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Online Animal Science Colleges and Schools: How to Choose

Fully online animal science programs are very rare, with hybrid options being somewhat more available. Uncover what choices are available to study and how to find a school matching your ambitions.

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There are several institutions that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in animal science online. Learn about some of the degree and school options, as well as factors for selecting the best program for you.

How to Select an Online Animal Science School

Online animal science programs can be found at 4-year colleges and universities. Animal nutrition, the livestock industry and genetics are among the topics that can be explored via online schooling. Students should then weigh the online program options with the available career options.

Online Program Options

Animal science requires hands-on learning and practice, so only rarely are studies available completely online. More often in-person labs and field work are supplemented by online courses. However, there are a few fully online certificate programs, as well as bachelor's and master's degree programs in fully online or hybrid formats.

Career Options

With an education in animal science, graduates may seek employment in the livestock or equine industries, in food production and preparation, with government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture or Cooperative Extension Services, or in the pharmaceutical industry. Within this broad range, animal scientists can pursue various positions including farm manager, reporter or research technician. Some students choose to continue on to veterinary school.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Animal Health Sciences
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Dairy Science
  • Farm Animal Breeding
  • Livestock Management
  • Poultry Science

Online Animal Science Program Overviews

Online Undergraduate Certificate in Animal Nutrition

An undergraduate certificate program in animal nutrition educates students about the nutritional needs of companion animals, livestock and equines, as well as the nutrition animals provide to humans. Topics could include:

  • Animal nutrition principles
  • Lactation and milk nutrition
  • Feed formulation
  • Companion animals

Students also learn how animal diets differ from one another and from the human diet. Courses may be provided via webcast, DVD or CD with an asynchronous schedule for student convenience.

Online Bachelor of Animal Science and Industry

This is an online bachelor's degree completion program for those who would like to keep working while attending school and who have at least two years of college education. The program prepares participants for work in the food industry, including at livestock feed companies, meat packers, ranching operations or food processors, as well as in education and communication enterprises. Core topics can include:

  • Dairy and poultry science
  • Nutrition fundamentals
  • Applied microbiology
  • Food chemistry
  • Food plant management

Courses may be delivered via videoconferencing and CD-ROM, with email communication among students, classmates and faculty. Some schools require an animal science internship in the student's local area.

Online Master of Animal Science

Online master's programs are available in a hybrid format for those interested in the genetics, nutrition and physiology aspects of animal science. A livestock production and management focus may also be offered. In addition, students who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine may benefit from an online master's in animal science. Course topics could include:

  • Genetics of domestic animals
  • Applied ruminant nutrition
  • Regulation of metabolism
  • Ethics in reproductive biotechnologies

Students may choose from thesis and non-thesis program options.

Online Master of Agriculture in Poultry Science

This program emphasizes leadership, practical skills and problem solving and is designed to accommodate individual degree pathways, such as poultry production, the egg industry or poultry processing. Courses might encompass:

  • Avian physiology and nutrition
  • Commercial egg industry
  • Diseases of poultry
  • Instincts and behavior

Schools With Online Programs in Animal Science

Kansas State University offers an online bachelor's degree program in animal sciences and industry that requires 126 credits. This program discusses topics in food safety, business, marketing and more. Students use videoconferencing, CD-ROMs, email and guided study to complete the program fully online.

North Carolina State University has a master's program in animal science that must be completed in six years or less. There is no thesis requirement, and students learn about genetics, animal management, nutrition and can choose electives to suit their interests.

Sul Ross State University offers a Master of Science in Animal Science program with a non-thesis option that can be completed entirely online. It also has an on-campus program that requires a thesis. The online option requires 36 hours, and courses cover topics in animal physiology, agricultural business, animal breeding, teaching animal science to adults and more.

Students interested in pursuing a degree in animal science online can find several certificate, bachelor's and master's programs available. Prior to enrollment students should determine what their career goals are and consider a program's format in order to select the program that best suits their needs.

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