Dairy Science

There’s no better place to start building a dairy science career. When you study with us, you’ll get all of the opportunities of a large, world-class university, but you’ll also be part of a close-knit department and a small college (the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has about 2,000 undergraduates). You’ll be assigned a faculty advisor shortly after you arrive, and you’ll be on a first-name basis with your fellow dairy science students. Your professors will be your mentors, guiding you one-on-one as you learn and make career choices.

The “America’s Dairyland” nickname fits Wisconsin well. A vibrant, $20 billion dairy industry generates more than half of the state’s agricultural income. Wisconsin ranks first in the nation for number of dairy herds and second in milk production and number of cows.

Our curriculum takes advantage of Wisconsin’s great diversity of dairy farming systems and technologies. Students get a well-rounded, real-world understanding of the business of dairy production.

Demand for Our Graduates Exceeds Supply

A UW-Madison degree in Dairy Science prepares you for a career in research, teaching, agribusiness, public service or dairy production. A Dairy Science major is also great preparation for veterinary, graduate, medical, business, or law school. Here are some of the fields where our graduates find jobs:

  • Sales, marketing and international agribusiness
  • Dairy Herd Management
  • *Veterinary Medicine
  • Animal nutrition consulting
  • *Agricultural communications
  • Breed associations
  • Livestock breeding and genetics
  • Agricultural education and Extension
  • Agricultural policy
  • Dairy research
  • Biotechnology
  • Information technology

Learn to Communicate

Our students graduate with more than a sophisticated understanding of dairying and the science behind it. They also learn how to communicate their expertise. Our curriculum places an emphasis on the written and oral communication skills that are essential for success in every career.

Fit Your Education to Your Interests

The Dairy Science major offers a standard set of curriculum requirements, while also allowing students to explore different areas of study within Dairy Science.  The Dairy Science curriculum sheet contains lists of recommended electives for specializations in pre-vet, research, agri-business, and dairy operation management, as well as cross-disciplinary elective suggestions.

Learn Outside of Class

If you want to spend time with people who share your keen interest in dairying, join the Badger Dairy Club. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the field and people working in it. Club members work behind the scenes at World Dairy Expo, sponsor a registered consignment sale, and travel to regional American Dairy Science Association conferences and to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

If you want to hone your abilities to judge cows, you’ll want to join the UW-Madison Dairy Judging Team. Badger teams travel to six national contests and routinely place among the top contenders. In intercollegiate dairy judging, UW-Madison maintains a tradition of excellence.

  • Learn Off-Campus
    Getting practical work experience is part and parcel of a dairy science education at UW-Madison. Every student is required to do at least one internship. As our graduates will tell you, internships are a great way to get practical experience and make invaluable industry contacts while earning college credit.
  • Cows on Campus
    At UW-Madison, you learn about cows by studying cows. About 90 head – about a third of the UW-Madison’s main research and teaching herd – are housed right on campus, just a block from the Animal Science building. Having cows on campus provides a great opportunity for you to participate in hands-on learning and research.
  • Learn from the Best
    No school in the world has a better reputation for dairy science education and research than the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and no school turns out more top industry leaders. Our faculty members are highly regarded by their peers around the world, and you’ll find our graduates in top positions throughout the industry. It’s no wonder that students come from around the world to study here.

Financial Assistance

The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences awards more than $400,000 in scholarships each year to freshman and continuing students. Many scholarships are specifically designated for students pursuing Dairy Science degrees.

For more information contact the Department of Dairy Science:

Prospective Student Services: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Office of Academic Affairs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an AA/EEO institution. University policies create additional protection that prohibits harassment on the basis of cultural background and ethnicity. Inquires concerning these policies may be directed to the appropriate campus admitting or employing unit or to the Equity and Diversity Resource Center, 179-A, Bascom Hall, (608) 263-2378, TTY (608) 263-2473.