Best Colleges with Animal Studies Programs: List of Top Schools

Learn about animal studies degree programs at the top schools for studying this field. Find out about research facilities and rankings that make these schools stand out. View article »

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  • 0:05 School Overviews
  • 0:52 Cornell University
  • 1:36 University of California
  • 2:41 Iowa State University
  • 3:36 Top Programs

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School Overviews

Degree programs in animal studies, also called animal sciences, involve several disciplines, such as animal biology, animal breeding, anatomy, nutrition, and physiology. Animal studies programs often allow students to concentrate in specific areas, such as agribusiness, equine studies, or pre-veterinary studies and they can lead to undergraduate or graduate degrees. Some of the top schools for animal studies programs are Cornell University, which is a highly-ranked Ivy League university; the University of California - Davis, and Iowa State University. Each of these schools offer undergraduate and graduate programs in animal sciences. They all have veterinary programs highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report as well.

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Cornell University was ranked #15 among national universities in 2017, and its veterinary program was ranked #2 in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report. Animal sciences programs are available through Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which is home to a ruminant center, a beef unit, and a dairy unit. The Bachelor of Science in Animal Science program allows students to create their own specialties in dairy, animal biology, or farm management, among others. At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Science in Animal Science, a Master of Professional Studies in Agriculture and Life Sciences (a non-thesis degree), a Ph.D. in Animal Science, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

University of California - Davis

The University of California at Davis was ranked #44 among national universities in 2017 and #1 for its veterinary medicine program in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report. This school offers a B.S. in Animal Science program with many concentration options, including animal behavior, genetics, conservation, reproduction, and wildlife management. Classes include molecular biology, animal breeding, and livestock judging. Students at UC Davis have numerous opportunities to study abroad, including summer programs in Europe, Thailand, and Japan, and education abroad programs in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Africa. The M.S. in Animal Biology is an interdisciplinary degree program that includes the study of animal behavior, genetics, nutrition, physiology, and ecology. Research in the Ph.D. in Animal Biology program is solution-oriented and focuses on the disciplines of physiology, genetics, ecology, behavior, and nutrition.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Animal Health Sciences
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Dairy Science
  • Farm Animal Breeding
  • Livestock Management
  • Poultry Science

Iowa State University in Ames, IA

The Department of Animal Science offers two undergraduate majors: animal science and dairy science. Within the animal science bachelor's degree program, students can specialize in pre-veterinary medicine, livestock management, animal products, pre-graduate and pre-professional studies, companion animal management, or equine management. Students pursuing a dairy science bachelor's degree may choose to specialize in pre-veterinary medicine. At the graduate level, major offerings include animal breeding and genetics, animal physiology, animal science, and meat science. Interdepartmental majors are also available. The Animal Science Department has seven teaching farms, including those for beef, sheep, and swine. For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Iowa State #51 among public schools and in 2015, #13 among veterinary medical schools.

Top Animal Studies Programs

Here are some more schools with excellent educational offerings in animal studies.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry Department manages about 6,500 acres of land for animal research Manhattan, KS
North Carolina State University at Raleigh Animal science clubs include a Collegiate Horseman's Association and Rodeo Club Raleigh, NC
Pennsylvania State University Research facilities include poultry, swine, and deer research centers University Park, PA
Purdue University Has a mentorship program for animal sciences students West Lafayette, IN
University of Florida Offers undergraduate specializations in animal biology, equine studies, and food animals Gainesville, FL
University of Georgia Animal sciences students can study abroad in Toulouse, France Athens, GA
University of Maryland - College Park On-campus farm includes horses, lambs, and other animals used for teaching College Park, MD
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities About 15 animal science scholarships are awarded annually Minneapolis, MN

Undergraduate animal science programs at top schools can prepare students for a variety of careers or future educational options, including veterinary school. Graduate programs often allow for research opportunities in the field.

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