PhD in Animal Science

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Animal Science, a degree typically only available in campus-based programs, provides advanced research and post-secondary education to students with experience in animal nutrition, livestock production, animal biology and related animal science issues. Keep reading for details about areas of specialization, prerequisites, courses and career options. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Specializations Can I Pursue Through a Ph.D. in Animal Science?

Although animal science is a broad field, when you enroll in a Ph.D. in Animal Science program, you typically concentrate your studies in an area of professional interest as it relates to a specific animal. A common specialization is animal breeding and genetics, where you will study techniques used in animal reproduction, including beef cattle, sheep and horses.

Another potential area is meat science, which includes disease prevention, quality control and food safety for animals such as poultry and beef cattle. Other concentrations you may pursue include physiology, microbiology and nutrition.

Specializations Animal breeding and genetics, meat science, physiology, microbiology, nutrition
Prerequisites Relevant education, professional experience or combination
A bachelor's degree in animal science or related field and/or evidence of interest in field
Good graduate record examination scores
Common Courses Breeding standards, domestic animal lactation, meat processing, dissertation project
Career Options Research and consulting positions, working with a specific animal

Are There Any Prerequisites?

To apply to an animal science Ph.D. program, you must have a track record of relevant education, professional experience or a combination of both. In general, you must possess a bachelor's degree, though it need not be in animal science.

If you do not already possess a prior degree in animal science or a related field, you may be required to complete foundational coursework. You may also be asked to provide evidence of your demonstrated professional interest in the field, such as letters of recommendation from colleagues. Also, you will be required by most colleges and universities to submit your Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

What Courses Will I Take?

You can expect to take primarily seminar-based courses in advanced animal science topics. These may include courses on breeding standards, domestic animal lactation and meat processing.

Following the completion of your coursework, you will focus almost exclusively on the completion of your dissertation. In some cases, you will be asked to prepare portions of your dissertation for publication in professional journals.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

This degree qualifies you for numerous career options, including research and consulting positions at many stages of animal care and food production. Depending on your area of specialization, you mind find work focusing on animals including beef cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs or horses. You may pursue careers in academia or private consultation, applying your knowledge to issues like ruminant animal nutrition or general physiological well-being.

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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