Students with a love of animals who want to turn that interest into a career can pursue bachelor's degrees in animal science. This four-year degree can lead to a range of career opportunities, including animal technician, farm manager or research manager. Before enrolling in an animal science undergraduate program, students should consider the program's structure and courseload to see whether it works for them.
Students who work toward an animal science bachelor's degree develop a number of skills that will help them as they pursue careers in the field. Undergraduate animal science programs at schools across the country teach students about animal biology, the animal industry and scientific equipment. On a more general level, students build their teamwork, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills they will need when they start their careers in the field.
A bachelor's degree in animal science takes students four years to complete. In animal science programs at schools such as Angelo State University and Michigan State University, for example, students complete 120 credits to graduate. Students complete basic general education courses outside their major before jumping into an animal-science courseload. Many programs, including the one at North Carolina State University, include an internship, where students can apply the animal science knowledge they have learned in class in a real-world setting.
Bachelor's degree students in animal science take a range of courses during the four-year program. Courses at Michigan State University include Ethical Issues in Animal Agriculture, Principles of Animal Feeding and Nutrition; and Anatomy and Physiology of Farm Animals. Students can also expect to take general science courses such as biology and chemistry. They also might study about specific animals in courses such as Beef Cattle Management, Swine Management and Horse Management. Students can also select electives in agriculture, wildlife management or food science to supplement their studies.
A number of colleges and universities across the country offer animal science degrees for undergraduate students. Students at North Carolina State University can earn a bachelor's degree in animal science and can supplement their studies with a minor in a complementary field. Animal science students at Rutgers University can work on the on-campus farm for hands-on practice in the field. Angelo State University and Michigan State University also offer undergraduate bachelor's of science degrees.