The Washington State University Pullman Catalog

Department of Animal Sciences

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Department of Animal Sciences
Clark Hall 116

Professor and Chair, G. K. Murdoch; Professors, M. Du, Z. Jiang, K. A. Johnson, H. L. Neibergs; Associate Professors, A. Adams-Progar; Assistant Professors, N. Law, M. Marcondes, M. Phelps; Clinical Associate Professors, N. A. Irlbeck, M. Maquivar; Instructors, C. Matuk-Sarinana, B. McCann, A. L. Reitmeier, J. Swain; Adjunct and Affiliate Faculty, T. Hudson, P. S. Kuber, D. A. Llewellyn, S. M. Smith, K. Steensma; Faculty Emeriti, M. E. Benson, J. R. Busboom, M. V. Dodson, L. K. Fox, C. T. Gaskins, R. L. Kincaid, J. P. McNamara, D. D. Nelson, M. L. Nelson, J. J. Reeves, R. W. Wright.

The Department of Animal Sciences offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences, Master of Science in Animal Sciences, and Doctor of Philosophy (Animal Sciences). The department participates in the Joint Program for Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences

The Department of Animal Sciences provides training in the biological systems important to animals, including principles and practices associated with the management and well-being of agricultural animal production.  Care and well-being of companion and laboratory animals is also taught. Animal Scientists at WSU are experts in animal nutrition, physiology, reproduction, genetics and genomics, nutrient management, meat and muscle biology, and animal behavior. They bring this expertise to the classroom and to the experiential learning activities offered to our students.   Unique hands-on learning opportunities with animals allow our students to practice and apply what they learn in the classroom. Most departmental faculty are engaged in the many multidisciplinary Centers across the WSU campus which provides additional broadening and experiential opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

The undergraduate curriculum prepares graduates for a wide variety of career paths. These paths include animal production and food processing (meats, dairy products, etc.); animal research; biomedical research; wild and zoological animal care; companion animal services; the agricultural service industries (including feed manufacturing and sales, pharmaceuticals, artificial insemination, agricultural equipment, financial institutions, etc.); and government agencies. Graduates of the Animal Sciences program are well prepared to continue their education by pursuing graduate or professional degrees in the sciences and veterinary and human medicine fields. Employers seek out graduates in Animal Sciences for their strong foundation in science, practical and technical knowledge of animal care, and hands-on experience with animal production.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Sciences, it is expected that graduates will be able to:

  • Develop and evaluate animal production and management systems by integrating knowledge of animal genetics, nutrition, reproduction, and other relevant disciplines and applying scientific and quantitative reasoning to solve real-world challenges.
  • Locate, critically evaluate, and apply information from scholarly animal science literature and other sources to expand personal understanding and knowledge of animal sciences, providing a foundation for lifelong learning.
  • Create and interpret graphs, tables and diagrams illustrating scientific data and concepts, and understand basic concepts relating to the design and analysis of research in the animal sciences.
  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, about animal sciences to a range of audiences using appropriate traditional and emerging media.
  • Engage actively and effectively in discussion of complex issues relevant to animal sciences by understanding and appreciating:
    • the importance of animals to the health and well-being of society;
    • economic, environmental, animal welfare, and societal impacts of animal production and management systems at the local and global levels;
    • varied ethical perspectives on animal practices;
    • the role of science in informing debates.
  • Appreciate the breadth and depth of professional opportunities in animal sciences relating to: the keeping of animals for food and fiber production and other purposes (e.g., species conservation, companionship, research and teaching, biotechnology, sports); the application of scientific principles to animal breeding, reproduction, feeding, growth and development, health management, housing, handling, and end–product safety and quality.

Degree Options in Animal Sciences

Students in Animal Sciences take a wide variety of agricultural and non-agricultural courses, receiving in-depth training in the comparative biology of farm and companion animals. Students select a degree option to coincide with their interests. Each option has both required courses and electives, which allow individual program specialization in areas of animal science, technology, and production or pre-veterinary medicine/science. The Animal Science, Technology, and Production curriculum is designed to provide students with the scientific, technological, and practical knowledge, and communication skills to make them productive members of the food production, animal care and related industries. The Pre-veterinary/Science option is designed to provide graduates with the skills to be successful in the biomedical or veterinary sciences, biotechnology or other science related fields.

The Animal Science, Technology, and Production Option emphasizes the business, economic and science-based practical management aspects of animal production and care of animals. This option is recommended for students preparing to work in agricultural animal production, companion animal care, or agribusiness.

The Pre-veterinary/Science Option places emphasis on basic science courses. This option is recommended for students planning to attend graduate school, apply to the professional program leading to the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or other post-baccalaureate degree, or work in technical or specialized areas of animal science, such as extension, academia, research, technical consulting, or laboratory research.

Many opportunities outside the classroom are available for students to further their educational experiences. Animal Sciences students are strongly encouraged to participate as part-time employees in the livestock centers, or in research and teaching programs within the department. Opportunities are available to students for on-the-job training in professional internships within diverse segments of the agricultural, companion animal, veterinary, biomedical, or research sectors. The department offers experiential learning opportunities with dairy cattle, beef cattle, and swine that allow students to practice decision making and management skills.  Active student clubs within the Department of Animal Sciences, the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, and the university community provide students with both professional and social contacts with faculty and other students. Departmental and college scholarships are available based on ability, financial need and interest.

Animal Sciences courses are attractive to students in other majors and from any background. Animal Sciences courses broaden a student’s knowledge of applied and basic biology, agriculture and the environment, and society in general. Many students find that obtaining a minor in Animal Sciences complements and adds depth to other majors.

Transfer Students

Students planning to transfer to the Department of Animal Sciences, Washington State University, from community colleges or other institutions should complete as many science, mathematics, and University Common Requirements (UCORE) courses as possible prior to transferring. Inquiries about specific courses should be directed to the Undergraduate Academic Coordinator in the department.

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