An animal science doctorate degree program is the most advanced degree in the field and requires several years of study and research. Most Ph.D. programs allow students to focus on a particular animal science niche, such as equine management, reproductive physiology or animal nutrition. Students are required to complete a doctoral dissertation presenting new research in animal science. Doctorate programs require students to have any bachelor's degree and a master's degree in animal science or a related field.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Animal Health Sciences
- Animal Nutrition
- Dairy Science
- Farm Animal Breeding
- Livestock Management
- Poultry Science
Ph.D. in Animal Science
Animal science Ph.D. programs offer research-intensive courses that focus on biological and physical aspects of animal science. Most programs require students to conduct independent research outside of traditional classrooms, and many courses allow for hands-on experience with animals and agricultural settings. Common courses include:
- Animal reproduction
- Principles of animal welfare
- Equine genetics and reproduction
- Agricultural ecology
- Animal genomics and bioinformatics
- Animal nutrition
Employment Outlook and Career Information
Animal scientists represent a small percentage of all agricultural scientists. Of approximately 36,100 agricultural scientists in 2014, only 2,900 were animal scientists, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS projected 7% job growth for animal scientists from 2014-2024, about as fast as the average for all careers. As of May 2015, the average annual salary for animal scientists was $71,830.
Animal scientists are employed by federal and government agencies, agricultural companies and health and safety organizations. Some animal scientists are also consultants for agricultural companies. With a doctorate degree, professionals can also seek postsecondary teaching positions within colleges and universities.
Students interested in working as animal scientists, researchers, or educators can pursue a Ph.D. in Animal Science. These programs cover a wide range of animal science topics through research and hands-on experience.