Animal Science

Animal science is the study of animals that live alongside humans. Around the world, humans rely on animals for food, fiber, labor and companionship. Animal scientists help us understand and manage these animals.

Animal Science Illustration

Training the next generation

Only about 1 percent of the United States population is directly involved in agriculture, meaning that they would classify themselves as a farmer or rancher. This has led many people to question the value as an animal science college degree, leading some to rank animal science as a worthless college major.

However, people with degrees in animal science don't just become farmers and ranchers, they also go into jobs to support the massive animal industry. Animal science majors could be anything from animal caregivers, to an animal nutritionists, to a feed salesmen, to a molecular geneticists. People with bachelors, masters and PhDs in animal science are and will continue to be in great demand. Therefore, it is essential that we continue to educate people in the animal sciences. For more information on possible jobs for students with degrees in animal science, click here.

Unique educational strategies

Animal science college departments prepare students for careers in production agriculture, veterinary medicine, and the livestock industry, just to name a few. Most college departments rely on a heavily science-based curriculum supplemented with an active hands-on experiential learning component. Some faculty have found extremely creative ways to push their students to achieve excellence. Professors teach students to handle animals and treat animal illnesses. One such example is called Heifer in Your Tank, which was developed at the University of Alberta and is explained in the video below:


Another example is the development of International Service Learning courses, as has been done by Dr. Mark Russell at Purdue University. As animal science and animal agriculture becomes increasingly globalized, it is becoming increasingly importance to expand students' view of animal agriculture. International Service Learning is a great way to do this because it immerses the students in another culture. The video below details the impact of one such course:

Animals and Food Security in Haiti: The Impact of Service Learning from Scott Radcliffe on Vimeo.

Jr Animal Scientist

A Jr. Animal Scientist membership is a great way for kids to learn about science and the animal world.

Through the Jr. Animal Scientist magazine and special online resources, kids can learn about pets, farm animals and zoo animals. Scientific information is tailored for kids ages 5 to 9 (K-3rd grades). Eye-catching photos and exciting animal activities add to the fun! Plus, all Jr. Animal Scientists get special prizes just for joining.

Join today