University Animal Science Courses Available Online

If you have a passion for pets, animals, or agriculture, taking courses or earning a degree in animal science could be for you. A common misconception is that animal science courses are only for those preparing for a career in veterinary medicine. However, earning a degree in animal science can lead to a number of careers in agriculture, zoology, and equine fields. There are several colleges and universities that offer courses and degree programs in animal science both online and in a traditional format. The most common degree offered is a bachelor’s in animal science. Most animal science programs will take anywhere from two to six years to complete depending on the school, level, and program. Students who study animal science will participate in courses such as chemistry, animal biology, principals of animal nutrition, and animal behavior. Those participating in animal science programs who hope to have a career in veterinary care should focus on courses like biology, chemistry, and anatomy. Students hoping to go into agriculture, zoology, and equine fields should focus more on general care for the animals they want to work with, as opposed to medical care theories and techniques.

While animal science is a very specialized field that caters to a few specific industries, there are some benefits to taking animal science courses even if you are not in the field. These courses can benefit any animal lover or pet owner by helping them understand the best way to care for a pet. For example, Texas A&M University offers a course called Companion Animal Science in which students learn about the physiology, nutrition, and health of common household pets. In some cases, an online course in animal sciences can even be transferred if you are currently pursuing your degree at another college or university. Be sure to check with your school to ensure the credits can be used before enrolling in any online courses, though. The U.S. Department of Education has a database of accredited institutions, so check to see that the school you are considering is accredited.

Animal Science and Your Career

Earning a degree in animal science can help open the doors to a number of career options. While a degree is not necessarily needed to work in as a kennel attendant or animal groomer, taking courses or earning a degree in animal science can be a great way to gain entry into the field by providing a better understanding of the animals you will be caring for in the workplace. The degree can also help you if you want to pursue a career as an equine or pet trainer. Again, while you may be able to gain access to these fields without a degree, most jobs require an associate or bachelor’s degree. Another career possibility is zoo keeping. Zoos usually require a bachelor’s degree along with some sort of experience handling and caring for animals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for animal care and service works to grow by 21% by 2018.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in animal science can also prepare you for a veterinary medicine program. While many programs do not specifically require a bachelor’s degree for entrance, they usually require anywhere from 45 to 90 credit hours at the undergraduate level. These credit hours should focus on sciences such as cellular biology, microbiology, and zoology. An animal science bachelor’s degree combined with math courses such as statistics, algebra, and trigonometry can provide a great way to prepare for veterinary medicine. It’s also important to remember that you must also earn a state license to practice veterinary medicine after you have completed your education. Veterinary technologists or technicians usually earn a laboratory animal science associate or bachelor’s degree from a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Employment of veterinarians is expected to increase by 33% through 2018, according to the BLS, while jobs for veterinary technologists and technicians are expected to increase by 36% over the same time span.

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