Poultry science students focus on the biology of domestic birds, including chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese. Courses cover physiology, nutrition, and health, as well as husbandry and business management related to poultry. Processing of meat and eggs and their role as healthy foods are important aspects included in the major. The poultry science curriculum is useful for any student who wants to learn the basics of bird biology and/or poultry production.
Career opportunities for poultry science graduates exceed the number of graduates and may be found in production, marketing, sales, and technical services for the live bird industry or its food products (meat or eggs). The Department of Animal Sciences may be consulted for specific career information and information about courses required for the Bachelor of Science degree program.
Many courses for the poultry science major are offered only during summer, when students from around the Midwest travel to UW–Madison to take poultry science courses unavailable at their home schools. The course offerings reflect the role of the UW poultry science program and its collaboration with the Midwest Poultry Consortium. Faculty from many midwestern universities assist in teaching the summer courses.
The department has numerous poultry-related scholarships available, and internships with poultry companies are strongly suggested.
A student majoring in poultry science is placed in the bachelor of science degree program. This program is flexible enough to meet the individual needs and interests of the student.
To declare this major, students must be admitted to UW–Madison and the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS). For information about becoming a CALS first-year or transfer student, see Entering the College.
Students who attend Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) with the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences have the option to declare this major at SOAR. Students may otherwise declare after they have begun their undergraduate studies. For more information, contact the advisor listed under the Advising and Careers tab.
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Requirements
In addition to the University General Education Requirements, all undergraduate students in CALS must satisfy a set of college and major requirements. Specific requirements for all majors in the college and other information on academic matters can be obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, 116 Agricultural Hall, 1450 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3003. Academic departments and advisors also have information on requirements. Courses may not double count within university requirements (General Education and Breadth) or within college requirements (First-Year Seminar, International Studies and Science), but courses counted toward university requirements may also be used to satisfy a college and/or a major requirement; similarly, courses counted toward college requirements may also be used to satisfy a university and/or a major requirement.
College Requirements for all CALS B.S. Degree Programs
|Quality of Work: Students must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.000 to remain in good standing and be eligible for graduation.|
|Residency: Students must complete 30 degree credits in residence at UW–Madison after earning 86 credits toward their undergraduate degree.|
|First Year Seminar||1|
|Physical Science Fundamentals||4-5|
|General Chemistry I|
or CHEM 108
|Chemistry in Our World|
or CHEM 109
|Advanced General Chemistry|
|Additional Science (Biological, Physical, or Natural)||3|
|Science Breadth (Biological, Physical, Natural, or Social)||3|
|CALS Capstone Learning Experience: included in the requirements for each CALS major (see "Major Requirements")|
Courses may not double count within the major (unless specifically noted otherwise), but courses counted toward the major requirements may also be used to satisfy a university requirement and/or a college requirement. A minimum of 15 credits must be completed in the major that are not used elsewhere.
|Mathematics and Statistics|
|Select one of the following (or may be satisfied by placement exam): 1||5-6|
|Algebra and Trigonometry|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Introduction to Statistical Methods|
|Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences|
|Statistical Methods for Bioscience I|
|Select one of the following:||5-10|
| General Chemistry I|
and General Chemistry II
|Advanced General Chemistry|
| Chemical Principles I|
and Chemical Principles II
|Select one of the following options:||13|
|Animal Biology Laboratory|
|Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics|
|Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory|
|Cellular Biology Laboratory|
|GENETICS 466||Principles of Genetics||3|
|Poultry Science Core|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 101||Introduction to Animal Sciences||4|
|AN SCI 314||Poultry Nutrition 2||3|
|AN SCI 315||Poultry Enterprise Management 2||3|
|AN SCI 503||Avian Physiology 2||3|
|AN SCI 508||Poultry Products Technology 2||3|
|AN SCI 511||Breeder Flock and Hatchery Management 2||3|
|AN SCI 512||Management for Avian Health 2||3|
|Poultry Science Depth|
|Select 12 credits from poultry science depth courses||12|
|Select one emphasis area||24-25|
|AN SCI 435||Animal Sciences Proseminar||2|
Science Emphasis students may choose to complete MATH 171 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry I and MATH 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II in place of MATH 114 Algebra and Trigonometry and MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1.
Summer Midwest Poultry Consortium Center of Excellence courses, see www.mwpoultry.org.
|Select 12 credits from the following:||12|
|AN SCI 220||Growth, Composition and Evaluation of Meat Animals||4|
|AN SCI/DY SCI/NUTR SCI 311||Comparative Animal Nutrition||3|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 313||Animal Feeds and Diet Formulation||1|
|AN SCI/FOOD SCI 321||Food Laws and Regulations||1|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 361||Introduction to Animal and Veterinary Genetics||2|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 362||Veterinary Genetics||2|
|or AN SCI/DY SCI 363||Principles of Animal Breeding|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 370||Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development 1||3|
|AN SCI/DY SCI 373||Animal Physiology 2||3|
|or AN SCI/DY SCI 434||Reproductive Physiology|
|AN SCI 415||Application of Monogastric Nutrition Principles||2|
|AN SCI/FOOD SCI 515||Commercial Meat Processing||2|
|AN SCI/F&W ECOL/ZOOLOGY 520||Ornithology||3|
|AN SCI/F&W ECOL/ZOOLOGY 521||Birds of Southern Wisconsin||3|
|FOOD SCI 512||Principles of Food Chemistry-Lab||2|
|M M & I/MICROBIO/PATH-BIO 528||Immunology||3|
|MICROBIO 303||Biology of Microorganisms||3|
|MICROBIO 304||Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory||2|
|ZOOLOGY/ENTOM/M M & I/PATH-BIO 350||Parasitology||3|
|Up to 3 credits from courses listed below can go toward the 12 credits required:|
|Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education|
|Senior Honor Thesis|
|Senior Honors Thesis|
Meets CALS International Studies requirement.
|BIOCHEM 501||Introduction to Biochemistry||3|
|CHEM 343||Introductory Organic Chemistry||3|
|MATH 221||Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1||5|
|PHYSICS 103||General Physics||4|
|Select 9 credits from the following:||9|
|Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory|
|Intermediate Organic Chemistry|
|Biology of Microorganisms|
|Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory|
|A A E 215||Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics 1||3|
|or ECON 101||Principles of Microeconomics|
|A A E 320||Farming Systems Management||3|
|A A E 322||Commodity Markets||3|
|M H R 305||Human Resource Management||3|
|BMOLCHEM 314||Introduction to Human Biochemistry||3|
|Select 9 credits from the following:||9|
|Plant Nutrition Management|
|Introduction to Finance|
|Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1|
|Biology of Microorganisms|
|Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory|
|General Soil Science|
A A E 215 Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics not accepted as a prerequisite for some advanced business courses.
Honors in the Major
Admission to the Honors Program is not competitive provided students meet the required admission criteria.
Admission Criteria for New Freshmen:
- In the upper 10% of their high school graduating class
- ACT score of 28 or higher
- SAT score of at least 1240
Admission Criteria for Transfer and Continuing UW-Madison Students:
- UW-Madison cumulative GPA of at least 3.25
Highly motivated students can apply for admission to the program in the absence of these requirements by including a letter with their application addressed to the Honors Dean in 116 Agricultural Hall explaining why they should be in the program.
How to Apply
Apply to the program online or pick up an application in the Office of Academic Affairs, 116 Agricultural Hall. Applications are accepted at any time.
New freshmen will automatically be enrolled in Honors in Research. It is possible to switch to Honors in the Major in the student’s first semester on campus after meeting with the advisor for that major by completing the application form and selecting Honors in the Major. Transfer and continuing students may apply directly to Honors in Research or Honors in the Major (after meeting with the major advisor).
How to Cancel Participation
Students who are no longer interested in pursuing Honors should complete the form to cancel their participation. Students may cancel their participation at any time, and this will not be noted on the student’s transcript.
To earn Honors in the Major, students are required to take at least 20 honors credits. In addition, students must take AN SCI 681 Senior Honor Thesis and AN SCI 682 Senior Honors Thesis when completing their thesis project; please see the Honors in Major Checklist for more information.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
1. (Knowledge and comprehension) Develop the working vocabulary of an animal scientist, a working knowledge of the basic anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and genetics of animal and meat biology, and the applied nutrition, breeding, product harvest and processing skills, necessary to manage animal production systems. Demonstrate their knowledge through rigorous examination and demonstration through hands‐on instructional laboratory activities.
2. (Analytical processing) Develop the ability to reduce complex datasets and scientific information into meaningful relationships and correlations, and using the scientific literature, they can develop hypotheses to test the cause of predicted relationships using the scientific method. Demonstrate these skills through a senior capstone experience and through individualized research opportunities and instructional activities.
3. (Integration for application) When faced with real world problems which they have never confronted, our students are able to apply their knowledge to develop solutions. In addition, our students are capable of identifying problems yet to be investigated and in need o f advanced study. The student’s ability to integrate and apply their knowledge is demonstrated through our internship programs, animal related job experiences, club activities, and problems sets that students solve in exams and laboratory settings.
4. (Critical thinking) Find their sources of information using peer reviewed research articles. They learn not only to question popular press, but understand that even in the scientific literature there are contradictory findings. They have the capacity to synthesize scientific literature such that they can communicate a position backed with strong scientific support. These skills are demonstrated through the reading, writing and discussion of science-based papers in key courses during their educational process and through an oral presentation in their capstone course.
5. (Effective communication) Communicate, both in writing and orally, the science behind the biology and management of domestically farmed animals. Their communications provide new insights into animal production, and are explained in a manner fitting with the audience. Our students' ability to communicate is measured by their effectiveness in presenting research posters and presentations, their analysis of the literature in papers and presentations in class and during their senior capstone course.
Sample Poultry Science Four-Year Plan
|AN SCI/DY SCI 101||4||CHEM 104 (unless took 109)||5|
|CHEM 103 or 1091||4||MATH 113 (unless took 114)||3|
|MATH 114 or 1121||5||Humanities||3|
|First Year Seminar||1||Emphasis Course2||3-4|
|ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY/BOTANY 151||5||ZOOLOGY/BIOLOGY/BOTANY 152||5||AN SCI 5033||3|
|Emphasis Course||3||Emphasis Course||5||AN SCI 5113||3|
|Ethnic or Int'l Studies||3||Social Science||3||AN SCI 5083||3|
|Elective||3||Int'l or Ethnic Studies||3|
|GENETICS 466||3||STAT 371||3||AN SCI 5123||3|
|Emphasis Courses||6||Emphasis Course||4||AN SCI 3143||3|
|Poultry Sci Depth Course4||2||Poultry Sci Depth Course||4-5||AN SCI 3153||3|
|AN SCI 435||2|
|Poultry Sci Depth Courses||6|
|AN SCI Independent Study||1-3|
|Total Credits 123-127|
Choose Science or Business Emphasis; see Requirements tab.
Summer school is required because courses are only offered in the summer.
12 credits required; see Requirements tab for options.
All students receive individualized advising from their academic advisors. Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon declaration of the major. Interested students should contact Kathy Monson (email@example.com, 608-263-5225) with questions.
Career opportunities for poultry science graduates exceed the number of graduates and may be found in production, marketing, sales, and technical services for the live bird industry or its food products (meat or eggs). Internships and research experience are encouraged.
|Recommended Animal Sciences Electives|
|Career Orientation Animal/Poultry Sciences|
|The Biology and Appreciation of Companion Animals|
|Advanced Meat Animal Evaluation Lab|
|Horse Science and Management|
|Food Laws and Regulations|
|Study Abroad in Animal Sciences|
|Laboratory Techniques in Mammalian Gamete and Embryo Biology|
Albrecht, Claus, Crenshaw (chair), Khatib, Kirkpatrick, Parrish, Reed, Richards, Rosa, Schaefer
Barry, Kean, Monson, O'Rourke, Russell, Sandberg
Undergraduates majoring in poultry science at UW–Madison will find an inclusive, welcoming community where professors know their students and are able to provide guidance based on students’ specific academic and career goals. There are numerous opportunities to conduct research with faculty and to take part in the Wisconsin Idea, whereby faculty and students extend the knowledge developed at the university to stakeholders in Wisconsin and beyond for the betterment of society.
Students majoring in poultry science are involved in a wide variety of opportunities across campus. Students are highly encouraged to complement their coursework with out-of-classroom experiences such as clubs, research, volunteering, internships, and study abroad.
By joining one of the several clubs listed below, majors get to know their fellow students outside the classroom. The following opportunities can help students connect with other students interested in poultry science and other biological science majors, build relationships with faculty and staff, and contribute to out-of-classroom learning.
- Pre Vet Club
- Poultry Club
- Badger Meat Science Club
- Saddle and Sirloin Club
- Hoofer Riding Club
- Badger Dairy Club
- Collegiate FFA
- Association of Women in Agriculture
- Meat Lab/Bucky’s Butchery: Interested in meat science? The meat-processing facilities within the poultry science department apply many food science principles and provide a unique opportunity for students to get hands-on experience with all aspects of meat production.
- Study Abroad: Poultry science majors have the opportunity to go on experiential study abroad programs, where they can immerse themselves in research or global, animal field experiences. Students can review the International Academic Programs website and the CALS study abroad advising page for information on these and other programs, as well as requirements that can typically be fulfilled abroad and things to consider when fitting study abroad into an academic plan.
- Research/Lab Experience: Students are encouraged to get involved in research, whether in the poultry science department or through other biology -elated departments. Research can be performed for either course credit or pay, depending on the opportunity. Research opportunities can be found primarily by contacting faculty members.
Students are also involved in prehealth organizations, volunteer and shadowing opportunities, publishing in an undergraduate science journal, biotechnology and agricultural internships, and other related experiences on and off campus.