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Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional) Major Guide for 2008-2009

What is Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Animal Science is a diverse and fascinating blend of applied and basic life sciences, ultimately focused on enhancing the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of the domestic animal industries. Our mission is to provide high quality, relevant education and training for undergraduate and graduate students to serve internationally competitive animal agriculture; and develop and transfer new knowledge in the animal commodities that make significant contributions to the economy of Tennessee and the world. Academically, we serve those interested in working with animals through careers in agribusiness, production, agricultural extension, technical services, veterinary medicine, and research. Animal Science is for those interested in the beef, dairy, poultry, swine, sheep, horse industries, and even those interested in exotic, zoo, and companion animals.

The Pre-Veterinary (Pre-Professional) Concentrations are extremely rigorous science-based programs that emphasize the physical (e.g., chemistry, physics, mathematics) and biological (biology, microbiology, and ecology) sciences.  Students will apply the knowledge of these disciplines in learning animal anatomy, physiology, reproduction, nutrition, health and well being.  There are two types of pre-veterinary concentrations.  The first is the standard 4-year concentration, Science/Technology/Pre-Veterinary Medicine.  The second is the accelerated 3+1 program.  If a student is accepted by The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine at the end of their junior year, they may apply to receive a BS in Animal Science after the successful completion of their first year of veterinary school.  This program is extremely rigorous and is only recommended to the most motivated and focused student.  Students are encouraged to also incorporate experiential (outside of the classroom) learning in the form of internships, special problems within faculty research laboratories, working in veterinary clinics and foreign cultural and/or academic exchange programs.

Career Opportunities in Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Although most students typically think of the veterinarian as a general practitioner in either small or large animal medicine, careers in veterinary medicine are quite varied.  Some veterinarians continue their education doing an intern and residency program and become specialists earning board certification in ophthalmology, pathology, soft tissue surgery, laboratory animal medicine, and other specialties.  Still others will earn their PhD and become researchers and teachers in academia.  Others become involved with public health which has become an important area because of its relationship to bioterrorism.  Another area of critical need in veterinary medicine is the large food-animal veterinarian.

Salary Trends in Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Initial salaries for veterinarians will vary.  Those that choose to do internships and residencies have the lowest starting salaries.  However, once they have earned their board certification their salary range quickly reaches the $100,000+ level.  Small animal veterinarians in urban areas can expect the $60,000-$70,000 range.  Large animal and public health veterinarians have typically been in the mid-range.  However, with the current shortage of these veterinarians, you can expect these salaries to increase substantially.

High School Preparation

A strong high school background in biology, chemistry, physics and calculus will best prepare the student for the Science/Technology concentration in Animal Science.  In addition, good interpersonal communication skills and computer experience are important.  Extracurricular activities are always important for any student and, certainly, participation in 4-H and FFA would be beneficial.

How to Major in Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Prospective students and parents should contact the Department of Animal Science in their junior year of high school or during the summer as rising seniors.  If possible, they should arrange an interview with the departmental undergraduate coordinator who can answer any questions they might have regarding the available concentrations, future careers, internships and scholarships.  Tours of the college, university, and veterinary school conducted by student college ambassadors can also be arranged at that time.

Requirements for Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Students in the 4-year year Science/Technology/Pre-veterinary concentration take a minimum of 29 hours in Animal Science.  In addition, they must have a total of 24 hours of physical sciences; 8 hours of upper-level freshmen freshman chemistry, 8 hours of physics, and 8 hours of organic chemistry.  They will also take 22 hours of biological sciences including 8 hours of general biology, 4 hours of cell biology, 4 hours of genetics, and 4 hours of biochemistry.  The remaining hours are directed electives and may be from Biology, Microbiology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, or Biochemistry Cellular and Molecular Biology.  There are also a number of courses in many departments of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources that are considered biological science electives.  Students should consult with their advisor concerning these courses.  Finally, Science/Technology/Pre-veterinary students must have a minimum of 9 hours of economics and complete the general education requirements of the university.  Students in the 3+1 concentration have similar requirements except they do not have to take the senior Animal Science courses and they only need 16 hours of biology and 4 hours of economics.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

An internship is a 10-15 week work session with agricultural industries, zoo and nature reserves, and the government.  Students apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life problems under the tutelage of professionals.  Most internships are with large companies and provide valuable experience which often leads directly to full time employment.  Internships may be done during any semester of the year.  Students may also do a special problem by working in a faculty member’s research laboratory.  This may entail collecting samples in the field, generating and statistically analyzing data in the lab, and even experience in assisting with surgeries.

Highlights of Animal Science - Pre-Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Professional)

Since all faculty who teach also advise, the student to advisor ratio is low.  This allows extensive one-on-one contact with the advisor who genuinely comes to know the student and his/her long term goals.  This increased, intimate contact allows the advisor to truly advise instead of simply register the student for the next semester’s classes.  As a result the student receives a unique, tailor-made program.  Most classes in Animal Science have a low student teacher ratio which allows for more personal one-on-one time.  While graduate students do function as teaching assistants, only faculty coordinate and teach undergraduate courses.  The department has excellent scholarship opportunities and approximately 40-45% of all Animal Science students have at least one scholarship in addition to their Tennessee Education Lottery Scholarship.  The Department of Animal Science has a total of nine organized extra-curricular activities including clubs and judging teams.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR, which include Thailand and Jamaica. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education. CASNR does offer some scholarships for CASNR students participating in study abroad programs. Students, faculty and staff participate in the annual Unity through Diversity Dinner held each fall. Some students select a minor in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Science/Technology/Pre-Veterinary Concentration
Freshman Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 160 3
Biology 130, 140 8
English 101, 102 6
Mathematics 125, 141 or 151 3-4
Any approved Quantitative Reasoning 3-4
Chemistry 120,130 8
TOTAL 31-33
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 220, 280 6
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 290 3
Communication Studies 210, 240 or Animal Science 360 3
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
Economics 201 4
Chemistry 350, 360, 369 8
Biology 240 4
TOTAL 31
Junior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 320, 330, 340, 360, 380, 395 13
Biological Science Elective 3
Physics 221, 222 8
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
TOTAL 30
Senior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 495 1
Select 2 courses from Animal Science 481 or 482; 483 or 484; 485 or 489 6
Biological Science Elective 3
Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Metabolism 401 4
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
Social Science Elective 3
Business Elective 5
Free Elective 5-7
TOTAL 30-32
GRAND TOTAL 120
Pre-Veterinary 3+1 Concentration
Freshman Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 160 3
Biology 130, 140 8
English 101, 102 6
Mathematics 125, 141 or 151 3-4
Any approved Quantitative Reasoning 3-4
Chemistry 120,130 8
TOTAL 31-33
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 220, 280 6
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 290 3
Communication Studies 210, 240 or Animal Science 360 3
Chemistry 350, 360, 369 8
Biology 240 4
Physics 221, 222 8
TOTAL 32
Junior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 320, 330, 340, 360, 380, 395 13
Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology 401 4
Economics 201 4
Social Science Elective  3
Arts and Humanities Elective 6
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 6
TOTAL 36
Senior Year Credit Hours
TOTAL
GRAND TOTAL

For More Information

Dr. Alan Mathew
Department of Animal Science
2505 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4574
(865) 974-7286
http://animalscience.ag.utk.edu

 

Note

The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.