled out on the website. While forms are available on the website, materials may not be submitted by e-mail. Only hard copies of applications, forms, letters of reference, and transcripts will be considered.
The Division of Aquaculture offers a limited number of research assistantships. However, they can only be awarded to students who have gone through the application process and been fully academically accepted into the program. Decisions on awarding assistantships are then based on funding availability, student financial needs and academic potential. Research assistantships pay $13,000 per year for a period of two years. Recipients are obligated to work 20 hours per week at the Aquaculture Research Center above and beyond class work and thesis research obligations. The assistantship also includes a tuition wavier for the same period. The wavier covers only tuition. There are a number of university fees that are not included in this waiver and will be the student's responsibility.
Visit the KSU Aquaculture Website