What is Animal Science?

About Animal Science image of students and light brown horse

 What is Animal Science?

Animal science is the biological science and management of domestic livestock, including  beef cattle, horses, sheep, swine and companion animals. Students learn the science, art and practical methods of caring for, improving and managing livestock and companion animals. 

An agricultural background is not needed for you to be comfortable in animal science. You'll make friends, get to know your teachers, have fun and grow professionally by joining the animal science clubs, including the Block & Bridle Club or Pre-Vet Club. 

As an animal science student, you may compete for positions on the Livestock and Equine Judging teams and travel to participate in regional competitions. You may also join the Academic Quadrathlon or Meats Quizbowl teams and compete in local and regional contests.

At the University of Arkansas, the animal science major includes three concentrations. Students may choose to focus their studies in general animal enterprise, pre-professional studies or equine science. Each concentration prepares students for different career fields, so students should think carefully before choosing a concentration.

Preparing for the Future

Your education in animal science will prepare you for the dynamic, ever-changing agricultural environment. You'll gain skills that will help you adapt to future job market conditions, including:

  • leadership 
  • communication  
  • problem-solving
  • technical-knowledge

Your interest in animals and science may hold the key to an exciting future in the animal industry - a field that includes a wide variety of career choices. As a U of A graduate with a degree in animal science, you'll join a group that finds good jobs and productive careers. You will be prepared for jobs in:

  • Feed and feed additive sales and technical services
  • Cooperative Extension Service
  • Production management
  • Management and promotion of  commodity
  • Processing and marketing of livestock products
  • Banking for agricultural ventures
  • Quality control and regulatory compliance
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Equine management
  • And many more areas...

Personalize Your Degree

Faculty will work closely with you, as you learn to apply scientific principles to the production of beef, dairy, swine, horses and companion animals. You'll also learn computerized management of animal genetics, health, reproduction and nutrition. An academic advisor will help you select classes and design an educational program to fit your career goals. You will need a set of core courses, but you have the freedom to customize your degree.

Course requirements include:

  • biological and physical sciences
  • communications
  • humanities
  • social sciences
  • agriculture

...as well as the courses you choose in the area of animal science.

 Animal science course options include:

  • Animal Breeding
  • Beef, Swine, Horse, Sheep or Milk Production
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Companion Animal Management
  • Equine Science
  • Diseases of Farm Animals
  • Reproductive Physiology
  • Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation