Online School for Dairy Science: How to Choose

Those interested in the dairy sciences may use this article to review what to look out for when looking at different dairy science programs. Though they are rare, this article will help you explore some of the online programs and schools that offer training in dairy science.

How to Select an Online Dairy Science School

Students considering online dairy science schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Campus-based dairy science programs are uncommon, and online dairy science programs are even more rare, since most programs require students to have access to dairy animals. This hands-on learning allows for practical experience conducting research, monitoring the health of dairy cattle and milking the animals. A handful of universities offer a certificate program in dairy science online through continuing education, which students can complete in one year. Students then need to weigh the technical requirements along with their career goals.

Technical Requirements

In addition to having access to a computer with Internet access, students enrolled in an online program may need to have a CD-ROM drive available. Certain certificate programs require students to complete weekly assignments by responding to case studies and questions featured on CD-ROMs, which are provided to the students. Students may also need to have the capability to participate in synchronous online learning activities with classmates, such as online discussions, although these requirements may vary by school. Some schools offer their online courses through an electronic course management system as well.

Career Goals

Some certificate programs allow undergraduates or graduates to receive course credit. Veterinarians may be able to receive continuing education credit. For those involved in the feed service industry or who own or manage dairy farms, online programs can provide up-to-date information provided in the online program and further their professional or business development.

Online Dairy Science Program

Online Certificate in Dairy Science

Students learn about broad topics in dairy production and management, including genetics, vaccinations, nutrition, overall bovine health, business records and general care of calves and heifers. Other courses delve into more detailed aspects of dairy science and may deal with milk secretion and udder health as well as how forage crops can support dairy cattle nutrition. Other topics can include:

  • Reproductive physiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Waste management
  • Product marketing
  • Freestall design

Schools with Online Programs in Dairy Science

The University of Illinois offers a professional development series of courses that students may complete to earn a certificate of completion in dairy science. This series may be used to earn undergraduate credit, graduate credit or continuing credit for veterinarians. The courses review basic dairy concepts while teaching students of the applied research and knowledge of the industry.

Kansas State University offers an animal science bachelor's degree program that may be completed online and includes courses in dairy science. The courses in this program prepare students for careers in the production, management, marketing, distribution and sale of the food industry, including dairy.

Though dairy science programs are hard to find, and online programs in the filed are even harder to find, a few school do offer online courses that students my use to improve their understanding of the dairy industry. Some of these programs award certificates while others are a part of a larger animal science program.

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