Thinking about studying Animal Science in college? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are many aspects you need to consider, including classes you should take in high school, colleges with the best programs, and what you can do with your degree after you graduate. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare for a successful future in Animal Science.
High school classes
The classes you take in high school often determine what classes you’ll have to take once you get to college. If you’re interested in Animal Science, you’ll need a solid background in science and math. When researching colleges, take a look and see what classes they require for an Animal Science degree, then go back into your old schedules and see what classes you’ve already taken so you don’t retake them unless necessary. Some colleges do require you to take the same classes you did in high school, just at a college level. Biology is one of the main classes you’ll take, so you’ll want to ace that class for a better shot at a more advanced science class your first year of college. You may also need multiple math classes, such as calculus.
The classes you’ll take at a college level may be similar to the classes you took in high school at first, but once you continue throughout each semester, they’ll become much more challenging. Some schools recommend taking electives such as agricultural production, anatomy and physiology, computer applications, and food and nutrition to help prepare you for college. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find local schools or other places that offer classes for free or a small fee. These can really help you learn more about Animal Science and see if you’d like to pursue this major in the future.
Finding a great college for Animal Science
Undoubtedly, deciding on a college is always a big decision with many factors to consider. But if you’re looking to get into one of the best colleges for Animal Science, consider these options:
- Texas A&M University–College Station
- Iowa State University
- Purdue University (main campus)
- South Dakota State University
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Auburn University
- University of Nebraska–Lincoln
- North Carolina State University
- Michigan State University
- University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Many colleges offer Animal Science as a major, but there’s also the option to take the specialty of Pre-veterinary Medicine at some colleges. Some students would like to stay close to home for college and not pay out-of-state prices, so if there’s a college close to home and you want to see if they have Animal Science as a major, go to their website and do some research. Many big-name colleges are likely to offer this major, but not all schools will. If a college's most popular majors include Biology, the chances of them offering Animal Science are greater than a school whose most popular majors are Business, Engineering, or Marketing. Take Texas A&M, for example: Biological & Biomedical Sciences is one of their most popular majors, unlike a school such as the University of Notre Dame, which is well known for majors like Economics, Finance, Political Science, and Government.
Career options after college
Not sure what you can do with an Animal Science degree after you graduate college? Most people think you can only become a veterinarian (after additional years at veterinary school), but that is far from the truth—there are plenty of careers you could pursue. Some other interesting jobs you can get with this degree include:
- Agricultural scientist
- Animal conservationist
- Animal ethicist
- Animal health and welfare professional
- Animal nutritionist
- Biosecurity researcher
- Environmental policymaker
Some students begin an internship in college after they figure out what job they’d like to pursue after they graduate, giving them a taste of what they could be doing with their degree. If you’re still not sure what you want to do, consider digging deeper into what further education could bring you, whether it’s a better job in the future, an occupation you’d like to work toward, or additional degrees through grad school. Jobs associated with Animal Science vary from working with animals to educating others about animals. Never doubt your decision about the degree you choose—you’ll find your way and hopefully a job that you’re passionate about.
There are numerous factors to consider before jumping into an Animal Science program. You need to know what high school classes will prepare you to take on this major in college, what school would be the best fit for you, and what careers you can pursue after you graduate. Animal Science may be just the major you need to make you happy, or maybe you're just exploring your options. Either way, Animal Science is a great choice, so keep it in mind as you continue researching colleges and majors.
Thinking about pursuing a STEM field in college? Check out all the helpful advice in our Science & Engineering section.