Animal Sciences

The world’s human population and its demands on the earth’s resources continues to grow. The ever-increasing need for protein and nutrients calls for a productive and sustainable animal agricultural system which balances the realities of population size and the natural resource base.

Animal Sciences combines science and technology as they apply to the production, management and distribution of livestock for food, fiber and recreation. Additionally, it is an appropriate major for biologists interested in animals and eventual careers after Veterinary, Medical, Dental or Graduate School.

A full range of courses are available that can be tailored to fit individual needs and interests. This combination of quality and flexibility has made us the fastest growing CALS department in recent years.

Where You’ll be Learning

The department’s faculty includes specialists in genetics, reproduction, nutrition, physiology, meat science, marketing and management immunology. With the highly-trained teaching staff, students in the Department of Animal Sciences gain valuable knowledge and much hands-on experience. The Department of Animal Sciences is centered in the Animal Sciences Building, which contains classrooms, laboratories, vivarium, a student library and student reading room. Steenbock Library, which serves the agricultural campus, is within one block of the department Animal Sciences Building, as are the Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory, Stock Pavilion, Equine Center, Livestock Laboratory, Poultry Laboratory, and other facilities. Students gain hands-on contact with sheep, horses, poultry, fish, swine, beef cattle and meat, as well as other tissues and fluids.

Additional teaching and research facilities are available at the UW Experiment Station at Arlington Arlington Agricultural Research Station. These include the sheep unit farm; turkey and chicken research units; beef feedlot cattle center, and purebred Angus, Polled Hereford and Simmental herds, as well as a swine research and instruction facility teaching center. Other experimental agricultural research stations throughout the state add to the department’s resource base with major departmental involvement at Spooner and Lancaster.

A Bright and flexible future

The undergraduate curriculum helps students explore a variety of career opportunities. Possibilities cover a diverse range from work with feed and seed companies to teaching; from broadcasting to international agriculture, from farm management to cutting edge research.

Career opportunities exist in:

  • Advertising/Promotions
  • Agribusiness
  • Agricultural Journalism
  • Commercial Production
  • Equipment Design/Sales/Service
  • Exotic Animal Care
  • Extension Service
  • Farm Management
  • Feed Formulation/Service
  • Field Service
  • Finance/Banking
  • Food Science
  • Genetics and Breeding
  • Hatchery Management
  • International Work
  • Market Analysis/Reporting
  • Nutrition
  • Physiology
  • Processing Plant Management
  • Product Technology/Development
  • Regulation (State/Federal)
  • Research
  • Sales
  • Specialty Production
  • Teaching
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Wildlife Programs

Students entering the department should have a background in the physical and biological sciences. However, a farm or animal related background is not required. In fact, over half of departmental undergraduates were not raised on a farm.

Experiences Outside of Class

Animal Sciences, through the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, provides an opportunity for students to obtain practical experience and learn more about potential career opportunities through their participation in coordinative internships. Animal Sciences students gain experience in positions including veterinary assistants, research technicians, meat buyers, pharmaceutical marketers, farm managers, reproductive technicians, nutritionists, etc.

Student clubs provide experience and leadership opportunities in a fun, social setting. Saddle and Sirloin Club, Poultry Science Club, Meat Animal Evaluation Team and annual Animal Science Study Tour are groups which make Animal Sciences students some of the most active on campus.

Departmental Work Study and Research

Recent graduates tell us that some of their most valuable college experiences were gained as a result of their participation in animal and biological research being conducted in departmental laboratories and farms.

Financial Assistance is Available

The college of Agricultural and Life Sciences provides more than 300 scholarships averaging $900 per year. Animal Sciences students have been aided by over 100 of these awards in recent years, based on their need, academic scholarship and/or extra-curricular activities. Many students with established need received low-interest loans and work study programs, within the Department of Animal Sciences.

For more information contact the Department of Animal Sciences:

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.