Cows grazing in a fenced pasture

Our department loves sharing information about our amazing focus areas.

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ASCI Learning Goals:

  1. Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of animal science with applicable knowledge
  2. Synthesize and analyze scientific information in the discipline and be able to engage peers and superiors in knowledge-based discussion
  3. Exhibit knowledge and skills with animal handling techniques and/or laboratory analytical methods, with application to current problems in animal sciences
  4. Understand the interplay of observational data, hypotheses, and hypothesis-driven experimentation through application of the scientific method
  5. Possess problem-solving / critical-thinking skills, and can effectively communicate with others both verbally and in writing
  6. Possess qualities of integrity, accountability and leadership

Pre-Veterinary/Pre-Professional focus area

Student doing a blood draw on a dog

Students with this focus area are prepared to enter graduate, veterinary, medical, dental, or pharmacy schools. The pre-professional option has a very strong science base and yet has sufficient flexibility to allow for advanced study related to any of our other sub concentrations or minors in other programs.

  • During their sophomore year, students who have met the requirements, have the opportunity to apply to Tufts University Veterinary School, and, if accepted, are assured of a space at Tufts after graduating from UVM.
  • The University of Edinburgh (Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) will make available three guaranteed places for early application UVM students who meet their admission requirements. 
  • Eligible UVM students may complete a joint B.S./BVMS degree attending the University of Glasgow in their fourth year at UVM as part of the FeePass program.  Please contact your faculty advisor for application guidance. 

Veterinary Medical School Admission Requirements

UVM's Pre-Vet Club

Zoos, Exotics and Companion Animals focus area

Student bottle feeding baby joey

Our Zoos and Exotics and companion Animals focus area offers students the opportunity to study the care, management, breeding and health of a plethora of species. The educational mission of this focus is to provide a strong scientific basis for a career involving all species and to focus on the unique concerns of domesticated and exotic animals. ASCI courses in this option include: Zoos Exotics and Endangered Species, Introduction to Companion Animal, Applied Animal Health, Advanced Zoos and Exotics, You to the Zoo, and Companion Animal Medicine. Our You to the Zoo summer course is offered at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse NY each year. This course allows students to study all aspects of the zoo environment, from daily zoo keeping and behavioral enrichment to conservation strategies and veterinary medicine.  Further recommended courses within the department include Animal Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics and One Health. Across campus, many other courses can be added to pin point certain interests. Courses in geographic information systems, conservation, photography, ornithology, animal behavior, business and anthropology are examples. Internships and study abroad opportunities also strengthen the course offerings. Students in this option may work directly after graduation, while others continue on to veterinary medical college or graduate education.

Dairy Science focus area

CREAMer applying milking cups

Students selecting this focus area will concentrate on courses relating to the feeding, breeding, health and management of dairy cattle, and also financial and small business management.  An important feature of this option is the CREAM program, which provides a two semester, hands-on experience.  An additional option is the FARMS 2 + 2 Dairy Management program which provides a strong business and dairy management background.  FARMS 2 + 2 is offered in conjunction with Vermont Technical College, and has an intensive Dairy Management opportunity at Miner Agricultural Research Institute, and culminates with a final thesis project directly related to the student's goals.

Equine Science focus area

Veterinarian working with a horse on a treadmill

This option offers specialized courses on the care, management, breeding, and health of horses.  Our goal is to provide students with the mix of science, business and personal skills to succeed with careers in the equine industry.  The Hardacre equine facility is 1 mile from campus, and provides many opportunities to apply the skills learned in the Equine Science classes.  The world-famous Morgan Horse Farm is part of the department and offers opportunities for internships, study, and research.  Students may also enroll for credit in summer equine courses at The Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, New York, which is about an hour drive from campus.

The educational mission of the Equine Science focus area is to provide students with a broad-based curriculum with a solid science background. Specialized courses are offered on the care, management, breeding, training, and health of horses. Students with an Equine focus area can specialize in either a teaching/training track or a management track. Equine courses include Equine Reproduction and Management, Horse Health and Disease, Intro to Equine Science, Equine Instructing Techniques, Equine Training Techniques, Special Problems in Equine Studies, Equine Enterprise Management, Equine Industry Issues, and Equine Internships are also available.  Additional courses in Animal Nutrition, Animal Anatomy and Physiology and Animal Genetics and Breeding are offered within the Department.  The flexibility of an Animal and Veterinary Sciences program allows majors the opportunity to take courses in other colleges of the University that helps support their individualized equine interests, such as photography, journalism, computer science, art, and business.  It is also possible for students to take the Equine Option and go on to Veterinary School or Graduate School. 

4 fauns drinking from a bottle rack

What does four years of animal science study look like?

Focus area course options (4 year outline) PDF

Please also see "Plan of Study"



Work in zoos, conduct research, teach, work with horses. There is no limit to the work graduates do when they leave UVM. Learn about careers in animal science.