Online courses in animal science are varied. Some schools offer introductory animal science courses to students who have been accepted into degree programs, while others offer courses for continuing education, or to help students update their credentials.
Students should be aware that some programs could require advanced internships or field experiences, which may be fulfilled at county extension services or other approved settings. Any online coursework can be completed through schools' virtual classrooms, which contain assignments, learning aids, lectures, discussion boards, and other tools for fostering class interaction.
|Online Availability||Fully online and blended format|
|In-Person Requirements||Internships, field experience, proctored exams and lab work|
|Majors with Animal Science Courses||Veterinary science, animal agribusiness, animal biosciences technology|
The numbers of specializations available in the animal science field are as diverse as the range of animals studied. While the majority of online programs are concerned with studying domestic animal health with an eye toward maximum production, such as cattle and poultry farming, others are concerned with animal care and behavior, as in veterinary science. Some of the most common courses and training programs are pre-veterinary science, animal agribusiness and animal biosciences technology.
Pre-veterinary programs prepare students to meet the tough requirements for admission to veterinary schools. Students in this concentration can also find careers in related fields, such as animal genetics or animal behavior. During their initial years in the program, students take biology and organic chemistry courses. Later coursework includes the following subjects:
- Anatomy and physiology of domestic animals
- Animal reproduction
- Animal health
- Domestic animal behavior
It's important to note that schools usually do not offer an actual degree in pre-vet science, but rather offer a course of study that can be incorporated with a relevant major. These programs typically are not offered totally online, particularly due to the science-heavy coursework. Some schools require students to complete lab assignments or proctored exams; in some cases, distance learners can complete certain labs at home but must obtain their own microscope or other equipment.
Students in agribusiness concentrations most often study the production, sales, and marketing of livestock for commercial purposes. While most programs provide a general overview of livestock production, some programs focus on poultry, swine, or sheep production. Examples of course offerings include:
- Foraging and grazing systems
- Animal agribusiness development
- Livestock management
- Animal behavior
- Livestock nutrition
- Livestock handling and transport
Bachelor's degree programs in agricultural business are widely available totally online and take about four years to complete. Although some programs prefer to offer this distance-learning program to those who have some level of academic or professional background in the field, this is not necessarily required.
Coursework for the animal biosciences field consists mainly of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and organic chemistry courses. Courses usually offered in these areas of study include the following:
- Animal neurobiology
- Statistical analysis of spectroscopy and chromatography readings
- Diet preparation for growth trials
Practical applications of this program include the regulation of livestock life processes for protein production. Again, due to the emphasis on laboratory work, students will likely not be able to complete all coursework online. Graduates of this program can pursue research careers or find job opportunities in the animal nutrition and pharmaceutical industries.