Animal Science Degree Programs and Classes

Learn about animal care, livestock production and equine management options for degrees in animal science. Explore program levels from the associate's to doctoral degrees. See career and online degree options. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Animal science is the study of animal care, breeding and production. You can find animal science programs at the associate's through doctoral levels. You can also find online bachelor's and master's degree programs in animal science, although they are rare.

Degrees Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science in Animal Science; Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences or Animal Science; Master of Professional Studies or Master of Animal Science; Ph.D. in Animal Science
Certificates Undergraduate Certificate in Animal Nutrition; Certificate in Animal Science
Classes Animal anatomy and physiology, breeding, cattle production, equestrian technology and horsemanship, feeds and nutritional management, genetics and reproduction, ethology, muscle biochemistry and meat science, feeding principles and diet formulation

What Undergraduate Degree Programs Are Available?

Associate's degree programs may offer concentrations in dairy management, meat technology, equine management or small animal care. Most associate's degree programs are designed for credit transfer into bachelor's degree programs. A practicum or field experience may be required. Your curriculum will contain math and science classes as well as core courses like animal behavior, nutrition and grooming. An Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science in Animal Science may be offered.

Your bachelor's degree program may focus on such areas as animal biology, production animals and the animal industry. Most programs also offer a pre-vet concentration that will allow you to take the courses required for acceptance into a veterinary medicine program. Internships and supervised field experiences are often included in the curriculum. Your classes may cover topics like beef and dairy cattle management, companion animals and livestock marketing. A Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences or Animal Science are among your degree options. You may cover these topics in an undergraduate degree program:

  • Management in agriculture
  • Environmental law
  • Animal/rangeland sciences
  • Organic farming and gardening
  • Environmental economics and policy

What Graduate Degree Programs Are Available?

Graduate degrees give you a strong foundation in the biological sciences and the opportunity to pursue a research specialization, such as growth biology, microbiology, toxicology, nutrition and reproduction. You'll have to write a thesis for the master's degree program or a dissertation for the doctorate. Some doctoral programs may also require written and oral exams. Your classes may vary depending on your specialization, but graduate-level courses can include cattle and sheep nutrition, exercise science in horses, and livestock genomics.

How Are Online Programs Delivered?

It is possible to pursue an online animal science degree that has no on-campus requirements, though these programs are uncommon. Your classes are equivalent to those you would take in on-campus programs. You typically view lectures and download course materials using an interactive course management system, such as Blackboard. Discussion boards and email are used to interact with other students and instructors.

What Does an Animal Scientist Do?

Animal scientists are concerned with the quality and quantity of animal products, such as dairy, eggs, meat and poultry. They work to improve food safety and develop new processing, packaging and storage methods. As an animal scientist, you would also help farmers improve the quality of life for their animals.

What Careers Can I Pursue?

Your associate's degree may prepare you for work in agriculture as a herd, barn or farm manager, vet assistant, breeding manager, riding academy owner or groomer. A bachelor's degree will prepare you for a career in agribusiness, or you could work in sales, marketing, journalism, processing and management for the livestock production industry. Graduate degrees will allow you to teach at the university level as well as conduct independent research or work as a research manager.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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