University of Vermont

A Closer Look at

The Animal Science Major

Offered by: CALS Animal Science Department


Domestic animals play a significant role in our lives through agriculture, recreation, biomedical science and companionship. A major in Animal Science at UVM will provide you with a strong science-based education in the production, care, and management of domestic animals. In addition, the preveterinary option available to our animal science majors is one of the strongest in the Northeast. It includes early decision programs with Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, USA, and there are some guaranteed admission spaces at Massey University School of Veterinary Medicine in New Zealand.

A Look at the Animal Science Program

The hallmark of UVM's Animal Science program is flexibility within four academic options:

Preveterinary and Preprofessional Sciences: This option offers the strong science background you'll need for advanced study in human or veterinary medicine, physiology, nutrition, genetics, and related biological fields.

If you are motivated and considering a career in veterinary medicine, you may be interested in a program UVM has with Tufts University. This highly competitive option allows you to pursue a Bachelor of Science program at UVM and apply after your sophomore year to Tufts University. If you are accepted to the program you will complete your B.S. at UVM and be automatically enrolled in Tufts to pursue a veterinary degree.

Another option for you is to go to the AVMA accredited Veterinary Medicine program at Massey University in New Zealand after finishing your B.S at UVM. Massey guarantees five places to qualified UVM students.

Equine Science: Based at UVM's Spear Street Farm, this program offers in-depth study of the care, management, breeding, health and training of horses. Outstanding opportunities for hands-on experience and research are also available to students at UVM's internationally known Morgan Horse Farm, as well as the Miner Institute in Chazy, N.Y., on the other side of Lake Champlain. An active Horse Club, Equestrian Team, and Cooperative Student-managed Barn make this program rich in experiential learning.

General Studies in Animal Science: This option is ideal for students interested in companion animals or zoos and exotic animals. Students have the opportunity to determine which balance of basic science, production, companion animal, and elective courses best suits your academic goals.

Dairy Production: This option concentrates on courses related to the feeding, breeding, health and management of dairy cattle. A unique opportunity to spend a semester in an advanced dairy management program at Miner Agricultural Institute is an attractive feature of this option. Also, the FARMS 2+2 program allows students from Vermont full scholarships to take two years of courses at VTC, then transfer to UVM for more intensive studies. This option is designed for students seeking a career in dairy farming or allied industries.

Exciting Field Experience

In the Animal Science Program, we encourage undergraduate students to participate in internships, undergraduate research, and study abroad. Some interesting internships include working at a tiger refuge, working with a race horse vet, or at an aquarium. One student worked for a top Siberian husky breeder and trainer learning how to train and handle dogsled teams. Others have done internships in Tanzania, Alaska, Disneyworld in Florida, Bronx and Los Angeles Zoos, Veterinary Clinics, with wildlife rescue organizations, and at national parks. Hands-on experience may be awarded academic credit, and it also gives students a decided advantage when applying to veterinary or graduate schools, or launching a career.

The CREAM program (Cooperative for Real Education in Agricultural Management), in which students manage their own dairy herd at the Spear Street Farm, is a unique learning opportunity open to our undergraduates. Working together, the students make management decisions, and milk, feed, breed, show and sell the cattle in the commercial herd. They receive academic credit for participation. Another program, EQUUS, offers the same hands-on management opportunities for students interested in equine studies. Students sign up for one or two semesters to perform barn duties, keep records, and help make financial decisions associated with a horse boarding facility.

Looking to the Future

If your goal is to become a veterinarian, researcher, scientist, medical doctor or college professor, UVM's Animal Science program will give you a solid foundation and excellent credentials for professional or graduate school. Our graduates also apply their undergraduate preparation to rewarding careers in the agrifood industry, companion animal care and breeding, or work in zoos and aquariums. One of our graduates is president of the Humane Society in San Francisco, others have found careers as a nutrition consultants. Equine science graduates have worked at a well-known saddlebred establishment in Lexington, Kentucky, while others have opened their own breeding business or have managed successful equine operations. Many graduates work with state and federal agencies.


  • Introductory Animal Sciences
  • Companion Animal Care & Management
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition
  • Animal Nutrition, Metabolism & Feeding
  • Introduction to Equine Studies
  • Horse Health and Disease
  • Applied Animal Health
  • Equine Training Techniques
  • Equus
  • Animals in Society/Animal Welfare
  • Equine Instructing Techniques
  • Anatomy & Physiology of Domestic Animals
  • Forage Crop Management
  • Dog Training and Behavior
  • Lab Animal Health & Disease
  • Zoos, Exotics & Endangered Species
  • Field Experience
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Equine Reproduction & Management
  • Summer Farm Management
  • Genetics & Breeding
  • Physiology of Reproduction
  • Endocrinology
  • Lactation Physiology
  • Agricultural Policy & Ethics
  • Advanced Ruminant Nutrition & Dairy Feed
  • Dairy Cattle Breeding
  • Advanced Dairy Management
  • Clinical Topics:Companion Animal Medicine
  • Clinical Topics:Livestock Medicine
  • Advanced Topics: Zoos, Exotics, & Endangered Species
  • Animal Sciences Career Seminar
  • Special Topics in Animal Science

  • Faculty and Area of Expertise

    A. John Bramley Ph.D. University of Reading, England
    Lyndon B. Carew Ph.D. Cornell University
    Ruth M. Blauwiekel Ph.D. Washington State University, D.V.M. Michigan State University
    Ruminant Nutrition
    Josie H. Davis Ph.D. University of Vermont
    Equine / ReproPhysiology
    Carol L. Delaney M.S. Cornell University
    Small Ruminants
    Patricia F. Erickson D.V.M. Cornell University
    Companion, Zoo Animals
    James A. Gilmore Ph.D. North Carolina State University
    Animal Breeding / Genetics
    Elizabeth A. Greene Ph.D. Kansas State University
    Equine Extension
    Russell C. Hovey Ph.D. Massey University, New Zealand
    Mammary Gland Biology
    David E. Kerr Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan
    Molecular Genetics/ Mammary Gland Biology
    Joanne R. Knapp Ph.D. University of California, Davis
    Ruminant Nutrition / Nutrition Physiology
    Steve B. LevineD.V.M. Cornell Veterinary School
    Veterinary Medicine/Equine
    Donald R. Maynard M.A. Fuller Seminary
    Dairy Management
    Thomas B. McFadden Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
    Lactation Physiology
    Karen Plaut, Chair* Ph.D. Cornell University
    Endocrinology / Mammary Gland Biology
    Jamie Shaw B.S. University of Vermont
    Dog Training & Behavior
    Julie M. Smith Ph.D. Cornell University
    Dairy Management
    Feng-Qi Zhao Ph.D. University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada
    Molecular Genetics / Lactation Physiology

    Last modified September 10 2007 04:11 PM

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