Admissions to the Animal Science B.S. will be suspended as of spring 2024 and will be discontinued as of fall 2028. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

Students interested in the Animal Sciences BS may be interested in the Animal and Veterinary Biosciences BS, a new major as of Fall 2023.


Studying the biology of domesticated animals helps us better understand their health. The major addresses important issues related to animal health and welfare, biomedical advancements, food safety, precision livestock farming, and land and water stewardship.

Students in the animal sciences major learn about cattle, swine, sheep, horses, poultry, and goats, as well as companion animals. They also examine recent discoveries connecting human and animal health.

The Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences is home to the undergraduate program in animal sciences. It produces skilled leaders in animal agriculture and sustainable food systems while embracing innovation and technology. A 10:1 student-faculty ratio and small classes allow for meaningful connections among students and instructors.

Students can take courses on an assortment of topics including animal breeding, veterinary genetics, animal health and welfare, animal nutrition, and companion animals including dogs and cats, and more. The major offers a science-focused path for students interested in veterinary medicine, animal science, medicine, or other graduate programs. Students can also focus on the business of animal sciences with classes in economics, accounting, marketing, farm management, and other courses.

Learn through hands-on, real world experiences

The program emphasizes hands-on learning, and students choose from more than a dozen lab courses covering animal handling, reproductive biology, veterinary genetics, meat processing, animal welfare, and more. Field courses look at international agriculture and sustainability.  The department encourages animal sciences majors to get involved with internships and research with faculty and staff.

Build community and networks

Animal sciences majors find a welcoming community where professors know their students and can provide guidance based on their specific goals. Outside of the classroom, students can join several student organizations including the Pre Vet Club, Badger Meat Science Club, Saddle and Sirloin Club, and Poultry Club. Competitions, such as animal welfare assessment and meat judging offer students unique networking experiences in the industry.

Customize a path of study

The variety of classes in the department, including paths that emphasize science or business, allows animal sciences students to customize their coursework to fit their career goals. Students can elect to complete Honors in Animal Sciences.

Make a strong start

The department offers an introductory seminar course that helps students maximize their education, develop professional skills, and make informed decisions about their classes, internships, and career opportunities.

Gain global perspective

Students are encouraged to study abroad; the department offers globally focused courses that look at livestock production, health, animal agriculture, and sustainable development. Students can explore studying abroad as an Animal Sciences major utilizing the Animal Sciences Major Advising Page. Students work with their advisor and the CALS study abroad office to identify appropriate programs.  

Admissions to the Animal Science B.S. will be suspended as of spring 2024 and will be discontinued as of fall 2028. If you have any questions, please contact the department.

Students interested in the Animal Sciences BS may be interested in the Animal and Veterinary Biosciences BS, a new major as of Fall 2023.

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 in the Contact Box for the major.

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 Sciences3
AN SCI/​DY SCI  102 Introduction to Animal Sciences Laboratory1
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

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.


A course cannot be used for credit in both the Core and Depth within major sections.

Depth Courses

Select 12 credits from the following:
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  321 Food Laws and Regulations1
AN SCI 336 Animal Growth and Development3
AN SCI/DY SCI 362 Veterinary Genetics2
or AN SCI/DY SCI 363 Principles of Animal Breeding
AN SCI 366 Concepts in Genomics3
AN SCI/DY SCI 370 Livestock Production and Health in Agricultural Development 13
AN SCI/​DY SCI  373 Animal Physiology3
or AN SCI/​DY SCI  434 Reproductive Physiology
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
DY SCI/​AGRONOMY  471 Food Production Systems and Sustainability3
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

Meets CALS International Studies requirement.

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 Organic Chemistry I3
BIOCHEM 501 Introduction to Biochemistry3
Select 9 credits from the following:9
Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Organic Chemistry II
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 Agricultural 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

A A E 215 Introduction to Agricultural and Applied Economics not accepted as a prerequisite for some advanced Business courses.

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  1013CHEM 1045
AN SCI/​DY SCI  1021AN SCI Elective1-3
AN SCI 1351Social Science (or Humanities)3
CHEM 1034Ethnic Studies (or CALS International Studies)3
MATH 113 or 1143-5 
 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  36132
AN SCI/​FOOD SCI  3054AN SCI/​DY SCI  362 or 36332
 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

Choose Science or Business Emphasis; see Requirements tab for details.


12 credits required; see Requirements tab for options.


These courses are generally offered as intensive modular courses with AN SCI/​DY SCI  361 being offered first half of the semester and AN SCI/​DY SCI  362/AN SCI/​DY SCI  363 Principles of Animal Breeding offered second half of the semester.   


Each student receives one-on-one guidance from their professional advisor. Academic advisors will help students build an individualized, four-year plan. Many animal sciences majors have completed double majors with Life Sciences Communication, Genetics and Genomics, and departments outside of CALS such as Spanish, depending on the students’ interests. Certificates such as CALS Business Management, Environmental Studies, Food Systems, and Global Health compliment several of our students interests and provide depth to their undergraduate program.

Career opportunities

All students have a faculty mentor to assist with their career planning.

Students graduating with a degree in animal sciences can enter a number of career fields. These include nutrition, herd management, food testing, business, marketing, technology, meat science, healthcare, research, and teaching. Graduates have also found positions within zoos. Many students go on to pursue graduate education in  veterinary medicine, animal science, or human medicine.

Animal And Dairy Sciences Department


Weigel, Kent (Chair)
Khatib, Hasan (Associate Chair)
Adcock, Sarah
Arriola Apelo, Sebastian
Cabrera, Victor
Claus, Jim
Crenshaw, Thomas
Dorea, Joao
Ferraretto, Luiz
Fricke, Paul
Guo, Wei
Hernandez, Laura
Kirkpatrick, Brian
Laporta, Jimena
Leone, Vanessa
Mantovani, Hilario
Ortega, Sofia
Parrish, John
Peñagaricano, Francisco
Reed, Jess
Richards, Mark
Ricke, Steve
Rosa, Guilherme
Shanmuganayagam, Dhanansayan (Dhanu)
Sindelar, Jeffrey
Van Os, Jennifer
Wattiaux, Michel
White, Heather
Wiltbank, Milo


Halbach, Theodore
Kean, Ron
O’Rourke, Bernadette
Ronk, Eric

Undergraduate Advisor

Sandberg, Liv

Link to: https://andysci.wisc.edu/about-us/faculty-and-staff/


Animal sciences majors take part in a number of internships around campus and beyond. Past students interned at veterinary clinics and hospitals, genetics companies, animal feed companies, Extension, food companies, farms, animal pharmaceutical companies, animal councils, and more.

Opportunities at Bucky’s Varsity Meats, an on-campus meat-processing facility, and the Livestock Laboratory give students hands-on experience with all aspects of meat production.

Research experience

There are numerous opportunities to conduct research with faculty and staff in the department. Around 75 percent of animal sciences majors have completed independent study projects, and research stipends are available. Some students also take part in research as part of an honors thesis.

Student organizations

By joining a student organization, animal sciences majors connect with other students and build relationships with faculty and staff. Organizations available to animal sciences students include Pre Vet Club, Badger Meat Science Club, Saddle and Sirloin Club, and Poultry Club.

There are additional opportunities for students to get involved in animal-related organizations on campus such as Hoofer Riding Club, Badger Dairy Club, Collegiate FFA, and Association of Women in Agriculture.

Competitive teams

Students can join teams and compete against other universities for events such as the Animal Welfare Assessment and the Animal Science Academic Quadrathalon competition.

Global engagement

The department encourages students to study abroad and offers globally focused courses that look at livestock production, health, animal agriculture, and sustainable development. Students can find more information on the International Academic Programs website and the CALS study abroad advising page.

Community engagement and volunteering

Animal sciences students engage in a number of volunteer opportunities including working at the Livestock Lab, the Poultry Research Lab, the Dairy Cattle Center, Bucky’s Varsity Meats, and Animal Farm Units. Students also participate in Extension, 4-H and undergraduate student recruitment events.

On campus, the Morgridge Center for Public Service provides resources to help students connect with volunteer opportunities based on their interests and goals.

The animal sciences program awards $25,000 – 35,000 in annual scholarships. Students in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences receive more than $1.25 million in scholarships annually. Learn more about college scholarships here.

The new, state-of-the-art Meat Science & Animal Biologics Discovery Building houses a fully functional meat processing facility, a retail shop called Bucky’s Varsity Meats, and an advanced laboratory that offer students highly valued hands-on opportunities.

Other specialized facilities offering students hands-on experiences include:

  • The Livestock Laboratory accommodates research on multiple species and includes a surgery room.
  • The Poultry Research Laboratory houses chickens and other birds.
  • The Dairy Cattle Center houses more than 80 dairy cows on campus in a tie-stall barn.
  • A network of off-campus Agricultural Research Stations serve as living laboratories for agricultural animal research.