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Undergraduate Programs for Animal Studies: Program Overviews

Learn about associate's and bachelor's degree programs relating to animal studies. Get details about coursework, continuing education options and prerequisites. Find out what careers are available after graduation.

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Essential Information

Undergraduate degree programs most closely related to animal studies are those offered as animal science programs. Animal science is the study of both companion animals and animals that provide or are used for food. In many cases, undergraduate programs in animal science satisfy pre-veterinary requirements for those seeking admission to veterinary school. Degrees in animal science can open doors to careers in animal production, research, care and processing.

Courses offered in these programs address animal diseases, animal nutrition, veterinary technology and animal management. Courses in chemistry, biology and microbiology are also taken. Programs could combine instruction with hands-on learning experiences. Those interested in pursuing a career in research or academics or who wish to become veterinarians would need to continue their studies beyond the undergraduate level.


Associate's Degree in Animal Science

While a 4-year degree is offered by a larger number of colleges and universities, some schools have 2-year degree programs in animal science. Many of these programs are intended for those seeking to become veterinarian technicians or are looking to gain entry-level positions in the animal or farming industry. Admission to an associate's degree program in animal science typically requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Program Coursework

The curriculum of an Associate of Applied Science in Animal Science degree program will consist mainly of introductory courses plus some general education requirement courses. Some of the coursework related to animal studies includes the following:

  • Veterinary technology
  • Veterinary medical terminology
  • Animal diseases
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Livestock production

Popular Career Options

An associate's degree in animal science will qualify students for entry-level positions in veterinary clinics, wildlife centers or livestock businesses. Job titles may include the following:

  • Veterinary technician
  • Veterinary assistant
  • Wildlife technician
  • Animal control officer

Continuing Education

Graduates of an associate's degree program in animal science are qualified to enter a bachelor's degree program if they so choose. A bachelor's degree is required for those who would like to apply to veterinary school or other graduate programs in animal science.


Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science

A Bachelor of Science in Animal Science degree program can prepare students for careers in such areas as farm management, livestock sales, agriculture and animal product management. Students can generally choose a concentration, such as livestock management, equestrian studies, dairy science, pre-veterinary medicine or agricultural studies.

Educational Prerequisites

At the very least, entry into an animal science bachelor's degree program will require a high school diploma or equivalent, high school transcript and ACT or SAT results. Some program may require a personal essay and letters of recommendation along with the college application.

Program Coursework

A bachelor's degree program in animal science will generally include several similar courses as those offered in associate degree programs, though in most cases on a more advanced level. Students may be required to take core science courses such as chemistry, organic chemistry, biology and microbiology. Other courses that might be part of the curriculum of a bachelor's degree program include the following:

  • Animal genetics
  • Animal reproduction
  • Animal breeding
  • Animal nutrition
  • Animal molecular biology
  • Beef cattle management
  • Companion animal management
  • Poultry management

Popular Career Options

A 4-year degree in animal science can lead to some mid- to upper-level management positions in animal-related businesses and industries. Some typical job titles include the following:

  • Farm manager
  • Manager livestock marketing company
  • Animal-plant health inspector
  • Quality control officer for pet food manufacturer
  • Animal laboratory research technician

Continuing Education

Graduate programs, such as the one that leads to the Master of Science in Animal Science, are available for those who want to further their education. Those who want to become veterinarians would attend veterinary schools.

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Online Colleges for Animal Studies: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • 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

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • Veterinary Food Inspection Specialist

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • 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:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Dairy Science
        • Poultry Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
      • Soil 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:
    • Mississippi (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Mississippi State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
        • Poultry Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Tennessee include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Plant Science
      • Soil Science
  • School locations:
    • Delaware (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Delaware include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Agriculture
      • Agricultural Business
      • Animal Science
      • Food Sciences and Technologies
      • Horticulture
      • Plant Science

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