Animal Science

Animal science encompasses livestock production marketing, public affairs, transportation, research, companion animal management and many more allied specialties.

The undergraduate program in animal science, which leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, is designed to prepare students for a variety of career opportunities.  Scientific principles of biology and animal agriculture developed from various animal models are an important component of the animal sciences program.  Another important component is the application of animal management procedures in agricultural operations.

The animal science major provides students much flexibility in meeting their program requirements. Students can benefit most from this flexibility with careful guidance from their academic advisors and career mentors as they plan a program of study consistent with their interests and goals. To gain the most from advisors, we encourage each student to see their advisor or mentor once per semester to discuss course selection, career objectives, and any other concerns or items beneficial to the student. 

 Read more about different species and areas studied, taught, and shared through the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.



All students in animal science must complete required core courses involving the disciplines of breeding and genetics, nutrition, physiology, and management. These principles are taught utilizing swine, horses, poultry, sheep, beef and dairy cattle.

Students must also complete one of four concentrations in animal science. Several concentrations can be completed in less than 120 credits, so you must select additional elective course work to reach 120 total credits to graduate. If you are required to take MTH 1825 you will need to complete 123 credits for graduation.

In addition to the four opportunities for bachelor degrees, students in animal science may pursue double majors, such as Crop and Soil Science or Business.


Graduate Requirements for a Bachelor’s Degree

To be recommended for a bachelor's degree, a student must complete all of the following:

  • Complete one year's work, normally the year of graduation, earning at least 30 credits in courses given by Michigan State University. A senior who has earned sufficient credits from this university and met the minimum requirements as stated below, through prior arrangement with the assistant dean of the college and the registrar, may be permitted to transfer not to exceed 10 of the last 30 credits from an accredited 4-year college or university of comparable academic quality.
  • Earn at least 27 credits on the East Lansing campus after reaching junior standing.
  • Complete at least 20 credits at Michigan State University while enrolled in the major in the college in which the degree is to be earned.
  • Remove any deficiencies identified by MSU placement test scores, as described in the Academic Placement Tests and Remedial-Development-Preparatory Courses sections on the Registrar’s Office webpage ( under Academic Programs – Undergraduate Education – Academic Orientation.
  • Complete the University requirement of 30 credits in courses approved for integrative studies or in approved substitutes, as described in the Integrative Studies section of the Registrar’s Office webpage ( under Academic Programs – Undergraduate Education – Graduation Requirements.
  • Complete satisfactorily an approved program of study in a college.
  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (123 credits if Math 1825 is taken) with an average grade point of at least a 2.00.

Minors in CANR

While completing the requirement for a degree in Animal Science, students may use their elective credits to complete a minor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Students should consult with their Animal Science advisor as well as the advisor for the minor to coordinate schedules.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

For those students interested in attending Vet School or Graduate School, the GRE Exam is required. The GRE is offered at MSU’s Learning Resource Center at the East Lansing, MI campus. However, reservations need to be made at least 2 weeks in advance by going to The exam will take about 4 ½ hours. The cost as of January 2016 was $205. The cost of the exam is subject to change without notice. Please check the website for the latest cost information. Retakes of the exam are permitted after a 21 day waiting period, however the exam can only be taken 5 times per calendar year.

Practice exams are available on the GRE website and through the Learning Resources Center. There are also GRE study courses available through various outside vendors and the Learning Resource Center. There is a cost associated with these study courses and materials.

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