College Majors That Lead to Animal Related Careers

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Zoology majors are animal scientists.
Zoology majors are animal scientists. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Undergraduates seeking animal-related careers can find a wide array of degree programs in fields such as wildlife and fish conservation, animal science and animal biology. Graduates from these programs can work in a variety of occupations, including zoos, farming and ranching, national parks, and animal breeding and training. Undergraduates who wish to advance their studies in animal-related careers can major in such fields as veterinary science and zoology.

Zoology

Zoology majors receive a broad based training in the biology of animals. Undergraduates who major in zoology have the option of working in animal-related fields or earning advanced degrees in veterinary medicine, cell biology, marine science and wildlife and fisheries. Undergraduates in this field must take such core courses as anatomy and physiology, ecology, animal diversity and invertebrate zoology. In addition to providing students with academic skills, a zoology degree also develops students’ problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork skills, which are essential for working with animals.

Animal Science

A degree in animal science can lead to careers in research, agriculture and fishery. Undergraduate animal science majors receive foundational training in the biological and physiological sciences. Students take such courses as genetics, biochemistry, nutrition and animal behavior. In addition to receiving classroom instruction, students learn the practical application of their training through field trips and laboratory instruction. Depending on the program, animal science majors may have the option to select such areas of concentration as animal genetics, equine science, dairy and livestock and aquaculture.

Animal Biology

An undergraduate degree in animal biology prepares students for advanced degrees, including veterinary science, research and animal husbandry. Students apply biological principles to animals in natural and agricultural systems. In addition to receiving classroom instruction, students take part in supervised laboratory training and internships. Course highlights for animal biology majors include chemistry, evolution and ecology, neurobiology and statistics. Animal biology majors work with wild and domestic animals. In their senior, year students have the option of tailoring their major to satisfy the requirements for various biological disciplines.

Wildlife, Fish and Conservation

Graduates in wildlife fish and conservation studies can work for professional wildlife conservation organizations or continue their studies to become researchers and doctors of veterinary medicine. Wildlife, fish and conservation majors study the relationship between human needs and habitat preservation. The program is designed to provide students with a foundation in the natural sciences and mathematics. Students must take such core courses as anatomy and physiology, cell biology, evolution and ecology, and conservation biology.

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