Animal Genetics Degrees and Courses

Animal genetics focuses on breeding and genetic manipulation, usually for livestock and other food-related animals. Learn about the field, potential coursework and how to pick which program is right for you. Schools offering Sequence Analysis and Genomics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Students can find animal genetics degree programs at the graduate level. They can also take courses in animal genetics at the bachelor's degree level in an animal science program, which often prepares students to work in the field as animal scientists.

Degrees Master's and doctoral degrees in animal genetics, bachelor's degrees in related fields, such as biology and animal science
Courses Animal populations, statistics, animal behavior, gene mapping, genomics and more
Salary $60,760 per year (Median salary from May 2017 for animal scientists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Animal Genetics Degree Programs Are Available?

Master's and doctoral programs in animal genetics offer a curriculum that focuses on animal breeding for livestock and other food-producing animals. Through a master's degree program, you may prepare yourself for research positions as well as hands-on breeding and genetic manipulation careers. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs prepare you for advanced work as a clinical research professional or professor.

What About Bachelor's Degrees?

To prepare for higher levels of education in the field, you need to complete a relevant bachelor's degree program in biology or animal science. You may consider a biology program if you're interested in the scientific principles of molecular and cell biology, while animal science programs focus on the realities of farm and agriculture management. A Bachelor of Science in Animal Science may be offered.

What Graduate Courses Will I Take?

Through a master's degree program in animal genetics, you may take courses in statistics, animal behavior, gene mapping and genomics. You may also have the opportunity to specialize in areas like immunology or molecular genetics, or in specific animal breeding like poultry, sheep or swine.

Both master's and Ph.D. programs commonly offer a great deal of academic freedom, where you can choose to specialize in a given area of animal genetics and work with a faculty member or advisor to create your own curriculum. Through both master's and Ph.D. programs, you'll be expected to compose a thesis or dissertation based on your chosen area of specialization.

What Undergraduate Courses Are Available?

As an undergraduate student in a biology degree program, you'll be exposed to fundamental concepts involving molecular and cellular biology, in addition to organic chemistry. Animal science bachelor's degree programs allow you to take courses like the following:

  • Animal production
  • Nutrition
  • Animal genetics
  • Ecology

How Can I Choose a School?

You may consider enrolling in a program with up-to-date, on-campus research facilities for observing and studying the molecular, cellular and genetic materials for animals. Access to animal breeding facilities may also be useful if you're studying genetics in relation to mass animal production.

Graduate programs typically vary in their course flexibility, so you may consider enrolling in programs that offer a chance for you to create your own curriculum. You might prefer programs that allow you to work with a variety of professors who have particular expertise in areas like immunology, poultry genetics or microbiology.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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