Animal Husbandry Degrees by Degree Program Level

Learn about undergraduate animal husbandry degree programs. Get details on academic prerequisites and the courses you'll take at each degree level, and see employment and salary data for relevant career fields.

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Essential Information

Individuals interested in animal husbandry can pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in animal science. Both of these programs include core courses in livestock management and animal breeding, though bachelor's programs may allow students to gain hands-on experience. Bachelor's programs also include more general education requirements than associate's programs. Graduates of both programs can pursue careers in breeding, farming and related sectors of the agricultural industry.


Associate's Degree in Animal Science

Students interested in animal husbandry can start their education by pursuing an associate's degree in animal science. This 2-year degree program instructs students in the production and management of livestock. Coursework focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of animal agriculture, with classes in health and sanitation, breeding, livestock evaluation and other topics.

Educational Prerequisites

Individuals seeking admission to an associate's degree program in animal science will most likely need to submit high school transcripts or their equivalent. Other admission requirements, such as standardized test scores, are rare for this program; however, some schools, especially 4-year institutions, might require more.

Applying students are usually aware of the physical demands of a career in animal husbandry. A love of animals is important but so is strong mental and physical conditioning.

Program Coursework

Coursework is topically focused on animal agriculture, with a few elective requirements. Sample core course titles include:

  • Livestock marketing
  • Equine nutrition
  • Breeding and genetics
  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Housing construction

Popular Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the increasing cost of land, machinery and other essentials will contribute to fewer employment opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers from 2010-2020. Job opportunities are expected to decline by eight percent during this decade. This decline will be partially offset by the growing popularity of small-scale, local and organic farming. Some sample job titles are included below:

  • Agricultural inspector
  • Organic meat and produce farmer
  • Animal breeder

Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science

Bachelor's degree programs in animal science vary with regards to the emphasis of the curriculum. Some are designed to prepare individuals for entry-level positions in the animal and food industries. Other programs feature a curriculum designed for the farm owner or operator. Independent of the curriculum emphasis, a bachelor's degree program in animal science teaches the biological and physical processes involved in animal care and utilization. Many of these programs feature a work internship, in which the degree candidate gains valuable hands-on experience working at a farm or in the agricultural industry.

Educational Prerequisites

Gaining admission to a bachelor's degree program in animal science requires the submission of high school transcripts and standardized test scores. Other requirements may include an admissions essay and letters of recommendation.

Program Coursework

In addition to a core animal science curriculum, degree candidates enroll in a set number of liberal arts electives. Sample core curriculum course titles are:

  • Herd health
  • Range management
  • Food and fiber systems
  • Advanced breeding
  • Swine nutrition

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Useful salary information for farmers and ranchers can be difficult to ascertain, owing in part to the annual fluctuations in price and demand for farm output. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for animal breeders was $34,250 as of May 2012. The BLS also reports a median salary of $69,300 for farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers, and $25,140 for general agricultural workers as of May 2012.

Continuing Education Information

For the person interested in a career caring for or breeding farm animals, an associate's or bachelor's degree in animal science is usually sufficient. While graduate degree programs in animal husbandry are extremely rare, master's and doctoral degree programs in animal science are available. These programs are designed to teach the skills and knowledge needed for senior research and faculty positions within the agricultural sector. Related programs, which include an animal husbandry curriculum at the graduate level, include veterinary technology, veterinary medicine, agricultural science and animal management.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • New York (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Cornell University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
        • Dairy Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
        • Dairy Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Idaho include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Minnesota include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Agriculture Production
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • South Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at National American University include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Angelo State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Animal Science
        • Farm Animal Breeding
  • School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Oklahoma State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Animal Nutrition
        • Farm Animal Breeding
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science

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