- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Animal sciences is the study of domestic animals, including their nutrition, genetics, breeding, welfare, physiology, and use in animal production systems.
Washington State University offers two concentration options in animal science: animal management and pre-veterinary medicine. You can add an animal science minor to virtually any agricultural or science-oriented major.
Specialization tracks available
- Learn in some of the most complete and modern college facilities in the nation, including the WSU Dairy Center, the Feed Preparation Laboratory, and the Ensminger Beef Center.
- Receive one-on-one advising from experienced and dedicated professors committed to your career goals.
- Benefit from the animal science program's close relationship with the University's College of Veterinary Medicine work toward a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
- Learn from award-winning faculty who are recognized nationally for their teaching and research programs. WSU animal science and general agriculture faculty are ranked in the top 10 nationally for their research productivity and influence.
- You can join a math, science, and engineering community residence hall at WSU Pullman—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Participate in department clubs and judging teams; there are several to choose from.
- Get hands-on experience in the animal science department’s dairy, beef, swine, horse, aquaculture, and companion animal centers.
The animal science major is a practical, science-based program that focuses on biological systems related to livestock and other animal species. Animal science applies this scientific base to the production and management of animals and includes the study of animal behavior, well-being, and husbandry.
WSU offers a wide range of animal science courses. Here are just a few examples of the topics you might study:
- Companion Animal Management
- Rights & Welfare of Animals
- Feeds and Feeding
- Artificial Insemination & Pregnancy Detection
- Dairy Cattle Management
- Beef Cow Calf Management
- Animal Genetics
- Reproduction of Farm Animals
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
The animal science major offers especially valuable benefits to pre-veterinary students.
- Hands-on experience in the animal science department’s dairy, beef, swine, horse, aquaculture, and companion animal centers.
- A low student-to-faculty ratio, which means you can get one-on-one advising from nationally recognized faculty who are dedicated to helping you reach your goal.
- A close working relationship with the University's College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Classes that focus on the nutrition, reproduction, and breeding and genetics of domestic and companion animals.
The prerequisites for the WSU School of Veterinary Medicine DVM program are built into the animal sciences pre-veterinary track.
As an animal science major, in addition to the pre-veterinary requirements, you can also take courses like these:
Physiology of Domestic Animals
Feeds and Feeding
Principles of Nutrition
Animal Breeding and Genetics
Reproduction of Farm Animals
Animal Growth and Development
Intro to Skeletal Muscle Physiology
Beef Cattle Production
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with education costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to thousands of students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
For animal science students
Students in the Department of Animal Sciences are eligible to compete for scholarships from the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS) and from the University.
The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences awards roughly $600,000 to students annually.
For all students at WSU
To be eligible for scholarship consideration, you need to complete the Washington State University general scholarship application by January 31. Also be sure to fill out the FAFSA by February 15th to ensure your eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.
For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.
Numerous activities each year are sponsored through the department’s clubs and organizations, which include:
- Dairy Club
- Block and Bridle Club
- Collegiate Horseman’s Association
- Rodeo Club
- Cooperative University Dairy Students
- Cougar Cattle Feeders
- Student Swine Co-op
Students can also travel to participate in national events such as Block & Bridle Club Annual Convention, Dairy Club Annual Meetings and regional and national Dairy Challenge Competitions.
Students planning to study animal sciences should take chemistry, biology, and mathematics, and have solid communication and writing skills from high school.
Students wanting to attend two-year colleges and then transfer to WSU should contact the department to coordinate their coursework.
A degree in animal sciences can prepare you for a wide variety of jobs and careers. For instance:
- Veterinary Medicine
- Livestock Management
- Animal Health Product Sales
- Feed Sales/Management
- Breed Field Representative
- Artificial Breeding Technician
- Public Relations Specialist
- Research & Lab Technician
- Environmental Quality Specialist
- Animal/Livestock Insurance
- Meat Inspector
- Financial Analyst
- Pet Food Specialist
- Market Reporter