Many 4-year colleges and universities across the U.S. offer animal science programs. Individuals with an interest in animal science may want to begin the school selection process by researching agriculture-focused land-grant institutions; however, students also have a broad range of options in regard to schools that offer animal science degrees but are not land-grant colleges.
Top Animal Science Schools
The schools listed here are those deemed the best by the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings, and tuition rates are based on the 2015-2016 information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,116 (undergrad); $29,581 (graduate)|
|University of California--Davis||Davis, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,951 in-state, $38,659 out-of-state|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$6,381 in-state, $28,659 out-of-state (undergrad); $12,737 in-state, $29,302 out-of-state (graduate)|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,560 in-state, $36,360 out-of-state (undergrad); $16,122 in-state, $31,674 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,415 in-state, $29,665 out-of-state (undergrad); $11,870 in-state, $25,196 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,790 in-state, $22,210 out-of-state (undergrad); $17,289 in-state, $25,953 out-of-state (graduate)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Before choosing a program, consider the following:
- Animal science students may seek training in specialized types of farming, such as organic dairy farming, or animal management for laboratory or companion purposes.
- A student whose goal is to work in the processing or marketing side of the animal science business can inquire as to whether certain schools have good relationships with industries that offer internships.
- Students who are focused on animal breeding should seek schools that offer relevant coursework and have lab facilities.
- The amount of time and money required vary greatly between bachelor's and graduate degrees.
Animal Science Program Overviews
Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science
The coursework in a bachelor's degree program in animal science typically combines core classes in subjects, such as biology and chemistry, with animal science-specific courses, such as animal selection and farm management. Graduates can choose to further their education or seek careers in agriculture or animal production.
Master's Degree in Animal Science
Students can earn graduate degrees such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Animal Science, an M.S. in Endocrinology and Animal Biosciences or a Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture. At the graduate level, students can specialize in several areas of the animal science field, including endocrine physiology, lactation and reproduction, nutrition and genomics. Master's degree programs in animal science typically involve coursework, supervised laboratory research, teaching experiences and completion of a thesis. Some programs, such as the Master of Professional Studies, don't require a thesis.
Ph.D. in Animal Science
Doctoral degrees in animal science prepare students for careers in scientific research at universities or government establishments. This degree level requires mastery of at least one animal science concentration. Doctoral students prepare a research dissertation and act as teaching assistants in undergraduate courses.
Animal science degree programs are available at many different schools in the U.S. and are often found at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Graduate degrees in the field will prepare students for high-level careers within the industry, giving them the opportunity to work in a research capacity for governmental or educational institutions.