Animal Health Science Schools and Courses

Read about the concentrations and courses in animal health science degree programs. Explore the duties and requirements of jobs, like veterinary technologist, that animal health science graduates can pursue. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Many animal health science programs prepare you to be a veterinary technologist. As a veterinary technologist, your job doesn't differ all that much from what a nurse does -- you'll perform tests, diagnose illnesses and provide treatment for medical conditions. The only difference is you'll perform these tasks on animals and under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Schools Many schools around the US offer courses in animal health science
Courses Biology, chemistry, physics and genetics, in addition to more specialized courses, are available
Training Most programs offer lots of hands-on training, but internships may also be required
Online Animal science programs are offered online

What Should I Look for in an Animal Health Science School?

Look for those that let you tailor your degree to suit your goals and interests. For example, you may want to specialize in nutrition. Make sure the school's program offers you the option of taking courses relevant to this area. Other specializations can include business, research and critical care.

Licensure is a requirement for some animal health science careers, particularly for veterinary technologists. Look for programs that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Graduating from an AVMA-accredited program is a prerequisite to sitting for licensing exams.

The following schools in particular might offer animal health science courses:

  • Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • The University of Minnesota (St. Paul)
  • University of Georgia (Athens)
  • California State Polytechnic University (Pomona)
  • Alabama A&M University (Normal)

What Courses Will I Take?

Animal health science programs provide a broad science foundation. Also, be prepared for lots of hands-on courses handling both small-sized and farm animals. You'll get to assist with surgeries, administer vaccines, develop x-rays and perform preventive care measures. These tasks can either be performed at an on-campus facility or via off-site internships and externships, depending on how the program is set up. Undergraduates may select an emphasis in areas like pre-veterinary medicine/science, industry and business or equine. These courses might be covered in an undergraduate program:

  • General biology
  • Animal nutrition
  • Statistics for animal scientists
  • Animal breeding
  • Production systems management

What Graduate Courses Will I Take?

You may have the choice of taking courses through master's and doctoral degree programs. The master's degree may require a thesis. A Master of Laboratory Animal Science degree program might be available in addition to a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy in Animal Science. These courses might be included in a master's degree program:

  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology

What Can I Do With the Degree?

Industries where you'll find work include business, administration, private practice, public health and research. Animal health science can also serve as a starting point to veterinary school. Because of the overall scientific nature of the program, it could also serve as preparation for other career paths or even medical school. Examples of career options for you include:

  • Food Technologist
  • Livestock Inspector
  • Zookeeper
  • Pedigree Analyst
  • Breeding Farm Manager
  • Regulation Compliance Officer
  • Medical Assistant
  • Science Teacher

Can I Earn it Online?

Animal science, which sometimes offers a concentration in animal health science, can be found online. Animal science focuses on more than just animal health, however. It also focuses on breeding, animal behavior and soil science. These programs are generally offered at the master's level.

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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