Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration

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 Animal Industries concentration is a rigorous science-based program that emphasizes agricultural business, economics and interpersonal communication skills.  A minor in either, Agricultural Resource Economics, Business, or Communication and Information is required.  There is less emphasis on the physical and non-Animal Science biological sciences.  Students are encouraged to also incorporate experiential (outside of the classroom) learning in the form of internships, special problems within faculty research laboratories, and foreign cultural and/or academic exchange programs.

Career Opportunities in Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration

Most students take starting positions in diverse and varying fields ranging from traditional agribusiness, pharmaceutical companies, pet and companion animal industries, zoos and nature reserves and even human in-vitro fertilization clinics.  In the past most of these students (over 65 %) went directly into agribusiness.  However, there is a recent trend for increased interest in companion and zoo animal industries and in vitro fertilization businesses and clinics.  In October 2006, the National Academies of Sciences stated that there are 57,000 new jobs in agriculture every year and estimated that trend would extend at least until 2011.  There are approximately 34,000 graduates a year from all agricultural departments in the United States – a 23,000 person short fall.  Unemployment for a graduate in any agricultural department is virtually zero.

Salary Trends in Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration

Salaries are as varied as job diversity.  However, there has been an encouraging trend for increased entry salaries for students in this concentration.  Recent graduates report average starting salaries between $35,000 and $38,000.  Starting salaries at zoos and nature reserves tend to be lower.

High School Preparation

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

How to Major in Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration

Prospective students and/or their 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 schedule 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 and university conducted by student college ambassadors can also be arranged at that time.

Requirements for Animal Science – Animal Industries Concentration

Students in Animal Industries take a minimum of 35 hours in Animal Science.  In addition, they must have a total of 8 hours of freshman chemistry and 8 hours of biology plus 3 additional hours of a biological science elective.  These students must earn a minor in Agricultural Resource Economics, Business, or Communication and Information.  All students must meet The University of Tennessee general education requirements.

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 – Animal Industries Concentration

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

Freshman Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 160 3
Biology 130, 140 or 101, 102 8
English 101, 102 6
Mathematics 125, 141 or 151 3-4
Any approved Quantitative Reasoning 3-4
Chemistry 120,130 or 100, 110 8
TOTAL 31-33
Critical Courses: BIOL 101-102, CHEM 100, ANSC 160  
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 220, 280 6
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources 290 3
Environmental and Soil Sciences 210 4
Arts and Humanities Electives 6
Economics 201 or Ag Res Economics 4
Minor requirement in Agricultural Economics, Business, Communication and Information 3
Social Science Elective 3
Free Electives 3
Critical Courses: ANSC 220 and 280 , QR Requirement, Begin Minor Requirements  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 320, 330, 340, 360, 380, 395, 492 13
Biological Science Elective 3
Animal Science 360 3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 6
Minor requirements in Agricultural Economics, Business, Communication and Information 6
Critical Courses: ANSC 320, 330, 340, 380, 492 (Summer)  
Senior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 430,495 4
Select 2 courses from Animal Science 481 or 482; 483 or 484; 485 or 489 6
Minor requirements in Agricultural Economics, Business, Communication and Information 9-10
Free Elective 8-11
TOTAL 27-31

For More Information

Dr. Alan Mathew
Department of Animal Science
2505 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-4574
(865) 974-7286


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.