Animal Science – Bioscience Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Animal Science – Bioscience 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 Bioscience Concentration is a rigorous science-based program that emphasizes 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.  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 – Bioscience Concentration

Many students enter graduate school immediately after graduation.  However, 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 October of 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 – Science Technology Concentration

Salaries are as varied as is job diversity.  However, recent graduates report an average starting salary of $38,000.  Starting salaries at zoos and nature reserves tend to be lower for students with a BS.  On the other hand, entrance level positions in pharmaceutical companies and clinics tend to be the highest, with agribusiness falling in the middle range.  For those students that do earn post-graduate degrees, salaries quickly reach the $60,000+ range.

High School Preparation

A strong high school background in biology, chemistry, physics and calculus will best prepare the student for the Bioscience 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 – Bioscience Concentration

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 and university conducted by student college ambassadors can also be arranged at that time.

Requirements for Animal Science – Bioscience Concentration

Students in Science/Technology take a minimum of 29 hours in Animal Science.  In addition, they must have a total of 22 hours of physical sciences, 8 hours of which must be upper-level freshmen freshman chemistry.  The remaining 14 hours are directed electives and may be any courses in Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics or any course that requires at least one of these three, for example, astronomy or many courses in geology.  They will also take 22 hours of biological sciences, 8 hours of which must be upper-level freshman biology.  The remaining 14 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, Bioscience students must have a minimum of 9 hours of economics and complete the general education requirements of the university.

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 – Bioscience Concentration

Since all faculty who teach also advise, the student 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 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
Critical Courses: BIOL130, CHEM 120-130, ANSC 160  
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 or Ag Res Economics 4
Physical Science Elective and Mathematics elective 8
Biological Science Elective 3
Critical Courses: BIOL 140, ANSC 220, ECON 201, MATH 125  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Animal Science 320, 330, 340,  380, 395 13
Biological Science Elective 8
Physical Science Elective 6
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
Critical Courses: ANSC 320, 330, 340, 380  
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
Arts and Humanities Elective 3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective 3
Social Science Elective 3
Business Elective 5
Free Elective 7-9
TOTAL 31-33

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.