The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Animal science (also bioscience) is described as "studying the biology of animals that are under the control of humankind". It can also be described as the production and management of farm animals. Historically, the degree was called animal husbandry and the animals studied were livestock species, like cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry, and horses. Today, courses available now look at a far broader area to include companion animals like dogs and cats, and many exotic species. Degrees in Animal Science are offered at a number of colleges and universities. Typically, the Animal Science curriculum not only provides a strong science background, but also hands-on experience working with animals on campus-based farms.
Professional education in animal science prepares students for career opportunities in areas such as animal breeding, food and fiber production, nutrition, animal agribusiness, animal behavior and welfare. Courses in a typical Animal Science program may include genetics, microbiology, animal behavior, nutrition, physiology, and reproduction. Courses in support areas, such as genetics, soils, agricultural economics and marketing, legal aspects, and the environment also are offered. All of these courses are essential to entering an animal science profession.
At many universities, a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Animal Science allows emphasis in certain areas. Typical areas are species-specific or career-specific. Species-specific areas of emphasis prepare students for a career in dairy management, beef management, swine management, sheep or small ruminant management, poultry production, or the horse industry. Other career-specific areas of study include pre-veterinary medicine studies, livestock business and marketing, animal welfare and behavior, animal nutrition science, animal reproduction science, or genetics. Youth programs are also an important part of animal science programs.
Many schools that offer a degree option in Animal Science also offer a pre-veterinary emphasis such as Iowa State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Minnesota, for example. This option provides an in-depth knowledge base of the biological and physical sciences including nutrition, reproduction, physiology, and genetics. This can prepare students for graduate studies in animal science, veterinary school, and pharmaceutical or animal science industries.
In a Master of Science degree option, students take required courses in areas that support their main interest. These courses are above courses normally required for a Bachelor of Science degree in the Animal Science major. For example, in a Ph.D. degree program students take courses related to their major that are more in-depth than those for the Master of Science degree, with an emphasis on research or teaching.
Graduate studies in animal sciences are considered preparation for upper-level positions in production, management, education, research, or agriservices. Professional study in veterinary medicine, law, and business administration are among the most commonly chosen programs by graduates. Other areas of study include growth biology, physiology, nutrition, and production systems.
In the Netherlands the program is offered at Wageningen University and Research.
In the Philippines, the program is offered in a number of schools and universities which includes, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Benguet State University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Mindanao State University, Central Luzon State University, Cavite State University, etc.
In Sweden the program is offered at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
In Tanzania the program is offered at Sokoine University of Agriculture.
In the United States, the universities offering such a program consist of Land Grant and non-Land Grant institutions such as: University of California Davis, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Iowa State University, University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, North Carolina State University, The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Purdue University, University of Vermont, South Dakota State University.