The Department of Animal Science is a unit within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University. “Building relationships, solving problems and meeting the needs of Michigan residents and the people of the world have been the focus of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) for more than 150 years. As the first college at MSU and the model for the nation’s entire land-grant system, we take our land-grant mission very seriously.”
The Department of Animal Science at MSU attributes its success to three primary factors:
- our on-campus laboratories and the South Campus Teaching and Research Centers,
- a high-caliber faculty and staff, and
- an outstanding experiential learning environment to our students.
The Department’s undergraduate and graduate programs strive to graduate students with an excellent underpinning of scientific training and knowledge, and to develop their communication and problem-solving skills to adapt to an ever-changing society and global environment. The work conducted in Animal Science is important, as our research, teaching and Extension/outreach programs address important and highly relevant topics including air, soil and water quality and management; food quality and safety; animal well-being; and animal and human biology and health.
Animal Science is a composite of diverse disciplines. Core requirements of the Animal Science baccalaureate degree include species-specific education regarding livestock, poultry, horses, and companion animals ranging from management of production to basic science in animal biology. Thus, career opportunities are diverse and numerous, including farms, agribusiness, allied animal industries, Extension, research, biomedical and animal health organizations. For students seeking entrance to veterinary school, an education in the department is a logical path.
Our goal is that students will obtain a comprehensive understanding of animal science as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) discipline and benefit from integrative systems thinking from the curriculum. Student learning outcomes include disciplinary competency, critical thinking, systems thinking and perspective, individual development, quantitative literacy, and communication.
Active learning is employed throughout the curriculum. Faculty, students and trainees have access to technical innovations and an array of laboratory facilities. Laboratory space in Anthony Hall is located on three floors and houses state-of-the-art equipment. The department maintains and cares for animals housed within the South Campus Teaching and Research Centers. These facilities (poultry, swine, sheep, a beef cattle complex, horse, dairy, and mink) house approximately 10,000 animals, employ six full-time managers and animal care staff, and provide for department teaching, research, and extension/outreach efforts. The Centers supply teaching and outreach opportunities, and researchers are able to conduct innovative and relevant research at the Centers and close to their campus laboratories.
Our students may go on to graduate school and conduct post-doctoral training in medical schools, departments of human nutrition, food science or veterinary medical colleges. Our department is dedicated to elucidating the biology of domestic animals and translating this information into species appropriate management, production and care, and we serve as a major career gateway for students interested in the biosciences and veterinary medical sciences.
Curious about how MSU compares overall to other universities? Visit the Rankings page for an overview.
Visit our Department Overview section of this site for summaries about different species and areas studied, taught, and shared through the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.