While the provision of animal medical care is discussed in veterinary science, the research of fauna for the purpose of food production is devoted to animal science. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in Animal Science are the most common degree for this field. Schools in the Midwestern, western, and southern regions of the United States offer these programs.
B.S. Programs in Animal Science
Students enrolled in a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in Animal Science are taught the rudimentary technologies and theories that underscore animal and livestock production. The program teaches students about the fundamentals of animal technology and animal husbandry. Methods of breeding house animals for the purpose of production will also be taught, along with humane treatment and provision of medical care to them.
A background in the business aspects of the agribusiness industry is provided in many animal science programs. Enrolled students are taught about running ranches, managing crews of employees, overseeing livestock facilities, generating contracts and marketing meat products. National guidelines and codes that govern the agribusiness industry are also taught to them, in addition to knowledge about various breed associations. Some animal science courses have a particular focus on wildlife ecosystem management, sustainable grazing systems and green technology.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma and to possess a strong interest in working outdoors and animal husbandry. Most occupations in the business that are not marketing or research-centered involve a lot of practical, manual labor.
Coursework centers on different aspects related to animal studies, science and business. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:
•Management of beef cattle
•Elements of livestock production
•Domestic animals’ diseases
•Range livestock reproduction
Graduates of an Animal Science bachelor’s degree program can choose from several career options such as:
•Meat marketing consultant
•Meat sales manager
•Animal production systems manager
•Livestock operations manager
Continuing Education Choices
Beyond a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, an individual interested in a research career can enroll into a Master of Science (M.S.) in Animal Science program, where he or she can specialize in various areas such as meat science, microbiology, toxicology, animal reproduction, animal welfare or animal health. Those keen on careers in academia to become professors of agriculture, agribusiness, meat production or meat science can pursue a Ph.D. in Animal Science.