Master's Degrees in Animal Science

Master's degree programs in animal science prepare students for management or research careers related to the behavior, nutrition, management or the genealogy of animals. Learn about the concentration options for an animal science master's degree as well as common course topics and prerequisites.

What Courses Will I Take in an Animal Science Master's Degree?

Your coursework in an animal science master's degree program may be determined by your concentration of study. Animal science is a broad, interdisciplinary field that includes many possible areas of study, such as nutrition, genetics, reproduction and livestock management. However, you'll often find common core coursework, which may include:

  • Basic animal nutrition
  • Reproduction techniques in domesticated animals
  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Animal genetics
  • Animal welfare
  • Meat science

Common CoursesGenetics, nutrition, animal welfare, reproduction, and anatomy and physiology
Admission RequirementsBachelor's degree in relevant undergraduate field, GRE results
Online Program RequirementsCoursework can be completed online, though hands-on internships may be required at local farms and facilities
Career PossibilitiesLivestock management, meat production, meat distribution, wildlife management
Median Salary (2018)* $58,380 for animal scientists
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 6% for animal scientists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Are There Any Education Prerequisites?

You must earn a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted to a master's degree program in animal science. Some programs give preference to applicants based upon undergraduate coursework. As you consider pursuing this degree, it is helpful to take relevant courses in biology, microbiology and nutrition. It is common for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores to be required.

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Online master's degrees in animal science are rare, but available. These programs require you to have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, as lectures and discussion groups are available online. Since many career options in animal science require practical experience, you may be required to complete an in-person internship in addition to completing online coursework. Internships may be found with local ranches, farms or meat processing facilities.

What Career Fields Are Possible with This Degree?

Upon completing a master's degree in animal science, you may find work in numerous aspects of animal management and research. It is common for graduates to enter the animal production industry. This includes sheep, goat, beef cattle and poultry production. Careers in this field range from to managing livestock health to meat production and distribution.

Aside from animal production, you may pursue research careers involving wildlife, including studying animals in their natural habitats. You may also go on to pursue an animal science Ph.D., though this is most common for those interested in education careers.