Animal Science Colleges, Universities and Schools in the U.S.
Animal science is a broad field that encompasses the biology and business of domestic animals. Those who work as animal scientists may specialize in areas such as genetics and reproduction, food product inspection and processing, livestock purchasing and agricultural consulting. Students can enter this career field with a bachelor's degree in animal science and can work as university researchers upon earning a master's degree or doctoral degree.
How to Select an Animal Science College, University or School
When evaluating schools that offer animal science degrees, prospective students can benefit from keeping their specific career interests in mind and selecting corresponding programs. This is particularly important at the graduate level, where animal science degree programs tend to be more specialized than those at the undergraduate level. In order to maximize their career opportunities in the animal science field, students should enroll in reputable programs offered by accredited colleges and universities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all students who wish to earn an animal or agricultural science degree have the option of attending federally-funded land-grant colleges, which are present in every state (www.bls.gov). Individuals with an interest in animal science may want to begin the school selection process by researching these land-grant institutions and their available programs. Students also have a broad range of options in regard to schools that offer animal science degrees but are not land-grant colleges.
Animal science students who seek training in a specialized type of farming, such as organic dairy farming, can search for schools that offer that specialization. A student whose goal is to work in the processing or marketing side of the animal science business can inquire as to whether certain schools have good relationships with industries that offer internships. Students who are focused on animal breeding should seek schools that offer relevant coursework and have lab facilities with current equipment for genetic testing.
Animal Science Program Overviews
Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science
A bachelor's degree program in animal science may focus on any number of concepts, including animal nutrition, breeding, behavior and physiology. The coursework typically combines core classes in subjects such as biology and chemistry with animal science-specific courses, such as animal selection and farm management. Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in this field can choose to further their education or seek careers in agriculture or animal production.
Master's Degree in Animal Science
Students can earn graduate degrees such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Animal Science, M.S. in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences or Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture. At the graduate level, students can specialize in several areas of the animal science field, including endocrine physiology, lactation and reproduction, nutrition and genomics. Master's degree programs in animal science typically involve coursework, supervised laboratory research and completion of a thesis. Some programs, such as the Master of Professional Studies, don't require a thesis.
Ph.D. in Animal Science
Doctoral degrees in animal science prepare students for careers in scientific research at universities or government establishments. This degree level requires a mastery of at least one animal science concentration. Doctoral students prepare a research dissertation and act as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses.
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