What is Animal and Food Sciences?

Animals have many important roles in human societies including the provision of food and fiber, draft power, recreational and athletic activities, and companionship. Their interactions with humans have environmental consequences with local, regional, and global impacts. In addition, the processing, preservation, and quality of animal-derived foods are of significant economic and safety importance. Animal sciences involves studying and applying the basic principles of nutrition, reproduction, and genetics to the production and management of domesticated animals. A particular strength of the Department is the integration of the production and handling of animal-derived foods.

Why Major in Animal and Food Sciences?

The major might be appropriate if you are interested in:

  • preparing for graduate or veterinary school.
  • managing a farm or business related to animal agriculture.
  • a career in technical sales or service; cooperative extension; or government as it relates to animal agriculture.
  • a career in food manufacturing, processing, or research.

Students interested in Animal and Food Sciences come from varied backgrounds and their interests range from animal production and management to marketing and public relations; from public education and extension to graduate training in research, teaching and veterinary medicine. The major will allow you to combine your interests with the desire for an exciting and rewarding career. Students get hands-on experience with the department's herds and flocks in addition to the meats and research laboratories. Internships, externships, and summer employment offer opportunities to obtain a variety of work experiences.

Students majoring in Food Science should visit the Food Science Undergraduate Program site for specific information.

Students majoring in Animal Sciences follow a curriculum that emphasizes scientific disciplines and applied animal production.

As an Animal Sciences major, students can pursue specific interests by selecting one of three study options:

Animal Industry Option
Students receive training in the nutrition, reproduction, welfare, and management of domesticated animals. The option prepares students for careers in agribusiness, farm management, technical sales and/or service, cooperative extension, education, government, and commodities promotion. Students can choose to further specialize in one of three areas:

  • Equine. emphasis on the biology and management of equine animals.
  • Livestock. emphasis on the biology and management of meat-producing animals.
  • Dairy. emphasis on the biology and management of commercial milk-producing animals.

Food Industry Option
Students receive training that emphasizes scientific disciplines related to the processing, chemistry, and safety of animal-derived foods. The option prepares students for careers in animal production or the associated food processing industries.

Pre-Professional Option
Students receive training in the basic sciences relevant to animal biology including chemistry, physics, mathematics, genetics, and microbiology. The option prepares students for advanced studies in veterinary sciences, graduate research, human medicine, or for employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical or research industries. It is intended to satisfy most entrance requirements to post-graduate programs but students should work closely with academic advisors to assure that requirements for specific programs are fulfilled.

What can I do with an Animal Sciences Degree?

There are over 500 different job classifications for animal science graduates

What if I am transferring from BCTC?

If you are an Animal Science transfer student from BCTC please consult the BCTC-UK Pathway to Transfer Guide.  BCTC students planning on transferring to the University of Kentucky should work closely with the UK Transfer Advisor to ensure they are addressing both BCTC and UK requirements. 

If you are planning on transferring from another junior college or community college please consult the Transfer Evaluation System to determine how classes articulate to the University of Kentucky. 

What scholarships are available through the University and College? 

University of Kentucky scholarship information

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment scholarship information


UK Academic Calendar