The undergraduate program leads to a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Animal Science or Pre-Veterinary Science or Veterinary Technology. Incoming freshmen students must choose the Animal Science major or the Veterinary Technology major. Animal Science Majors must choose the Animal Biotechnology and Research concentration, or the Animal Management concentration, or the Equine Science concentration.  Students can choose to change their concentration later if they find their interests are better suited to another concentration. Students must meet specific criteria (noted below) and complete an application to enter the Pre-Veterinary Science Major.

Major Descriptions

Animal Science Major

This major provides a sound background in the basic sciences to prepare students for a broad range of jobs in agriculture and related biomedical fields.  Incoming freshmen students enter our program as Animal Science Majors and must choose the Animal Biotechnology and Research concentration or the Animal Management concentration or the Equine Science Concentration. Students can choose to change their concentration if they find their interests are better suited in another concentration. 

Animal Management Concentration

The Animal Management concentration provides the opportunity for students who choose to follow a career in Animal Management to have a well-structured and strong curriculum that can make them highly competitive in the market place, preparing them for both large-scale and small-scale farming of domestic animals, that is, “backyard to industrial”. The ‘buy local’ movement is expected to increase available jobs in New England for those schooled in this field. The Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences offers a series of courses that formalize the curriculum and accessory courses are taken in ancillary departments to provide expertise in non-domesticated animal management (wildlife, zoo, exotics) or for a career in teaching agriculture. Students have access to a number of animal species at our associated farms including a herd of Belted Galloway cattle, herds of Boer meat goats and Dorset sheep, as well as poultry and horses on which to learn management skills.  We also partner with a local dairy farm where students care for the dairy calves and learn management skills.  The Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences emphasizes animal ethics of food animal production as well as the impact of farming techniques on the environment.

Biotechnology Concentration

The Biotechnology and Research concentration is for those students interested in laboratory or research careers in the fields of veterinary and human health or biotechnology. Biotechnologists explore and develop new technologies in molecular biology, molecular genetics, embryo manipulation and cell and tissue culture.  We encourage students to develop and pursue their research interests in the field and in the University’s laboratories.  Animals contribute to human health through companionship, their role as models for diseases, as well as a source of food and fiber.  There is a need for graduates who are familiar with animals to serve as lab technicians in the laboratories of both public and private research institutions. 

Equine Science Concentration

The Equine Science concentration is based on knowledge of basic scientific concepts applied to the equine species. Students learn the scientific concepts and practical application of the management, nutrition, veterinary care, breeding, stable management, and handling of horses through comprehensive coursework and technical/hands-on training at the UMass Hadley Farm Equine Center. Students will work alongside equine health and reproductive specialists to learn herd and health management and the breeding industry including stallion collection, artificial insemination, pregnancy, and foaling. Students also have the opportunity to gain clinical experience working with our certified faculty in the Equine Rehabilitation program. Additional courses include equine nutrition, equine behavior and learning theory, stable management, equine sports medicine, and development of young horses. Students will acquire basic scientific knowledge by taking courses in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, and general animal science to broaden their knowledge and skills, preparing them for an array of careers, veterinary school, or graduate studies. Graduates of the Equine Science concentration have many career opportunities including: veterinarian, nutritionist, equine rehabilitation practitioner, chiropractor, equine marketing specialist, breed association professional, equine science teacher, equine-assisted therapy director, and pharmaceutical research/sales. Students gain real-world experience and build professional contacts through our internship program, career seminars, and industry association events.

Pre-Veterinary Science Major

This major provides pre-professional training to students planning to continue their education in Veterinary, Graduate or Medical school, or who are contemplating joining the teaching profession.To be eligible to enter the Pre-Veterinary major, students must achieve and maintain an average grade of B- or better in the following required courses:

Animal Science 103 - Introduction to Animal Management
Animal Science 220 - Anatomy & Physiology
Animal Science 285 - Animal Cell & Molecular Biology
Biology 151/152/153 - Introduction to Biology and lab
Chemistry 111/112 - Inorganic Chemistry
Chemistry 261 - Organic Chemistry
Math 127 - Calculus

Students may enter the Pre-Veterinary major at any time after they have met the above requirements. To enter the Pre-Veterinary major, students must complete the Pre-Vet GPA calculation sheet and submit it to vasci [at] Students who are unable to maintain an average grade of B- or better in the courses required for entrance to the Pre-Veterinary major will have ample time to tailor their class choices to suit their area of interest and future career goals and generate an emphasis in a relevant area.

Veterinary Technology Major

This major provides students with the opportunity to spend two years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus learning in state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and farms, followed by two years near Boston in the dedicated Veterinary Technology facility at the UMass Amherst-Mt. Ida campus in Newton, Massachusetts. Students graduating from UMass Amherst’s BS-Vet Tech program will be prepared for a career as a veterinary technologist in veterinary medicine or biomedical research. Please contact Program Director, ajrubin [at] (Dr. Amy Rubin) for additional information.


The Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences does not currently offer a minor.
Animal Science students may choose to minor in other disciplines.

Dual Majors/Dual Degrees

Dual Major

If you are considering taking two majors, you have a choice between a Double Major or a Dual Degree. Double Major: (120 cr): Students pursuing a double major choose a primary and secondary major, fulfill the course requirements for both, and graduate with a minimum of 120 credits total.  Certain requirements, such as junior year writing, must be completed in the primary major. Students with double majors should meet with the academic advisors in both departments to learn the extent to which courses required by one major can be used to satisfy the requirements of the other major. At graduation a double major earns a single degree in the primary major, but both the primary and secondary major are recorded on the transcript. 

Dual Degree

Students wishing to earn two degrees, each in a different major, must complete all of the major and college requirements for both degrees, and also must complete at least 30 additional units for a minimum of 150 credits. Requirements must be completed within ten semesters, unless the Academic Dean grants an extension.

Second Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science

 Students who have graduated from other majors at UMass Amherst or from other universities are eligible to apply for a second bachelor’s degree.  Most students accepted into this program in recent years are changing careers or completing courses required for application to veterinary school.  Applications are obtained by calling the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 413-545-0222. The Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences determines whether courses from the student’s first degree meet major requirements. The University requires UMass Amherst graduates to take a minimum 30 additional credits, and students who are graduates from other universities to take a minimum 45 additional credits.  The Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences will generate a contract for the applicant based on the applicant’s first degree transcript, Animal Science required courses and the prerequisites for the Animal Science required courses. The chart below lists the Animal Science courses required for graduation. The courses for the Second Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science may require a number of prerequisites that are not presented in the chart below, including courses that may be needed for entry into veterinary, graduate, or professional schools.

Transfer Student Information

Students often transfer from community and other colleges and universities to UMass-Amherst. The University and the Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences establish the number of transfer credits and course equivalents. Upon arrival, a transfer student should work closely with the Transfer Advisor and with their assigned academic advisor. This counseling aids in developing a curriculum plan tailored to the student's needs. A student transferring as a junior, for example, may need one or more prerequisite classes before being able to take junior level VASCI department courses. It may be necessary to plan on one or more extra semesters of course work to be able to take the courses the student would like to take and to meet graduation requirements. This will depend on the student's previous major and the courses that qualify to be transferred.

Transfer Admissions Requirements

    The primary criterion for transfer admission is the quality of your academic record. Other factors include the number of transfer credits, prerequisite coursework, type of completed courses, consistency of grades, and available space. Successful applicants are expected to have a 2.7 or higher minimum overall GPA in full-time academic college coursework across a range of disciplines, as well as recent enrollment with a 2.7 or higher minimum GPA in full-time academic coursework across a range of disciplines. However, meeting the minimum criteria is no guarantee of admission, since the university considers a variety of factors in predicting the academic success of applicants and in making admission decisions.
     Prior to enrollment, all transfer applicants must have completed a college-level non-ESL composition course which fulfills the UMass Amherst writing requirement (exceptions may be made for students enrolled at foreign universities). All transfer students entering as juniors are also required to declare a major and then be admissible to that major in order to be accepted to UMass Amherst.
     Priority consideration for admission is given to Massachusetts community college graduates who participate in the Joint Admissions or MassTransfer programs.

Additional information about this program can be found at:

Transferring Credits

Prior approval is required for students wishing to take credits at another institution and transfer them to UMass to meet degree requirements. The Prior Approval for Transfer Course Work Form is found at
     Prior approval is also required when a student intends to complete his/her final degree requirements (or do any portion of their senior year) at another institution, including any other UMASS campus, or with CLEP credits.  The Prior Approval for Completing Senior Year in Absentia Form can be found at
     If the course a student wishes to transfer credits for is a major requirement, the student’s academic faculty advisor must sign for approval.  If the course is a Gen Ed requirement, a transfer affairs counselor must sign for approval.
     Specific letter grades earned outside UMass Amherst do not transfer.  Transferred grades are not used in calculating a student’s GPA.  Transferred grades will not replace a C- or below from a UMass course.
     In order to graduate from UMass Amherst, all students must complete a minimum of 120 graduation credits (130-34 for Engineering) and all UMass Amherst/College/Major requirements with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.  Up to 75 transfer or testing credits may be applied to graduation requirements. However, students are required to earn at least 45 credits in residence at UMass Amherst (at least 60 credits in residence if graduating with honors).  All scores and transcripts must be sent to Undergraduate Admissions directly from the institution or testing agency.  Transfer credit is generally awarded if your previous coursework is comparable in content and scope to courses offered by UMass Amherst and you earned a grade of C- (1.7) or higher in the course. Internships, co-ops, and technical, vocational, or highly specialized courses are generally not accepted for transfer credit. In the case of a non-traditional grading system, faculty evaluations must be submitted as part of your official transcript.  Admitted freshmen who have supplied the relevant official transcripts will receive a transfer credit evaluation in the fall of their first semester.  Admitted transfer students will receive a preliminary transfer credit evaluation with their admit package. A more detailed course and major evaluation will then take place during orientation.

Exchange Programs

We welcome exchange students from other universities in the United States and from around the globe. Students are encouraged to participate in national and international exchange programs.

Exchange Students from Other Universities
We would like to make your time in our Veterinary & Animal Sciences program a pleasant one. It is important that you meet with the Undergraduate Program Director or a faculty member to ensure that the classes your home university may have selected for you, or that you have selected, are appropriate. A short visit can determine if you have taken the prerequisites needed for success in those classes.

National Student Exchange for UMass Students
The on-campus UMass-Amherst Domestic Exchange is part of the National Student Exchange of about 160 colleges across the United States. With planning through your academic advisor, courses can be selected to meet Departmental and university requirements so that you graduate with your class. You may also find courses not offered at UMass-Amherst that would enhance your educational experience. Students normally select an exchange for their junior year. Applicants must be in good standing (GPA of 2.5) and make application for an exchange through the UMass-Amherst Domestic Exchange Office, 613 Goodell (413-545-5351) in the year prior to the exchange. Exchanges can be for one or two semesters at the same or different schools. The National Student Exchange web site is

International Student Exchange for UMass students
International exchange programs through UMass-Amherst can be arranged throughout the world. UMass has a long history of international involvement with other universities beginning with our third college president William S. Clark, who was instrumental in the development of, and the first president of Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan in 1876. It was started as an agricultural college and continues today as a sister university of UMass-Amherst. In appreciation, the outdoor art display on Orchard Hill behind Van Meter Dorm was donated by Hokkaido University. Today, exchanges involve over 80 college programs in 25 countries. International exchanges most often occur in the junior year. A grade point average of 3.0 and foreign language proficiency (in non-English speaking countries) is desired. Most courses taken (but not the grades) are transferable to our program and count towards residency credit requirements. Apply at the W.S. Clark International Center, (413-545-2710).