Animal Science Major

Hands-on animal science–with mud on your boots and dirt under your fingernails.

The Animal Science major combines practical animal stewardship and a refined scientific education targeted at making an immediate impact in medicine, government, academia, and the industry. Students go on to pursue career paths in farm management, animal production, veterinary care, and agribusiness leadership.

Your whole world is right there.

Our Animal Science facilities are more than world class. They are a world of their own. You’re never more than minutes from the dairy, beef, swine, sheep, poultry, and deer barns—because we believe some of our best teachers don’t walk on two legs.

Our faculty are conducting pioneering research and are sought-after experts in their fields. But mentoring you and cultivating your talents is their top priority.

Animal Science is the right major if you’re:

  • prepping for graduate or veterinary school
  • interested in animal-related research
  • driven to manage a farm or other business related to animals
  • pursuing a career in agricultural sales or service
  • hoping to impact our communities through community-based education
Animal science degree and career options

A premier academic experience.

Students from the Block and Bridle Club work with cattle at Penn State, University Park, PA

Explorers Wanted

Nutrition, genetics, reproductive biology, disease management, paths to veterinary school—and even marketing and business. In Animal Science, you will encounter fields of study and career paths that you never knew existed. You may decide to explore in several directions. That’s a good thing. Animal Science is purpose-built for customization. This is your Ag Journey.

Student with horses

Curated Curiosity

Worried that exploring will knock you off track to graduation? It doesn’t have to. You and your adviser can work closely to ensure that your interests meet academic demands and, more importantly, life after graduation. Take a broad array of classes and still graduate on schedule, career-ready, with a Penn State Animal Science degree.

Ag Journeys

"There's a magic at Penn State."

– Caroline Haga

Penn State offers a welcoming environement for students pursuing an animal science degree.

The classroom is only the beginning.

You’ll study with professors who are leaders in their specialties, but they’ll be the first to tell you that the classroom is just the beginning of your Animal Science experience.

You name the species and industry, and we’ll help you find a faculty-guided club, internship, externship, or hands-on research opportunity for that. The learning doesn’t stop on campus, or in Pennsylvania for that matter. How do they raise cattle in California? Swine in Switzerland? You go, and you find out.

Craft your experience.

Related clubs and teams

  • Collegiate Cattlewomen
  • The Collegiate Horseman's Association at Penn State (CHAPS)
  • Dairy Cattle Judging Team
  • Horse Judging Team
  • Livestock Judging Team
  • Meat Judging Team
  • Penn State Block and Bridle Club
  • Penn State Dairy Science Club
  • Penn State Equestrian Team
  • Penn State Equine Research Team
  • Penn State Reproduction Research Team
  • Poultry Judging Team
  • Poultry Science Club
  • Small and Exotic Animal Club (SEAC)
  • See all clubs and teams

Recent internships

  • Caretaker at a city zoo
  • Research assistant at a pharmaceutical company
  • Operations intern at a food processing company

Popular study abroad

  • Exploring the pasture-based dairy industry of the Azores
  • Touring processing plants and farms in Guanajuato, Mexico
  • Learning about the dairy industry in Switzerland
You will work with animals while earning your degree.
Animal science courses can prep you for various career paths.
Animal scientists studying abroad

A practical, workforce-ready degree—and a college experience you’ll love.

Penn State Animal Science grads are all over the world doing the most amazing things. From agriculture to medicine and law and everything in between. Here's food for thought–a few jobs our alumni work in now:

Our alumni out in the world

  • Ag finance
  • Animal breeding
  • Animal management and training
  • Biotechnology research
  • Genetics and nutrition
  • Industry relations
  • Marketing
  • Pharmaceutical research
  • Quality assurance
  • Sales and service
  • Veterinary medicine

Animal Science Career Options

Harness the awesome power of a truly unique education at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Here are just a few career examples.

Farm Manager

A farm manager oversees all aspects of a farm business, including the maintenance of all buildings and equipment, the well-being of livestock, and the safety of farm employees.

What will I do?

  • Set and monitor animal nutrition programs
  • Coordinate veterinary care
  • Maintain equipment
  • Hire, train, and supervise farm employees
  • Maintain records
  • Remain up to date on industry trends and regulations


Veterinarians work in a variety of medical practices and settings, from private clinics that focus on companion animal care, to large animal veterinarians who protect individual or group animal health on farm properties, to researchers who work in laboratories.

What will I do?

  • Examine animals and diagnose diseases and injuries
  • Prescribe medicines and recommend treatments
  • Perform surgery
  • Operate medical equipment

Industry Sales Representative

A sales representative of feed and animal health products combines knowledge of animal nutrition and wellness with business skills to market products to farms and veterinarians.

What will I do?

  • Stay current on animal nutrition/health trends
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Research and understand competing companies and products
  • Consult with customers on specific needs and desired outcomes
  • Work with vendors to procure desired products

Quality Assurance Manager

A quality assurance manager is in charge of developing plans to ensure a farm business complies with rules and regulations.

What will I do?

  • Maintain knowledge of all regulations
  • Set and implement quality standards
  • Monitor and make necessary corrections to ensure quality standards are met
  • Train and supervise employees

Animal Science Students in the News

October 9, 2023

Penn State animal science student finds second home on the range

After wrapping up his career with the United States Navy, Aaron Kuhn, a second-year animal science student in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences who currently studies at Penn State Altoona, returned home to Hollidaysburg to revive his family farm.

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March 9, 2023

Animal science alumna interns with Save the Elephants

Studying abroad is the dream of many students, and one Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences alumna used her undergraduate study abroad experiences as the foundation for her continued academic studies and a once-in-a-lifetime internship.

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January 10, 2023

'His Name Is George Floyd' author Robert Samuels to visit University Park

Author and award-winning Washington Post reporter Robert Samuels will visit Penn State’s University Park campus on Thursday, Feb. 9, to discuss his book, “His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice.”

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January 18, 2021

College of Ag Sciences sophomore selected for Presidential Leadership Academy

Agricultural sciences and leadership are top priorities for Penn State sophomore Mikara Anderson. As the 2019 Pennsylvania State Fair Queen, 2020 FFA state president and active member of the Penn State Dairy Science Club, Anderson continues to build her resume and network as part of the exclusive Presidential Leadership Academy at Penn State.

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