What can I do with a major in Animal Science?
UGA Specific Information for Animal Science
The animal science curriculum is designed to provide technical and applied instruction in the biological, physical, and economic aspects of beef, swine, sheep, and horse production. It includes the selection, breeding, nutrition, reproduction, growth, biotechnology, and management of livestock in the production of meat and milk, or of horses as work or companion animals. Courses of a more basic nature may be emphasized by students who desire careers in science-related fields or who wish to pursue graduate or professional study. This major is highly recommended for persons wishing to enter a program of study in veterinary medicine.
** Includes Self-Employed
- Animal and Dairy Science Clubs and Organizations
- Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club
- Block and Bridle
- UGA Cattlemen’s Association
- UGA Horsemen’s Association
- Dairy Science Club
- Poultry Science Club
- UGA Livestock Judging Team
- UGA Meat Animal Evaluation Judging Team
- UGA Horse Judging Team
- UGA Dairy Judging Team
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Clubs and Organizations
- Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS)
- Alpha Gamma Rho (Men pursuing careers in agriculture)
- Sigma Alpha (Women pursuing careers in agriculture)
- Club Equestrian Team at UGA
To find additional clubs and organizations, go to the Center for Student Organizations
Connect with your Career Consultant
Additional UGA Career Center Recommendations/Considerations
Veterinarian To become a veterinarian you’ll need to:
- Go through 4 years of college taking essentially pre-med courses like biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. You’ll also need to take some animal related courses like animal biology, animal nutrition, zoology, etc.
- Go through 4 years of veterinary school. Competition for entry is very tough. Schools will look for animal related experience like working with a vet in clinics or research or working on a farm, stable, or animal shelter, as well as very good grades.
- For certain types of veterinary medicine a one-year internship is required, for others an additional 2-3 year residency is required.
A Veterinary Technician is very much like a nurse. A vet tech helps a veterinarian take care of patients. To become a vet tech you’ll need to:
- Graduate from a vet tech program, which is usually an Associates Degree (AA), and pass a state certification exam.
- Vet techs can work wherever veterinarians work- in animal hospitals, shelters, farms, etc.
Another career that involves helping animals heal and recuperate is a wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator takes in wild animals that are injured, sick, or orphaned and provides medical and supportive care. To become a wildlife rehabilitator you will need to:
- Take courses and seminars to learn how to care for injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife
- Complete appropriate coursework established by wildlife rehabilitation associations for certification
- Obtain state and federal permits to handle wildlife.
- Wildlife Rehabilitators can work at animal shelters, wildlife refuges, or independently
Animal Behaviorist/Animal Trainer
An animal trainer is someone that either trains animals, or teaches a person how to train their own pet to do a variety of things.
- There are no educational standards or licensing requirements for animal trainers. There are training programs, internships, and apprenticeships. There are also voluntary certifications.
- Animal behaviorists often hold advanced degrees in animal sciences and behavioral principles. Most have Ph.D.’s. An animal behaviorist will often deal with behavior problems in animals (e.g.; separation anxiety, compulsive behaviors, etc).
Humane Educators teach others about animals, their needs, their abilities, and try to instill a respect and reverence for all life.
- To be a humane educator a background in education is certainly helpful, but not necessary. An ability to speak in public, to teach others, and a love for children and animals is also helpful.
- Many humane educators are volunteers or employees of humane organizations, like the ASPCA. Some work with other animals, usually small animals or very well trained dogs.
A lobbyist is someone who tries to influence legislators to pass bills in their area of special interest. For example, one of the things the ASPCA Government Affairs Department does is lobby. Getting a bill through the senate and assembly takes work by lobbyists whose “special interest” is animal issues.
- Most lobbyists are lawyers. To become a lawyer, one must go through four years of college and earn a bachelors degree, go through the three years of law school and earn a law degree (J.D.-jurist doctor).
- After graduating from law school, to practice law is any state you need to be admitted to the bar or licensed in that state. This will require passing a written “bar examination” and in many states a written ethics examination.
Zoology can be both a basic and an applied science. A basic scientist in this case is one who is curious about living things and does not consider whether the information is immediately useful. An applied scientist is one who applies this knowledge for the betterment of humans and other animals. (e.g., interest in the mating habits of fruit flies vs. uses info about panda mating habits to try to increase the likelihood that pandas will mate therefore increasing their numbers.)
- If you have not already guessed, becoming a zoologist involves a strong interest in animals and a lot of school. A graduate degree (masters or doctorate) will be required
Becoming a marine biologist is also a graduate school endeavor. Job competition can be fierce.
- Marine biologists can work in a variety of settings. International, federal, state and local government agencies hire marine scientists for positions in research, education, management, and legal and policy development.
- Industries like oil and gas exploration and fishing companies hire marine biologists. Environmental advocacy and animal welfare organizations may also hire marine biologists. Also aquariums, zoo, and museums may hire marine biologists.
Supplemental Career Research Dashboard
Additional Career Research Resources
- O*NET (click on Find Occupations)
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (type in general term for career of interest)
- Georgia Career Information Center (accessible only on campus computers)
- Career Insider: Vault Guides (Under the “Resources” tab and select “Online Resources”)
- Candid Career (View professionals speaking about their careers under the “Resources” tab and select “Online Resources”)
- AgriCareers, Inc.
- American Society of Animal Science Job Board
- The American Veterinary Medicine Association Job Board
- Animal Sheltering Jobs
- American Humane Association Job Board
- USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Career Resources
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Jobs and Internships)
- American Society of Animal Science
- National Block and Bridle Association
- Animal Science Database
- Animal Health Institute
- The American Veterinary Medicine Association
- American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
- US Food and Drug Administration, Center for Veterinary Medicine
- American Humane Association
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Animal Humane Society
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Tip: Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your career interest. Need help finding groups? Check out the Groups You May Like link under the Interests/Groups tab. Review the groups that professionals in your field of interest have joined and consider joining them as well
Graduate/Professional Schools Attended by UGA Animal Science Majors for the Class of 2017*
Athens Technical College | Mercer University | North Carolina State University | Ross University | The University of Georgia | The University of Illinois | Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University