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:
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:
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:
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:
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
We found 106 schools offering animal science degree programs in the U.S.
|University of Wyoming||Laramie||WY||11743|
|Utah State University||Logan||UT||21490|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Blacksburg||VA||27869|
|Washington State University||Pullman||WA||20492|
|West Texas A & M University||Canyon||TX||6775|
|West Virginia University||Morgantown||WV||21987|