Animal science majors learn about food animals, such as chickens, cows and pigs, and the management behind their use. They study nutrition and breeding, and learn how to apply their knowledge to livestock operations, the agriculture industry, and farming. Students take basic classes in natural science, biology and biotechnology, which serve as a foundation to help them understand the basics of animal science. More advanced coursework includes specific classes in the areas of animal physiology, management of animals, and animal growth and development. Students learn about the animal meat industry through courses such as meat science and muscle biology and the consumer selection and utilization of meat products. Curriculum also concentrates on topics like livestock and meat evaluation, animal reproduction, equine science, and animal breeding.
A degree in animal sciences can prepare individuals for careers in farm range production and management, agribusiness, quality control, and veterinary medicine. Common job titles include farm manager, animal technician, livestock buyer, dairy nutrition specialist, and animal breeder. Employment opportunities are typically available at meat and dairy processors, inspection services, breed organizations, and agricultural agencies. The federal government also offers employment in the area of animal science with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration. Scientifically-minded individuals who have an interest in natural resources and how they are utilized to sustain human life may want to consider majoring in animal science. A degree in this field is also useful for anyone who wishes to continue their education in the areas of scientific research and veterinary medicine.