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
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* 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. Courses may not double count within university requirements (General Education and Breadth) or within college requirements (First-Year Seminar, International Studies, Science, and Capstone), 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 Seminar1
International Studies3
Physical Science Fundamentals4-5
General Chemistry I
Chemistry in Our World
Advanced General Chemistry
Biological Science5
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")

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): 15-6
and Trigonometry
Algebra and Trigonometry
Select one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Statistical Methods
Introductory Applied Statistics for the Life Sciences
Select one of the following:5-10
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
Select one of the following:13
Option 1:
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Option 2:
Animal Biology
Animal Biology Laboratory
General Botany
Option 3:
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics
Evolution, Ecology, and Genetics Laboratory
Cellular Biology
Cellular Biology Laboratory
GENETICS 466 Principles of Genetics3
Animal Sciences Core 2
AN SCI/DY SCI 101 Introduction to Animal Sciences4
AN SCI/FOOD SCI 305 Introduction to Meat Science and Technology4
AN SCI/DY SCI/NUTR SCI 311 Comparative Animal Nutrition3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  320 Animal Health and Disease3
AN SCI/DY SCI 361 Introduction to Animal and Veterinary Genetics2
AN SCI/​DY SCI  362 Veterinary Genetics2
or AN SCI/​DY SCI  363 Principles of Animal Breeding
AN SCI/​DY SCI  373 Animal Physiology3
or AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology
Animal Science Depth
Select 12 credits from animal science depth courses 212
Select an emphasis24-25
AN SCI 435 Animal Sciences Proseminar2
Total Credits88-96

Depth Courses

Select 12 credits from the following:
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  321 Food Laws and Regulations1
AN SCI/DY SCI 370 Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development 13
AN SCI/DY SCI 362 Veterinary Genetics2
or AN SCI/DY SCI 363 Principles of Animal Breeding
AN SCI/​DY SCI  373 Animal Physiology3
or AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology
AN SCI 375 Special Topics (Equine Reproductive Management)2
AN SCI 375 Special Topics (Growth and Development)3
AN SCI/DY SCI 414 Ruminant Nutrition & Metabolism3
AN SCI 415 Application of Monogastric Nutrition Principles2
AN SCI 431 Beef Cattle Production3
AN SCI 432 Swine Production3
INTER-AG 471 3
AN SCI/​DY SCI/​FOOD SCI/​SOIL SCI  472 Animal Agriculture and Global Sustainable Development1
AN SCI/​DY SCI/​FOOD SCI/​SOIL SCI  473 International Field Study in Animal Agriculture and Sustainable Development2
AN SCI/FOOD SCI 515 Commercial Meat Processing2
Up to 3 credits from courses listed below can go toward the required 12 credits of depth:3
Coordinative Internship/Cooperative Education
Senior Honor Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis
Special Problems

Emphasis Courses

Science Emphasis

MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 15
or MATH 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
PHYSICS 103 General Physics4
CHEM 343 Introductory Organic Chemistry3
BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry3
or BMOLCHEM 503 Human Biochemistry
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Intermediate Organic Chemistry
Biology of Microorganisms
Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
General Physics
Animal Behavior
Total Credits24

Business Emphasis

Up to two courses may be applied to Certificate in Business Mgmt. for Ag. & Life Sciences.

A A E 215 Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics 14
or ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics
A A E 320 Farming Systems Management3
A A E 322 Commodity Markets4
Select one of the following:3
Human Resource Management
Fundamentals of Accounting and Finance for Non-Business Majors
Fundamentals of Management and Marketing for Non-Business Majors
Select one of the following:3
Survey of Biochemistry
Elementary Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Biochemistry
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Agricultural Finance
Introductory Financial Accounting
Accounting Principles
Plant Nutrition Management
Introduction to Finance
Managing Organizations
Marketing Management
Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1
Biology of Microorganisms
Biology of Microorganisms Laboratory
General Physics
General Soil Science
Total Credits26

Honors in the Major

Students admitted to the university and to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences are invited to apply to be considered for admission to the CALS Honors Program.

Admission Criteria for New First-Year Students:

  • Complete program application including essay questions

Admission Criteria for Transfer and Continuing UW-Madison Students:

  • UW-Madison cumulative GPA of at least 3.25
  • Complete program application including essay questions

How to Apply

The application is available on the CALS Honors Program website.  Applications are accepted at any time.

New first-year students with accepted applications 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 receiving approval from the advisor for that major.  Transfer and continuing students may apply directly to Honors in Research or Honors in the Major (after approval from the major advisor).


All CALS Honors programs have the following requirements:

  • Earn at least a cumulative 3.25 GPA at UW-Madison (some programs have higher requirements)
  • Complete the program-specific requirements listed below
  • Submit completed thesis documentation to CALS Academic Affairs


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 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, develop hypotheses to test the cause of predicted relationships using the scientific method. Demonstrate skills through a senior capstone experience and through individualized research opportunities and instructional activities.
  3. (Integration for application) Apply knowledge to develop solutions to real world problems. Identify problems yet to be investigated and in need of advanced study. Ability to integrate and apply 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. Learn not only to question popular press, but understand that even in the scientific literature there are contradictory findings. Capacity to synthesize scientific literature such that they can communicate a position backed with strong scientific support. 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. Communications provide new insights into animal production, and are explained in a manner fitting with the audience. 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.

Four-Year Plan

Sample Animal Sciences Four-Year Plan

AN SCI/​DY SCI  1014CHEM 1045
CHEM 1034AN SCI Elective1-3
MATH 113 or 1143-5Social Science (or Humanities)3
COMM-A3Ethnic Studies (or CALS International Studies)3
First-Year Seminar1 
 15-17 12-14
STAT 3713Emphasis Course13
Emphasis Course13-4Humanities (or Social Science)6
CALS International Studies (or Ethnic Studies)3 
 14-15 14
Emphasis Course3An Sci Depth23
AN SCI Depth Course3AN SCI/​DY SCI  3612
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  3054AN SCI/​DY SCI  362 or 3632
 Emphasis Course3
 16 16
AN SCI 4352An Sci Depth5-6
An Sci Depth3Electives3
Emphasis Course3-4Emphasis course3-5
Emphasis course3-4 
AN SCI 6991-3 
 12-16 11-14
Total Credits 110-122

All students receive individualized advising from their academic advisor. Students are assigned an academic advisor upon declaration of the major and are expected to meet with their advisor each semester before registering for courses in the upcoming semester.  Academic advisors will assist students in developing an individualized, four-year curricular plan. Internships and research experience are encouraged. Numerous graduates have completed double majors with Life Sciences Communication, Genetics and Genomics, and departments outside of CALS such as Spanish, according to the interests and aspirations of the student. Interested students should contact J. Liv Sandberg  (608-263-4303) with questions.

Career opportunities exist in the meat, reproductive technology, feed, agribusiness, agri-marketing, and biotechnology industries. Occasionally, students have found positions within zoos. Many students pursue graduate education in veterinary medicine, animal science, medicine, or other programs.

Recommended Animal Science Electives
Animal Handling
AN SCI 150
The Biology and Appreciation of Companion Animals
Independent Study
Special Topics
Study Abroad in Animal Sciences

Animal and Dairy Sciences Department


Weigel (Chair), Khatib (Associate Chair), Cabrera, Claus, Crenshaw, Fricke, Kirkpatrick, Parrish, Reed, Richards, Ricke, Rosa, Sindelar, Wattiaux, Wiltbank

Associate Professors

Hernandez, White

Assistant Professors

Adcock, Arriola Apelo, Dorea, Ferraretto, Guo, Laporta, Leone, Peñagaricano, Shanmuganayagam, Van Os


Halbach, Kean, O’Rourke, Ronk

Student Services Coordinator

Liv Sandberg

Graduate Coordinator

Megan Sippel

Undergraduates majoring in Animal Sciences 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 Animal Sciences 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 Animal Sciences 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 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: Animal Sciences majors have the opportunity to participate in 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 with Animal Sciences faculty or through other biology-related 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.  For more information for undergraduate opportunities, see this link.  

Students are also involved in pre-health organizations, volunteer and shadowing opportunities, publishing in an undergraduate science journal, biotechnology and agricultural internships, and other related experiences on and off campus.