Animal Science Masters Degree Programs
Animal science is the biological study of domesticated animals such as horses, cattle and other livestock. With a master's degree in animal science, professionals can become animal scientists and conduct independent animal science research studies in various agricultural settings.
Master of Science in Animal Science
A master's degree in animal science prepares specialists for research or postsecondary teaching positions with universities, federal agencies and private agricultural companies. The 2-year program is research-intensive and teaches students advanced animal science concepts in genetics and reproduction, animal management and agricultural ecology. Students learn how to conduct animal science research studies, and then apply theories to practical animal science situations. Many programs offer specific areas of focus in equine studies, livestock management or sustainable agriculture.
To enroll in an animal science master's degree program, students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Students are also required to submit undergraduate transcripts and GRE test scores.
Courses in an animal science master's degree combine animal life sciences, agricultural knowledge and business operation concepts for professionals looking to manage animal or agricultural organizations. Students can take advantage of animal science seminars, agriculture workshops and internship opportunities with animal clinics, schools and private agriculture businesses. Common courses include:
- Livestock management
- Animal reproduction
- Agricultural science
- Animal physiology
- Animal genetics research
Employment Outlook and Career Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of opportunities for animal scientists is expected to increase by 13% from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. There were 2,120 animal scientists in the U.S. as of May 2012. The mean annual salary for professionals working for federal agencies in animal science was $101,550 as of the same month.
Continuing Education Information
Although a master's degree qualifies animal science professionals for many research and teaching positions, a Ph.D. allows for greater overall career advancement. Senior and supervisory research positions with universities, federal agencies and private agricultural organizations often require animal scientists to have a Ph.D. in Animal Science or Agriculture. A Ph.D. in Animal Science also allows professionals to pursue independent consulting careers by providing information-based advice to agricultural businesses.
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