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Online Master’s Degree in Animal Science

An online masters degree program in animal science is designed to prepare students for a career in agriculture that pertains to raising animals for food production. Students will gain a deeper understanding of animal nutrition, physiology, genetics, management, and biotechnology. Students also learn skills in public outreach, business, and conservation. Most degrees are intended for individuals already possessing a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, animal science, or biological science. In most cases, students can complete an online master’s degree in animal science in two to three years depending on the school and program.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Animal Science

Most online programs in animal science will involve classes designed to provide students with an in-depth focus on the business of agriculture, including animal biology, food production, and biosecurity. Beyond a sound knowledge of animal science, students must develop a sound knowledge of business practices used in the field, as well as global and national food laws and regulation. Some typical courses may include:

  • Livestock Nutrition
  • Hormones and Behavior
  • Cancer Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics for Research
  • Animal Physiology and Reproduction

Most programs will require online graduate students of animal science to develop a final thesis or project at the end of the program. In most cases, students will choose their final thesis or project topic with the help of an advisor or advisory board. The project will usually involve the student’s chosen area of study or focus. At the conclusion of the program, students must submit and defend their final thesis or project in front of an advisory committee. To do so, the student’s thesis or project must demonstrate a mastery of the chosen subject, or demonstrate new ideas or procedures applicable in the field. Some programs may also require the completion of a work study program.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Agriculture

In addition to being able to teach animal science courses at the college level, graduates in the field typically work in ranching, agricultural, or food production management. Graduates in the field should be able to work independently, understand business principles, and be able to manage a staff. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 80% of ranch and agricultural managers in the U.S. are self-employed. Most individuals working in the field possess a high school education with a great deal of experience in the field. However, possessing a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the field can help set an individual apart by providing insight and knowledge into new trends, agriculture processes, laws, and regulations in the field. Additionally, most online masters degree programs in animal science will provide students with additional courses in business and personnel management.

Beyond earning a degree, it is also beneficial for individuals working in agriculture to become certified through the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMR). In order to become certified, an individual must have at least a bachelor’s degree, four years of work experience, and must successfully pass an exam administered by the organization.

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