Animal Sciences General

Animal science is a multifaceted field that involves the study and research of livestock and farm animals. The research and findings produced in this field is often applied within the agricultural community to improve the quality of food produced and the conditions in which animals live. With an animal science degree, graduates will qualify for a wide variety of work in the private sector working for food companies, pharmaceutical companies, or farms. Animal scientists can also find employment with the federal government developing new ways to ensure food safety and refining food production.

Generally, animal scientists spend much of their time conducting research, so a scientific background is essential. Most of the coursework in a college program involves biological science, and a prospective animal science major will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree to obtain employment in the field of animal science.

Animal science colleges offer a wide variety of courses to choose from, and students can opt to specialize in a specific area of animal science. Some programs even offer curriculum that focuses on species other than just farm animals.

Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science

Undergraduate programs in Animal Science usually consist of coursework in addition to hands on research in laboratories and farms. Many schools have state of the art facilities where students can gain valuable skills and experience while in school. In addition, most colleges and universities have internship positions available for students to learn on the job. There are several tracks in animal science that are also available to undergraduates during their degree programs. These include Pre-Veterinary, Business/Management, and/or Companion Animals.

Most positions within the animal science field require at least a bachelor's degree in the subject, but many students choose to utilize their undergraduate degree as a basis for further education such as a master's degree in the subject, or as preparation for veterinary school, medical school, or a graduate degree in a related science field. The bachelor's degree program usually takes four years to complete. In addition to general science courses such as biology and chemistry, some possible courses students might take while enrolled in the bachelor's program include:

  • Domestic Animal Biology
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Principles of Animal Genetics
  • Mechanisms of Animal Growth and Development

After graduation, students can utilize their degree to enter a variety of careers. Some possible jobs for graduates with a BS in Animal Science include:

  • Food Distributors
  • Farms
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Feed Companies

Master's Degree in Animal Science

A master's degree in animal science involves extensive research in addition to advanced coursework in the subject. The program usually consists of a required number of lecture and laboratory coursework at the graduate level, plus a thesis which must be thoroughly researched and defended. There are also programs at some colleges with non-thesis options. Students may concentrate in several areas of animal science during their master's program including animal genetics, animal nutrition, and/ or physiology. Possible graduate courses that a student might take include:

  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Plant Gene Regulation
  • Genetics of Higher Organisms

MS programs in animal science are generally selective with admissions, and students must receive a satisfactory score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in addition to providing letters of recommendation, and a bachelor's degree in animal science or a related field. A master's degree in animal science will enable graduates to obtain upper level positions in fields such as:

  • Production/ Management
  • Agribusiness
  • Marketing

Ph.D. in Animal Science

A number of those who graduate with a master's degree in animal science choose to continue with their studies and research and obtain a doctorate in the field. Entrance into a doctoral program is extremely competitive, and the program usually involves at least 60 or more credit hours beyond the master's degree. Half of those hours must be satisfied with lecture and laboratory coursework, while the other half is fulfilled through dissertation hours. Similar to the master's degree, Ph.D. candidates can specialize in a particular area of animal science and then focus their dissertation on it. Many candidates will also work as teaching assistants within the animal science department.

Because most students in a Ph.D program will enter careers involving research and teaching, coursework in the Ph.D. program often focuses on advanced research methods in animal science. Advanced lecture and laboratory classes are also required.

In order to graduate, students must successfully defend their dissertation before a committee, and at some schools, pass an examination. The program will usually take students 3-5 years to complete. Graduates of Ph.D. programs in animal science can expect to find employment as

  • College Professors

  • Researchers

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

We found 106 schools offering animal science degree programs in the U.S.

>> See all 106 Animal Sciences General Colleges in the U.S.

Animal Science Schools Ranked By National Research Council R-Rank

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Champaign, IL  |  Total Enrollment: 38465

Degrees Offered: Two but less than 4 years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Madison, WI  |  Total Enrollment: 40658

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  |  Total Enrollment: 12043

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Washington - Seattle Campus
Seattle, WA  |  Total Enrollment: 36139

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree, First-professional certificate
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Lincoln, NE  |  Total Enrollment: 22268

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Oklahoma State University - Main Campus
Stillwater, OK  |  Total Enrollment: 18676

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Bachelor's, Postbaccalaureate certificate, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI  |  Total Enrollment: 43366

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Texas A & M University
College Station, TX  |  Total Enrollment: 44026

Degrees Offered: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree
University of Georgia
Athens, GA  |  Total Enrollment: 31288

Degrees Offered: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Post-Masters certificate, Doctor's, First-professional degree
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS  |  Total Enrollment: 21929

Degrees Offered: One but less than two years, Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctor's, First-professional degree

Browse All 106 Colleges With Animal Science Programs

Title City State Enrollment
Abilene Christian University Abilene TX 4739
Hardin - Simmons University Abilene TX 2304
Linn - Benton Community College Albany OR 4443
Alcorn State University Alcorn State MS 2936
Suny College of Technology at Alfred Alfred NY 2735
Sul Ross State University Alpine TX 2838
Iowa State University Ames IA 26845
University of Massachusetts - Amherst Amherst MA 24416
University of Georgia Athens GA 31288
Auburn University Main Campus Auburn University AL 21860
Genesee Valley Boces - Practical Nursing Program Batavia NY 3292
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College Baton Rouge LA 31527
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg VA 27869
South Dakota State University Brookings SD 8695
University of Vermont and State Agricultural Coll Burlington VT 10118
West Texas A & M University Canyon TX 6775
Southern Illinois University Carbondale Carbondale IL 22552
Casper College Casper WY 3972
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign IL 38465
Clarendon College Clarendon TX 999
Miami Valley Career Technology Center Clayton OH No Data
Clemson University Clemson SC 17465
Suny College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill Cobleskill NY 2303
University of Maryland - College Park College Park MD 33189
Texas A & M University College Station TX 44026
University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia MO 23309
Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus OH 47952
Texas A & M University - Commerce Commerce TX 7508
Oregon State University Corvallis OR 16758
University of Minnesota - Crookston Crookston MN 2775
University of California - Davis Davis CA 26094
University of Denver Denver CO 9444
Morris County Vocational School District Denville NJ No Data
Delaware State University Dover DE 3103
Delaware Valley College Doylestown PA 1833
University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham NH 14689
Michigan State University East Lansing MI 43366
Snow College Ephraim UT 2999
North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo ND 9902
University of Arkansas Main Campus Fayetteville AR 15346
Colorado State University Fort Collins CO 26807
Fort Valley State University Fort Valley GA 2561
University of Florida Gainesville FL 45114
Oklahoma Panhandle State University Goodwell OK 1183
North Carolina A & T State University Greensboro NC 7748
Texas State Technical College - Harlingen Harlingen TX 3265
University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu HI 17263
Sam Houston State University Huntsville TX 12358
Cornell University - NY State Statutory Colleges Ithaca NY 8083
University of Rhode Island Kingston RI 14362
Texas A & M University - Kingsville Kingsville TX 5948
Truman State University Kirksville MO 6111
The University of Tennessee Knoxville TN 25890
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette LA 15742
University of Wyoming Laramie WY 11743
New Mexico State University - Main Campus Las Cruces NM 14958
University of Kentucky Lexington KY 23114
University of Nebraska at Lincoln Lincoln NE 22268
Utah State University Logan UT 21490
Texas Tech University Lubbock TX 24558
University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison WI 40658
Kansas State University Manhattan KS 21929
Northwest Missouri State University Maryville MO 6442
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis MN 45481
Mississippi State University Mississippi State MS 16561
West Virginia University Morgantown WV 21987
Morrisville State College Morrisville NY 3033
University of Idaho Moscow ID 11635
Berry College Mount Berry GA 2033
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro TN 19121
Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches TX 11484
Crowder College Neosho MO 1719
Rutgers University - New Brunswick/piscataway New Brunswick NJ 35236
New York School of Dog Grooming New York NY No Data
University of Delaware Newark DE 19072
Mount Ida College Newton MA 1196
Northeast Community College Norfolk NE 4520
Alabama A & M University Normal AL 5523
University of Maine Orono ME 10282
University of Wisconsin - Platteville Platteville WI 5559
College of the Ozarks Point Lookout MO 1414
California State Polytechnic University - Pomona Pomona CA 18424
Northwest College Powell WY 1289
Prairie View A & M University Prairie View TX 6609
Brigham Young University Provo UT 32554
Washington State University Pullman WA 20492
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh NC 28619
University of Nevada - Reno Reno NV 13149
Brigham Young University - Idaho Rexburg ID 8949
University of Wisconsin - River Falls River Falls WI 5899
Louisiana Tech University Ruston LA 10363
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo CA 16877
Texas State University - San Marcos San Marcos TX 22423
Dordt College Sioux Center IA 1426
Missouri State University Springfield MO 17703
Arkansas State University - Main Campus State University AR 10429
Tarleton State University Stephenville TX 7545
Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater OK 18676
University of Connecticut Storrs CT 19393
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Tifton GA 2630
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