There are many animal-related degree courses for students hoping to find future employment in the animal industry. It is also possible to major in an area that is not specifically “animal-related” (such as marketing, business administration, or education) and to combine that course of study with a minor in an animal-related area.
Here are some of the most popular animal-related degree programs.
Animal behavior programs are generally graduate level courses of study that a student can pursue after completing an undergraduate degree in biology, psychology, animal science, or a related field. Animal behaviorists generally achieve a Master’s degree or Ph.D. in the field. Coursework may include etiology, biology, ecology, anatomy & physiology, zoology, animal science, psychology, and statistics.
Animal science majors pursue a course of study that usually focuses primarily on the management of livestock species such as cattle, horses, pigs, goats, and sheep. The study of companion animal species is included to some degree in many programs.
Coursework may include topics in behavior, production, meat science, reproduction, genetics, nutrition, ration formulation, agricultural marketing, biology, chemistry, and statistics. Animal science graduates can work in many fields or pursue graduate studies in veterinary medicine, reproduction, nutrition, etc. Animal science programs are offered by many colleges and universities.
Biology majors study a variety of topics such as microbiology, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, ecology, genetics, immunology, development, anatomy, and physiology.
The biology degree is particularly versatile and can provide a path to dozens of animal-related careers or graduate level studies depending on the specific courses the undergraduate chooses to pursue. Nearly all colleges and universities offer a biology degree, and it is also a very common graduate offering.
Dairy science majors study dairy cattle management topics including milk production, nutrition, herd health, reproduction, genetics, and marketing. Students who graduate from these programs are qualified to work as dairy farmers, dairy managers, or in other related dairy positions.
Majors in equine science, the study of horses, study equine management topics including equine exercise physiology, reproduction, anatomy and physiology, behavior, nutrition, training methods, and topics in business management or marketing.
Some equine science programs include significant hands-on riding and competition experience in various disciplines. Equine science programs are offered by many colleges and universities; an equine science minor is also a popular option for those studying animal science or biology.
Poultry science programs focus on poultry management topics such as egg production, meat production, reproduction, anatomy and physiology, genetics, nutrition, ration formulation, biotechnology, business management, and marketing.
Veterinary technology majors study a variety of topics relating to animal health, disease transmission, anatomy, physiology, and proper use of medical equipment. Veterinary technology graduates are eligible to sit for the national licensing exam which grants them certification as veterinary technicians.
Graduates from veterinary technology programs may work as veterinary technicians, veterinary pharmaceutical sales representatives, and related positions.
Zoology programs may focus on topics such as general zoology, marine biology, wildlife biology, ecology, behavior, nutrition, reproduction, cell biology, developmental biology, chemistry, physics, and statistics.
Zoologists are qualified to work in zoos, in research positions, in wildlife conservation organizations, or related positions.