Animal Welfare Degree Programs

Animal welfare professionals oversee the general health and well-being of farm or lab animals. Find out about the degrees that will prepare you for a career in animal welfare, explore what courses are required, and learn about career options. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Animal Welfare Degree?

Animal welfare topics focus on the acceptable care and testing of animals within the agricultural and biotechnology industries. Although you may not find a degree program specifically devoted to animal welfare, animals' health and well-being are a cornerstone of most animal science degree programs at bachelor's and master's levels.

A Bachelor of Science in Animal Science program can prepare you for a career in agriculture or veterinary science. Animal science master's degree programs provide opportunities for advanced study in the fields of animal management and biotechnology. Some graduate programs may also allow you to plan your curriculum around animal welfare courses.

Degree Levels Available Bachelor's
Common Courses Animal physiology
Animal welfare
Breeding behavior
Animal ethics
Online Availability Some courses and limited programs available online
Career Options Animal production
Animal breeding
Animal feed production
Animal science teacher
Veterinarian (requires more schooling)

What Is the Curriculum Like?

In an animal science bachelor's degree program, you will typically find courses like animal physiology, animal feeding and nutrition, animal welfare, animal health management and herd health. You will also need to take a variety of science courses in chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry.

In a master's degree program, many schools will allow you to select elective courses in animal welfare. Courses are likely to discuss the effect of breeding behavior and the effect of living conditions on stress-related hormones in animals. You may also take courses in animal ethics and social responsibility.

Can I Complete These Degrees Online?

Most bachelor's degree programs in animal science are on-campus programs. However, you may find that schools offer some of the required courses over the Internet.

A handful of master's degree programs are offered online. These schools may allow you up to six years to complete your degree online, and you won't have to attend any class sessions on campus.

In order to take online classes, you will need a reliable broadband Internet connection and a browser like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Additionally, some programs may require you to use word processing software like Microsoft Office and multimedia plug-ins like Adobe Acrobat and RealPlayer.

What Can I Do With an Animal Science Degree?

Completing a bachelor's degree in animal science may qualify you to work in various agricultural industries, such as animal production, animal breeding or animal feed production, according to some schools. Animal breeders earned a median annual salary of $43,470 as of May 2014, as stated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( Some graduates also move on to veterinary school or into jobs as animal science teachers or county extension agents.

Graduates of master's degree programs can also pursue veterinary training. They may also find jobs conducting biotechnology research for pharmaceutical companies or marketing research for the beef cattle industry.

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:

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