Animal reproduction science degree programs can combine classroom studies with lab exercises and hands-on training opportunities in animal reproduction facilities. Programs are available at the master's and doctorate levels. Courses are typically taken in animal anatomy and physiology, animal nutrition, animal diseases and livestock management.
Applicants for a master's or Ph.D program need a bachelor's degree in animal science agriculture or zoology, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores and college transcripts. Specifically for Ph.D. entrance, a master's degree may additionally be expected. Some programs also favor those who have had experience working with animals. Ph.D. degrees culminate in a dissertation overseen by an advisory committee.
Master's Degree in Animal Reproduction Science
Generally, a master's degree in animal reproduction science equips students with an understanding of how animals, usually farm or zoo animals, mate. Students also learn how to analyze factors that contribute to successful or unsuccessful reproduction. For this reason, the study of animal reproduction is often paired with the study of nutrition and habitat. Because of the researched-based nature of most programs, many are found in areas with access to large populations of animals.
Students can expect to spend time both in the classroom and with animals. Schools with larger funding packages might also facilitate research opportunities in animals' natural habitats. Here are some classes common to master's programs in animal reproduction science:
- Animal nutrition
- Animal physiology and anatomy
- Equine techniques
- Animal management
- Livestock techniques
Ph.D. in Animal Reproduction Science
Doctorate programs in animal reproduction science commonly offer more advanced training in animal biology, anatomy and physiology. Many programs provide training in veterinary techniques in addition to training in nutrition, habitat management and breeding techniques. Students may learn about livestock feed production, artificial insemination and embryo storage in controlled reproduction scenarios. As such, many programs equip students with professional-level lab techniques. As these are research-intensive programs, students often have the opportunity to work with real animals. Laboratory training and theoretical training is also often part of the curriculum. Here are some classes common to these programs:
- Applied anatomy and genetics
- Animal biological systems
- Biological statistics
- Animal health and disease
- Applied animal nutrition
Popular Career Options
Graduates of master's degree programs in animal reproduction are eligible for a number of careers involving animals. Examples include the following:
- Animal technician
- Farm manager
- Kennel manager
- Research technician
- Writer for animal-related publication
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Those pursuing a Ph.D. typically find work teaching in a college setting. The employment rate for all postsecondary teachers is expected to rise 13% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average for U.S. occupations, stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it should be noted, according to the BLS, many of the job openings are for part-time, non-tenured positions due to budget cuts in education. The median annual salary for biological science professors was $75,320 as of May 2015.
A master's or doctorate degree in animal reproduction science provides students with a large knowledge base of animal anatomy and physiology and animal care. Many graduates pursue careers as teachers, researchers, animal managers, or animal technicians.