Animal Sciences

Major Description

Animal Sciences is diverse and complex, covering not only the traditional production and management areas of livestock, horses, and companion animals, but also the basic sciences such as reproduction, physiology, genetics, and nutrition. It is centered on the biology, production, management, and care of animals. Animal scientists are involved in all phases of domestic animal production, research, sales, service, business, and education.


There are three concentrations currently offered. 


Designed for students intending to pursue a career in those industries generally not associated with traditional meat animal or dairy production. Students will take courses that prepare them for careers in specialized fields of animal care, animal health and animal well-being associated with zoos, kennels, research laboratories, and the racing industry.

Specifically designed for students interested in graduate school, professional training, or technical positions after the undergraduate degree. It is intended to satisfy most entrance requirements to post-graduate programs and emphasizes basic science courses. The concentration enables a student to complete all of the pre-veterinary science requirements while working towards a B.S. degree.

Designed for students intending to pursue a career in animal care and management or one of the associated food production industries. It emphasizes the scientific disciplines and the application of technology involved in animal production and animal products, as well as providing the opportunity to enhance a student's practical knowledge through business courses.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • ANSC 100—Intro to Animal Sciences
  • CHEM 102/103—General Chemistry I / General Chemistry Lab I

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:
  • Ability to identify and address needs of individual customers
  • Ability to manage an animal production facility
  • Ability to supervise and manage diverse employees
  • Hands-on experience with a variety of animal species
  • Knowledge and understanding of the physical and biological sciences
  • Marketing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Understanding of basic business principles
  • Breeding Program Specialist
  • Companion Animal Sales Representative
  • Dairy Herd Manager
  • Dairy Management Consultant
  • Feed Formulation Specialist
  • Lab Animal Care Technician
  • Poultry Project Leader
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Veterinary Science Student

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Companion Animals Club: promotes enjoyment of companion animals through related activities, such as volunteer opportunities and social events, while providing career and educational resources for its members.
    • Hoof and Horn: educates students interested in animal agriculture and its related industries.
    • Pre-Vet Club: designed to give students information on different fields of veterinary medicine and other animal-related careers. We invite speakers to talk about their careers and the opportunities it has offered them. Some of the speakers include equine veterinarians, chiropractors, wildlife veterinarians, researchers, specialists, veterinary students, the Dean of Admissions of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and more.  We also attend the annual APVMA symposium, fundraise at the Illini football and basketball games, visit zoos, volunteer in the Large Animal Intensive Care Unit at the U of I Vet School, and provide many wet labs with veterinarians such as avian radiology.
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Animal Science.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Animal Science.  These organizations include American Animal Hospital Association  and American Society of Animal Science.