What Is an Animal Science Major?

An animal science major can provide you with an in-depth knowledge of animal health, animal behavior, farm management and livestock production. Continue reading for information about curriculum, career options and salaries. Schools offering Veterinary Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study In an Animal Science Bachelor's Degree Program?

An animal science program teaches you topics including animal care, livestock production, breeding and animal disease control. A major in animal science prepares you to work in a variety of fields, including animal behavior, veterinary sciences, agriculture and biotechnology. Your program will likely offer concentrations in pre-veterinary care, the animal industry or exotic animals. With this degree, you'll have a range of career options, whether you're interested in conservation or game populating.

What Will the Curriculum Look Like?

In a bachelor's degree program in animal science, you may take courses, not only in science, but also in business and marketing. You will gain communication and management skills in addition to a solid knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology. Depending on the area in which you want to specialize, you may focus on studying domestic animals, animal breeding, zoo keeping or agriculture. An animal science major often includes studies in the following subjects:

  • Biology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Animal physiology
  • Exotic animals
  • Domestic animals
  • Cell biology
  • Animal diseases
  • Farm management
  • Agriculture
  • Animal genetics
  • Genetic engineering
  • Animal nutrition
  • Animal behavior

What Careers Can I Consider?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, animal scientists made an average annual salary of $68,170 as of May 2010 while animal caretakers averaged $22,070 (www.bls.gov). Also, veterinary technicians averaged $31,030.

According to the American Society of Animal Science, there are more than 500 kinds of jobs available for animal science degree programs (www.asas.org). Typical careers pursued by graduates of an animal science major include veterinarian assistant, animal breeding technician, animal caretaker (usually a specialization in one kind of animal, swine, cattle, equine, etc.), lab technician, zookeeper, livestock manager, public relations specialist, marketer, kennel keeper, gamekeeper, meat processor, pet safety educator or habitat specialist.

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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