Animal Science Masters Degree Programs

The animal science master's degree program is research-intensive and teaches students advanced animal science concepts in genetics and reproduction, animal management and agricultural ecology. Continuing education is available for career advancement.

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Essential Information

With a master's degree in animal science, professionals can become animal scientists and conduct independent animal science research studies in various settings. Students learn how to conduct animal science research studies and then apply theories to practical animal science situations. Many programs offer specific areas of focus in equine studies, livestock management or sustainable agriculture.

Programs are typically 2 years in length and applicants are required to hold a bachelor's degree. Students must also send in transcripts and current GRE test scores to apply to these programs.

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Master of Science in Animal Science

Courses in an animal science master's degree combine animal life sciences, agricultural knowledge and business operation concepts for professionals looking to manage animal or agricultural organizations. Students can take advantage of animal science seminars, agriculture workshops and internship opportunities with animal clinics, schools and private agriculture businesses. Common courses include:

  • Livestock management
  • Animal reproduction
  • Agricultural science
  • Animal physiology
  • Animal genetics research

Employment Outlook and Career Information

A Master of Science in Animal Science program prepares specialists for research or post-secondary teaching positions with universities, federal agencies and private agricultural companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of opportunities for animal scientists is expected to increase by 7% from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. There were 2,430 animal scientists in the U.S. as of May 2015. The mean annual salary for animal scientists was $71,830 as of the same month.

Continuing Education Information

Although a master's degree qualifies animal science professionals for many research and teaching positions, a Ph.D. allows for greater overall career advancement. Senior and supervisory research positions with universities, federal agencies and private agricultural organizations often require animal scientists to have a Ph.D. in Animal Science or Agriculture. A Ph.D. in Animal Science also allows professionals to pursue independent consulting careers by providing information-based advice to agricultural businesses.

A master's degree in animal science prepares students for Ph.D. programs and/or careers in research, teaching, and consulting. Programs focus on the agriculture and business side of animal management.

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