What is Animal Science
Throughout history, domestic livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry and horses) have provided humans with a major source of food, fiber, pleasure and companionship. Over the last century, advances in animal feeding, breeding, reproduction and management techniques occurred simultaneously with improvement in other agricultural practices.
The rate of technological innovations in animal agriculture has accelerated in the last 20 years. Computers are revolutionizing animal production, research and marketing capabilities. Alternate feed sources have been identified; estrus synchronizing agents have been discovered; embryo transfer techniques have been developed; and new growth promoting compounds are being tested. Molecular geneticists are beginning to unravel the complexities of mammalian genes and the field of biotechnology has been born. Immunology and studies of animal behavior offer new insight into ways of enhancing animal efficiency.
Animal Science is an exciting field that has application from production through agribusiness and processing as well as in research and other scientific endeavors. We hope that the program in Animal Science at Michigan State University will fulfill your needs and expectations.
- Degree Requirements
- Academic Advising
- Career Opportunities
- Undergraduate Handbook
Special Services Requests
Please submit requests at least 10 days before the start of a semester to ensure sufficient time to make arrangements. Later requests will be met when possible.
To be recommended for a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, a student must:
- Complete one year’s work, normally the year of graduation, earning at least 30 credits in courses given by Michigan State University. A senior who has earned sufficient credits from this university and met the minimum requirements as stated below, through prior arrangement with the assistant dean of the college and the registrar, may be permitted to transfer, not to exceed 10 of the last 30 credits from an accredited 4-year college or university.
- Earn at least 27 credits on the East Lansing campus after reaching junior standing.
- Complete at least 20 credits at Michigan State University while enrolled in the major in the college in which the degree is to be earned.
- Remove any deficiencies identified by MSU placement test scores, as described in the Academic Placement Tests and Remedial-Development-Preparatory courses sections of theMSU Academic Programs Announcement.
- Complete the University requirement of 30 credits in courses approved for integrative studies or in approved substitutes, a s described in the Integrative Studies section of the MSU Academic Programs Announcement.
- Complete satisfactorily an approved program of study in a college.
- Complete a minimum of 120 credits with at least a 2.0 grade point average.
The 120 credits required for graduation are composed of both required courses and electives. A student must complete the specific required courses as listed in the Undergraduate Handbook, including required coursework in either the animal industry, animal biology and pre-veterinary medicine, companion and exotic animal biology, or production animal scholars concentrations. It is recommended although not required that students research the opportunity to complete either the Agribusiness Management or the Agricultural and Natural Resources Biotechnology Specializations in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
The livestock industry and related fields are a major component of the United States economy and career opportunities are excellent for both men and women trained in animal science.
Livestock producers are concerned with production of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, swine and poultry. These individuals and the people they employ are the cornerstone of the animal industry. They must be superb business people and be knowledgeable in meats, nutrition, genetics, behavior and physiology. In addition, they must know how to manage livestock and have marketing expertise.
The food processing industry is a major employer of animal science graduates. This segment of the industry not only is concerned with marketing meat, milk and eggs in the usual sense. It is also involved in fabrication of new products, production of specialty food items and development of products that will appeal to a health-conscious public. This progressive component of animal agriculture hires animal science graduates as livestock buyers, quality control specialists, plant managers and sales personnel.
ANIMAL FEED/HEALTH INDUSTRY
Pharmaceutical organizations, livestock product companies and feed companies are constantly seeking bright, energetic young people to enter research groups, sales forces and consulting agencies dealing with both commercial livestock production and companion animals. Animal science students may also become veterinarians and be involved in primary health care.
COMMUNICATION AND SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS
Breed associations, livestock commodity groups, artificial insemination services and government agencies employ animal science students as representatives of their organizations. Likewise, livestock publications, newspapers, television stations, advertising agencies and public relations firms need talented people who can communicated about agriculture. Communication skills are a necessity in all fields, and animal science students can turn these skills into satisfying careers. Other service organizations such as banks, insurance companies, real estate agencies and power companies employ agricultural representatives in positions which require a background in animal agriculture.
Research designed to improve efficiency and quality of domestic animals and to solve livestock-related problems is conducted by a number of agencies including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), universities and private companies. Therefore, individuals with bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in animal science have an opportunity for rewarding careers in research. With recent advances in computer science and biotechnology, persons trained in these areas will become even more competitive.
EDUCATION AND EXTENSION
A student majoring in animal science may qualify to teach vocational agriculture in high school under a program of study cooperatively developed by the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education. Animal science majors may also find employment with the Cooperative Extension Service working as a county agent. People with advanced degrees in animal science are needed to teach in colleges and universities. All of these teaching fields will require animal science graduates to meet the needs of the future.
Animal agriculture is a huge component in the American economy. It not only involves livestock production, but also encompasses marketing, public affairs, transportation, processing, research, companion animal management and a myriad of allied specialties. Animal science is a challenging field with many employment opportunities.
WHAT IS THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM?
The Michigan State University Animal Science Internship Program is designed for students who wish to gain industry experience in animal agriculture. The program allows for emphasis in beef, dairy, equine, poultry, swine and other animal agriculture related areas. Individuals may pursue internships in any industry sector which includes but is not limited to biotechnology, communications, marketing and production.
DO INTERNSHIPS INCLUDE WAGES AND LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS?
Many internships are paid and also include a place to live. However, the wages and living accommodations vary. Many host companies will consider the intern as an employee and compensate for work services. However, it is important to know that some internships will not be paid. Generally, the internship contact at the host company will aid in locating living provisions. In fact, some companies will provide living accommodations for the intern. When establishing an internship opportunity with a company, please ask questions on wages and finding a place to live.
FACULTY INTERACTION ON YOUR INTERNSHIP
The primary goal of Animal Science faculty is to make your internship an educational and enjoyable experience. If a problem arises while interning, or if you have a question please contact MSU faculty at your earliest convenience.
HOW DO I OBTAIN AN INTERNSHIP?
Turn in a professional resume to the internship coordinator. The resume should let us know about you, your work experiences extra curricular activities and references. Turn this information into Ms. Tracy Rich, our office suite manager, in 1250 Anthony Hall. Once all information is returned please make an appointment with Dennis Banks to discuss further options in obtaining your internship. In the mean time, please be looking for possible places to intern. The faculty will make every effort to help you in locating the internship of your choice. However, the more you work on generating internship possibilities the higher the chance you will have of obtaining an internship.
If you have question about the undergraduate program, please contact Tracy Rich, Undergraduate Office Assistant at:
474 S. Shaw Lane Rm. 1250
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824