Animal Sciences

Overview of Animal Sciences Program as a College Major

Animal Science is a major for those students interested in how we get our food.  This involves learning about livestock that are raised for consumption, how to keep these animals as healthy as possible, and the difference among different breeds among one animal.  Having an interest in animals is important in an Animal Science major, because much of your time will be spent observing and studying them.

Animal Sciences Program Curriculum

Every Animal Science degree program differs from others; some may be part of a pre-veterinary program, while other schools offer concentrations within the major, such as business.  Regardless of concentration specifics, you can expect to learn very similar things in any Animal Science program.  Below is a list of courses you will most likely see in an Animal Science degree major:

  • Animal Nutrition
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Animal Management
  • Equine Biology and Management
  • Livestock Evaluation and Selection
  • Dairy Cattle Principles
  • Meat Technology
  • Dairy Cattle Herd Health
  • Animal Biotechnology

Education Levels Available for an Animal Sciences Degree

There are programs all over the country that offer degree programs in Animal Science.  In fact, Animal Science degrees are available in Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degree, and Doctorate degree levels at many schools. 

In these programs there may be concentrations you have to choose from.  For instance, Cornell University, which offers an undergraduate, and a graduate program, asks graduate students to choose between animal nutrition, animal science, physiology of reproduction, animal genetics or animal genomics.

Skills Developed through an Animal Sciences Degree Program

In addition to all the knowledge you will gain from your Animal Sciences degree program, you will also develop skills that will be necessary once you enter the workforce.  Here are some necessary skills you will develop that will benefit you in a career in Animal Sciences:

  • Teamwork
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Animal Industry Knowledge
  • Knowledge of Scientific Equipment and Technology
  • Animal Management Skills
  • Hands-On Experience with Animals
Where to Obtain an Animal Sciences Degree

There are several top schools that have great programs in Animal Sciences, such as Cornell University, University of Florida, and University of Georgia.  The reason these schools are among the best schools in the field is because they are given millions of dollars in funding for research and supply students with the best equipment in the field. 

Career Opportunities for Animal Sciences Majors

There are several careers available for those who decide to enroll in an Animal Science college program.  A popular choice among students is to go on to become a Veterinarian, and an Animal Science degree program is a great stepping stone to that.  In fact, many Animal Science degree programs are part of pre-veterinary programs, which makes it easy for those who decide to go that route.  Other career opportunities are Research Technician, Farm Manager, and Animal Technician.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veterinarians held roughly 59,700 jobs in 2008, and 1,300 civilian veterinarians were hired by the Federal Government to work in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.  The employment outlook in this field between 2008 and 2018 is excellent, and expected to increase much faster than average.  Employment of veterinarians is expected to increase by 33 percent over the 2008 – 2018 decade.

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