dairy fellows students at the Cornell Research Center

Curriculum Requirements

The Animal Science major offers an opportunity to apply animal biology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and other life sciences to the study of animal breeding and genetics, growth, lactation, nutrition, reproduction, and management.  The field of Animal Science is diverse and the program offers flexibility for students to pursue their particular interests and provides a broad education within a first-class university. Topics such as global food production and supply, ethics of animal production and management, and animal welfare are important and are considered throughout the curriculum.  Graduates are prepared to:

  • Pursue careers in animal production, veterinary medicine, education, biotechnology, and conservation;
  • Work with businesses inside and outside of agriculture, including farms, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, and foundations;
  • Undertake graduate and professional training;
  • Teach and begin research in related fields.


For all students, the requirements of the major consist of:

  1. Foundation courses in Animal Science, normally taken in the first two years
    ANSC 1100: Domestic Animal Biology
    ANSC 1105: Contemporary Perspectives on Careers in Animal Science
    ANSC 2120: Animal Nutrition
    ANSC 2210: Principles of Animal Genetics
    ANSC 2400: Animal Reproduction and Development
  2. 6 credits (minimum) of Animal Biology Systems courses
  3. 6 credits (minimum) of Advanced Animal Biology courses

Students are encouraged to complement required Animal Science courses with others from a specialized pathway to their area of interest.  (See recommended pathways and courses.)  Pathways illustrate how courses in Animal Science may be enhanced with coursework outside of the department.

For transfer students or students that wish to minor in Animal Science, please consult with an Animal Science advisor about your courses, interests and goals.  A minimum of 15 credit hours is required for a minor and the courses need to be taken from Foundation courses (or equivalent), Animal Biology Systems, and Advanced Animal Biology courses.

In addition, all students are encouraged to take advantage of one or more opportunities for internships, a semester abroad, independent research or honors thesis research, as appropriate. For research or the Honor's Program in Research, consult with your advisor.  Your advisor can help you identify possible internship opportunities and CALS has an office available to assist you.  Check out: Finding an Internship, Summer Job, or Full-time Job.

Links to Study Abroad and Exchange programs are:


Each student in the Animal Science major is assigned a faculty advisor.  Your advisor plays several roles: guiding you through the requirements of the major and the College distribution requirements; helping you to clarify your educational and career goals; suggesting courses to help you meet your particular educational interests and career goals; and serving as a source of information about opportunities and services available to you through the College and University (e.g., study abroad, internships, career counseling, health and psychological services).  If you make the effort to get to know your advisor, she or he also may serve as a reference for you for internships, jobs, or graduate school.


Ultimately, you are responsible for your education. Having the opportunity to obtain a first-rate university education is a privilege few have. You owe it to yourself and the world to make the most of it.  Students are responsible for making regular progress toward meeting the curriculum requirements of their specific concentration. In addition, it helps to develop a plan of courses early in your program, especially if you would like to study abroad, participate in an exchange program or are planning on graduate or professional school.