Animal Science

Learn about the care and management of a wide variety of animals. This major allows you to focus on farm animals, zoo animals, horses, or pets. Or you can focus on business within the animal industry.

Your studies will include animal health, animal biology, nutrition, breeding and production, genetics, and business management.

What can I specialize in with this major?

Students in the Animal Science major choose one of these tracks:

Animal Science

  • Companion Animals, such as pets: This track combines animal sciences (including animal biology, nutrition, and health) with a focus on the behaviors and societal impact of pets.
  • Equine / Horses: Combine core animal sciences with a focus on horses and the horse industry.
  • Industry and Business: This track focuses on business, communication, and technical animal science. You'll be prepared for a variety of careers in agribusiness.
  • Production: This track focuses on food animals or on exotic/zoo animals. It prepares students for careers in livestock management, animal nutrition, animal reproduction, zoo keeping, or wild animal rehabilitation.
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine/Science: This track meets the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine's entrance requirements, and prepares students for other careers related to animal science.
  • VetFast / Veterinary Medicine for Food Production Animals: The U of M's VetFast Program is a fast-track to veterinary school for students who want to work with livestock animals.

What jobs can I get with this major?

Among many job choices, Animal Science graduates might work at an animal-related corporation, pharmaceutical company, research lab, veterinary clinic, farm, biotechnology company, or pet supply company. Our graduates go on to work in industry, education, nonprofits, and governmental agencies. Some students go on to pursue graduate degrees in veterinary medicine, medical school, and other fields.

See a list of sample job titles and career-related information from the Career and Internship Services office. All CFANS students can get individual assistance from this office.

Why choose CFANS for this major?

CFANS offers many hands-on learning experiences for this major, which is important for anyone who wants to work with animals. We'll give you the chance to gain experience in small or large veterinary hospitals, livestock barns, and modern research labs, right on the St. Paul campus. Our Animal Science department includes multiple award-winning faculty members and advisors.

CFANS is also proud to house the Animal Science Meat Laboratory and retail store, which draws customers from throughout the region, and offers a unique experience for students.

What classes are required? What's the curriculum like?

Animal Science has a broad and flexible curriculum. You'll focus on science-based classes related to animal care, animal production, animal biology and genetics. You'll also develop skills you can use in clinics or laboratories, or learn about business management for the animal industry.

CFANS provides hands-on opportunities to work with many production animals, such as dairy and beef cattle, sheep, hogs, and poultry. For the Companion Animal and Equine tracks, you'll learn about these animals through class demonstrations and workshops. Your faculty advisor will help you select an internship or thesis project that fits your interests and career goals.

Find requirements for this major in the University Catalog. For class guides and information about academic planning, see the Department of Animal Science website, where you'll find Curriculum Planning Guides for each track (with lists of classes).

After you're admitted to CFANS, you'll work with an academic adviser to enroll in classes that fulfill the major's requirements. Your CFANS advisor will help guide you toward academic success.