Thompson School of Applied Science

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Regina A. Smick-Attisano, Executive Director

The Thompson School of Applied Science (TSAS), established in 1895, is an academic unit of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) offering the associate in applied science degree in seven program areas. Curricula comprise a balance of professional, science-related, and general education courses that prepare students to meet the specific demands of a technical or applied profession, continuing education, and the general demands of life.

Imagine a classroom where you will learn—where you will work. The Thompson School of Applied Science offers dedicated professional faculty who deliver a career-relevant education for students who want an associate degree; students who value a college education combining hands-on experiences and academic knowledge in a small learning environment within the campus of the University of New Hampshire.

Thompson School faculty and staff are committed to educate, train, and retain students to be entrepreneurs, to be solid in their knowledge, to be competent in acquired skills and to be aware of the communities they impact. This is accomplished through the development of mentorships with faculty and advisors, business and industry partnerships, unique programs of study with relevant facilities, and excellent job placement.

Thompson School of Applied Science Overview

Faculty members at the Thompson School have significant work experience in industry and business; extensive and up-to-date knowledge of their specialties; ongoing contacts with practicing professionals; dedication to students and to excellence in teaching; and a commitment to practical, science-based education. They work closely with students, providing academic advising, career counseling, and special assistance, even outside the classroom, when needed.

Located at the western entrance to campus, the Thompson School's classrooms, laboratories, and working enterprises are designed for career-related experiences.

Barton Hall contains a brand new veterinary technology clinic and surgical suite (open to qualifying low-income pet owners), a food preparation lab, an animal grooming facility, several classrooms (two of which are high-tech learning labs), faculty offices, and a student lounge.

Cole Hall includes a 150-seat lecture auditorium, a commercial kitchen and restaurant, a student study and lounge area, a computer laboratory (which serves as a GIS lab), classrooms, and administrative offices.

Putnam Hall houses two multipurpose geospatial computer labs used for courses in geographic information systems (GIS), computer-aided design (CAD), and building information modeling (BIM); a surveying and mapping lab; an agricultural mechanization shop (welding, engines, and building science); a forestry lab and multiuse classrooms; staff and faculty offices.

More detailed information on our various program areas and concentrations follow.

  • Whether the concentration is animal agriculture, equine management, or companion animal science, students in Applied Animal Science utilize professional facilities both on and off campus. On-campus facilities include the Thomas P. Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, UNH's Organic Dairy Research Farm, UNH's equine facilities, the Thompson School Grooming Shop. Our companion animal science program partners with the New Hampshire SPCA (Stratham, N.H.), Cocheco Valley Humane Society (Dover, N.H.), and Pope Memorial SPCA (Concord, NH).  The Thompson School also maintains a small flock of layers, containing mostly heritage breeds of chickens, on campus, cared for by the students. 
  • Civil Technology students have a variety of experiential classroom experiences available to them, including materials testing, residential wiring, field surveying, high-precision and mapping-grade GPS, laser scanning, welding, and many others. Unique to civil technology are two exclusive state-of-the-art computer labs. These labs feature the most up-to-date software for computer aided design (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), building information modeling, 3D architectural design (BIM/Revit), project management, civil design, surveying and mapping, and point-cloud modeling.
  • Culinary Arts and Nutrition Students engage in a carefully designed curriculum combining theory with more than 700 hours of practical application of culinary techniques in modern production kitchens located on UNH's campus. Students also are required to complete a summer work experience of a minimum of 400 hours at a pre-approved establishment between their first and second years of study. The program is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation Accrediting Commission (ACFEFAC).
  • Forest Technology students integrate all aspects of forest management as they complete projects on more than 3,000 acres of University land. Using the school's sawmill and harvesting equipment, they contribute to the sustainable management of UNH lands. In the classroom and the forest, they develop skills and techniques critical to the future ecological and economic health and management of the natural resources of the state and region. Students are expected to enhance class work with an extensive work experience requirement. The educational program in Forest Technology leading to the Associate in Applied Science degree is accredited by the Society of American Foresters (SAF).  The Thompson School's Forest Technology program was the first two-year program in the U.S. to complete the accreditation process.
  • Horticultural Technology students have the use of the Thompson School horticultural facilities (glass- and poly-covered greenhouses used for propagation and cultivation of a wide selection of ornamental plant material), refrigerated compartments, display gardens (public and private), and the campus arboretum as well as a wide variety of landscaping tools and equipment. Students design, install, and maintain landscaping components on the grounds of the University and with local organizations and homeowners in surrounding communities.
  • Students customize their own agricultural course of study in the Integrated Agriculture Management program. Possibilities for study include: sustainable agriculture, organic production, local foods, farmers markets, slow food, community-supported agriculture, business, and nutrition, as well as soil, water, and forest conservation. As a cross-curricular program, integrated agriculture management shares extensive facilities with several UNH programs. These include greenhouse and hoop-house complexes, pasture and crop lands, multiple-use demonstration forest lands, "forever wild" College Woods, two dairies (one organic), equine and small animal facilities, a large-scale composting operation, computer labs for GIS and CAD, the campus landscape plant collections, and horticultural research farms for fruit, vegetables, and ornamentals. Most of these facilities are on campus or within walking or campus shuttle distance.
  • Veterinary Technology students have the unique opportunity to work with both small and large animals at UNH and have access to professional facilities both on and off campus. On-campus facilities include the Thompson School PAWS Veterinary Clinic, Thomas P. Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, UNH's Organic Dairy Research Farm, UNH's equine facilities, the Thompson School Grooming Shop.  Students also work with the Thompson School's small flock of mostly heritage breeds of chickens (layers).  The program also partners with the New Hampshire SPCA (Stratham, N.H.), Cocheco Valley Humane Society (Dover, N.H.), and Pope Memorial SPCA (Concord, NH). The program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Students who graduate from an accredited program are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to become a credentialed veterinary technician.

Associate in Applied Science

To graduate with an associate in applied science degree, a student must complete specified coursework in general education, technical concentration, and general electives (see the following section), with an overall grade-point average of no less than 2.0. In addition, students must earn a minimum of 64 credits (more than 64 credits may be required depending on the program of study).

General Education

In addition to curriculum-specific coursework, the associate in applied science degree includes a general education component designed to educate and to enlighten students about the world around them. General education courses develop each student's ability to think and communicate effectively; to better understand the many social, cultural, and environmental issues and challenges of the world; to become problem solvers; and to make positive contributions to society. This is achieved through a combination of coursework in the sciences, including mathematics, arts and humanities, and the social sciences. A minimum of 20 credits are dedicated to this component of the degree.

In this area, a student must complete:

  • courses in the sciences, including mathematics (minimum of three credit hours) and technology;
  • courses in arts and humanities, to include COM 209 Expository Writing and Reading;
  • courses in the social sciences, to include either SSCI 201 Human Relations or SSCI 202 Social Issues.

The remaining nine credits (at least two additional courses) of the minimum 20 needed to fulfill the general education component of the associate in applied science degree must be taken from two of the three named areas. A maximum of eight credits may be double counted as a required course within the student's program area.

Specific Requirements for General Education for the Associate of Applied Science Degree at the Thompson School

Arts & Humanities, including communication
COM 209Expository Writing and Reading4
Social Sciences
SSCI 201Human Relations4
or SSCI 202 Social Issues
Science, including math and technology
MTH 202College Algebra3
or MTH 203 Algebra and Trigonometry
Additional 9 credits taken from two of the three named areas above9
Total Credits20

Technical Concentration

These are courses designed to develop the necessary scientific knowledge, technical skills, and practical experience required for employment in a professional discipline. Each student must complete all technical courses specified in the selected program of study.

See the following Programs of Study sections for course requirements and descriptions.

General Electives

This component of the degree program allows the individual to pursue courses of personal or professional interest. In this area, a student may choose a number of courses in each program of study specified as electives. These may be chosen from courses offered by the Thompson School or from other selected University undergraduate courses with advisor and administrative approval.  Not all Thompson School programs have room for general electives.

Full-Time and Part-Time Programs

The associate in applied science degree at the Thompson School may be completed by pursuing either a full-time or part-time program of study. Most students enroll in the full-time program. This allows completion of a program of study in four semesters (the traditional two-year period). The sequence of required courses and semester schedules for each program are listed throughout this catalog.

Some students who are unable to attend on a full-time, two-year schedule or who wish to spread the financial investment of a college education over a longer period of time elect the option of part-time study. This allows students to work toward completion of the degree over an extended period, typically two calendar years to five academic years. The schedule may be shortened or lengthened to meet the needs of the individual student. For further information, please contact the Thompson School at (603) 862-1025.


The Thompson School welcomes applications from both recent high school graduates and non-traditional (adult) students.

Admission to an associate in applied science degree program is based upon successful completion of a secondary school program of college preparatory coursework or its equivalent. Primary consideration is given to the candidate's academic record, as demonstrated by secondary school course selections and achievement, recommendation, and the results of the SAT and/or ACT exam. Consideration is also given to the applicant's personal motivation, demonstrated interest in a career field, and leadership roles.

For most programs, candidates must, at a minimum, present a solid college preparatory program including at least four years of English, two years of mathematics (one of which must be Algebra I, Geometry, and/or Algebra II), two years of science (biology with a lab, being one of them), and three years of social science. The majority of students are admitted with three years of both college-prep mathematics and science. Some programs have more specific requirements, which are included in the appropriate sections of this catalog.

For a non-traditional student who graduated from high school several years ago, the Office of Admissions will consider not only his or her academic record but also accomplishments since high school. Important factors include professional work and advancement and motivation to succeed in Thompson School courses. In addition, applicants will be considered on the basis of any available test scores such as General Education Development (GED), SAT or ACT, and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams; letters of reference; previous college study; and military record (if applicable). Non-traditional students who have been out of high school for a number of years may request the Office of Admissions waive the SAT requirement.

Transfer students are welcome at the Thompson School.  Upon admission to UNH, the Office of Admissions will complete an official credit evaluation and inform the student of the total credits transferred and any general education requirements that have been fulfilled.  Please note that it is up to each Thompson School academic department to determine which courses from other institutions will be accepted towards fulfilling major requirements.  Transfer students often fulfill program or general education requirements by transferring in credits of unequal value (i.e. transfer in a 3-credit class from elsewhere to meet the requirements of a 4-credit UNH class).  Students who do this must pay special attention to ensure they accrue at least the minimum 64 credits overall, meet general education requirements (20 credits), and meet technical concentration, grade point average, and elective requirements for their program.

How to Apply

Most first-year and transfer applicants to UNH's Thompson School of Applied Science must submit the Common Application to be considered for admission. Veterans, non-traditional students, and N.H. community college transfer students have a slightly different application process.

Although UNH will accept the paper-version of the application, students are strongly encouraged to submit the application electronically through the Common Application website,, as this expedites the process (99 percent of students submit their applications electronically). These same options are available to students applying from countries other than the United States.

The electronic version of the Common Application may be submitted from August, once the Common Application opens, through April 1. The Early Action due date is November 15. Notice of admission to the Thompson School will normally be sent within 30 days following receipt of all required information. Housing may not be guaranteed if application is received after February 1. When applying from April 2 through July 15, the PDF (paper) application must be submitted.

Please note that priority due dates for students requesting UNH residential housing are February 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester. Housing assignments are handled on a space-available basis. The UNH Financial Aid due date is March 1 for the following academic year.

Campus Visits

Prospective students are encouraged to participate in an interview at the Thompson School, attend an open house, and/or take a tour of the Thompson School and the rest of the UNH campus. Interviews are recommended but not required. An open house/prospective student day is held in the fall. To attend this event or to arrange your visit, please contact the Thompson School at (603) 862-1025 or visit our website at

Expenses, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Costs for students include tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal and travel expenses. These costs are the same for any student enrolled at the University of New Hampshire (see Fees and Expenses), and students majoring at the Thompson School have access to the same student services. (See also Campus Life, Programs and Services for Students, and Health Services.) Required curriculum and lab fees for Thompson School programs are listed with each program area.

Information about scholarships, loans, and work-study is located at or by calling (603) 862-3600. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be processed by the Financial Aid Office by March 1 of each year for a student to be considered for several scholarships for the following academic year. (See also Financial Aid.)

The Thompson School, one of four divisions of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA), informs students of scholarship opportunities, which are primarily for second-year students but do include opportunities for incoming students.

New England Regional Student Program

The Thompson School at UNH participates in the New England Regional Student Program of the New England Board of Higher Education, through which each state university system in New England offers a number of regional curricula to students from other New England states. Under this program, students pay in-state tuition plus 75 percent. See the following table for Thompson School programs that are eligible in 2017-2018. Eligibility under this program may vary from year to year, so it is suggested that you obtain further information by contacting:

The New England Board of Higher Education
45 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 357-9620

You may also contact the UNH Office of Admissions for more information.

Associate Degree Program Available to Residents of
Applied Animal Science MA, ME, RI, VT
Civil Technology CT, RI
Culinary Arts and Nutrition MA, RI, VT
Forest Technology CT, MA, RI, VT
Horticultural Technology RI
Integrated Agriculture Management CT, ME, MA, RI, VT
Veterinary Techology RI

Transfer Opportunities

UNH invites Thompson School graduates to continue their education at the University. Many of the associate degree programs offered by the School have baccalaureate degree counterparts. Specifically, these counterparts include animal science, civil and environmental engineering, forestry, sustainable agriculture and food systems, equine management, nutritional sciences, and hospitality management. Many other baccalaureate majors also are available. A final cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5 is required for transfer to most programs; some UNH baccalaureate programs require a higher cumulative grade-point average. Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree usually requires a minimum of two years of additional study at the University. Other colleges and universities, especially those within the University System of New Hampshire, also welcome graduates from the Thompson School.