Animal Science

Animal Science

Department of Animal Science


Dr. Richard Balander
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Phone: 517-432-1395

Jessica Kiesling
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Phone: 517-353-4570

Animal science encompasses livestock production, marketing, public affairs, transportation, processing, research, companion animal management and a myriad of allied specialties.

Animal science majors explore advances in animal feeding, breeding, reproduction and management techniques as well as improvements in other agricultural practices. Students start with a strong foundation in science and combine it with a practical experience with agricultural animals. Graduates will be prepared for employment in farm ownership, management, marketing, agribusiness, finance, manufacturing, public relations, Extension, education or consulting. Graduates often attend veterinary medicine or graduate school.

The animal science major provides some flexibility, allowing academic advisors to guide students in the development of a program of study that is consistent with their interests and goals. All students are required to complete a set of core courses in breeding and genetics, nutrition, physiology and management. Scientific principles of biology and animal science are taught using horses, dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and companion animals, and students have opportunities to apply these principles in classrooms, animal science laboratories, and the MSU animal science teaching and research centers at the south end of campus.

Students choose one of the following concentrations:

The animal industry concentration prepares graduates for careers in marketing, sales, production, animal products and animal management operations.

Animal biology/preveterinary is designed for students interested in an advanced degree in animal science or a career in veterinary medicine. The requirements for admission to the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine are included in the requirements for this concentration.

The companion and exotic animal biology concentration prepares students for careers in small animal nutrition, pet food sales, and captive and small animal management. Students may also use elective credits to complete the preveterinary requirements and apply to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The production animal scholars concentration is for students committed to a career in food animal management and medicine. It provides an admissions pathway to production medicine scholars in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Core areas of study

  • Animal agriculture and products
  • Animal feeding and nutrition
  • Anatomy and physiology of farm animals
  • Animal genetics
  • Animal management

Supporting discipline areas

  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Statistics

Student activities

  • Animal Science Undergraduate Research Student Association
  • Block and Bridle
  • Dairy Club
  • Driving Club
  • Equestrian Team
  • Horsemen’s Association
  • Horse Judging Team
  • Livestock Judging Team
  • Polo Club
  • Rodeo Club

Career opportunities

Students who major in animal science work in careers that span the gamut of animal agriculture. Basic areas are:

  • Animal production and management
  • Food processing
  • Animal feed and health industry
  • Communication and service organizations
  • Research
  • Education and extension

Course listing

To read more about this major and the classes required for it, visit: