Thompson School of Applied Science

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 three 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.

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.

Detailed information on our various program areas and concentrations follow.

  • Applied Animal Science students pursuing this associate's degree prepare for a successful career in animal production and management, whether working on a farm or in a related business. Students handle farm animals starting week one, and develop a strong foundation in the science and business of animal agriculture, including breeding, feeding, health care, law and regulations, housing, and marketing. On-campus facilities include the Thomas P. Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center and UNH's Organic Dairy Research Farm.
  • 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.
  • 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, and UNH's equine facilities.  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 20 credits of Discovery (general education) coursework 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).


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, three 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 program 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 attend an open house, and/or take a tour of the Thompson School and the rest of the UNH campus. An open house/prospective student day is held in the fall, and campus tours can be arranged through the Office of Admissions. 

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.) 

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.)

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
Forest Technology CT, MA, RI, VT
Veterinary Techology RI

Transfer Opportunities

Students completing an associate degree program often apply for transfer into a baccalaureate program. Two plus two articulations are in place for the associate degree programs offered.  Forest Technology articulates with the Forestry B.S., and Applied Animal Science and Veterinary Technology articulate with the B.S. in Animal Science.  Thompson School students can also transfer into many other baccalaureate majors. 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. Other colleges and universities, especially those within the University System of New Hampshire, also welcome graduates from the Thompson School.