The field of animal science covers the biology, anatomy and physiology of domesticated animals, such as horses, chickens, cattle and other livestock. Many animal science degree programs are broad and comprehensive, allowing students to explore multiple areas of interest, while others have specific concentrations, such as equine studies, livestock management or dairy production and management. Graduates are prepared to work as animal caregivers in a number of settings, including animal shelters, clinics, zoos and pet stores.
Associate's Degree in Animal Science
To enter a 2-year associate's degree program in animal science, students must have a high school diploma or GED. Applicants also must submit official transcripts and might need to complete placement exams prior to enrollment.
Animal science courses teach students about animal behavior, reproduction processes, the business of agriculture and animal management concepts. Most programs include animal science seminars and work opportunities that allow students to be in direct contact with animals. Many programs also offer business courses for students looking to enter the management area of agriculture. In addition to animal management principles, typical courses include:
- Animal nutrition and anatomy
- Animal microbiology
- Training and caring for animals
- Animal breeding strategies
- Methods of animal training
Popular Career Options
Most animal science positions involve direct care or supervision of animals. Animal care workers are responsible for feeding, bathing and grooming animals and maintaining animals' balanced health and nutrition. Workers can pursue opportunities with boarding kennels, stables and related animal environments. Common positions include:
- Animal welfare specialist
- Agricultural technician
- Animal breeder
- Animal service worker
Continuing Education Information
After obtaining an associate's degree in animal science, students might choose to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree in animal science or agriculture. With a higher degree in animal science, students can seek careers as animal or agricultural scientists, who conduct extensive field research for government agencies and private companies.
An associate's degree in animal science covers the broad topics of animal care, management, and training. Students can pursue further education or entry-level animal care jobs in both the public and private sectors.