Caring for animals is an important way to steward and work with God’s creation. Dordt’s animal science program will prepare you for a future in the industry. Whether you enter graduate school or to jump right into livestock production or other industries, you’ll be ready with an animal science emphasis.
The animal science emphasis includes a combination of agriculture, biology, and chemistry. This blend of classes prepares you to work with all kinds of animals: cows, sheep, horses, dogs, cats—maybe even elephants.
This emphasis is a challenging blend of classroom education and hands-on experience. You’ll interact directly with animals and learn how to care for them. You’ll also develop a deeper understanding of your role as a Christ follower in the ag industry.
What You'll Learn
As part of earning your major in agriculture from Dordt, you’ll learn the fundamentals of the agriculture industry. With an animal science emphasis, you’ll learn the anatomy and physiology of animals. You’ll get hands-on training and experience with animals. And you’ll learn what you need to know for the next steps in your career.
What You Can Do With An Animal Science Emphasis
When you get your emphasis in animal science, you’ll leave Dordt ready for so many careers involving animals.
Animal caretaking. Managing animal production on farms and ranches. Animal training. With an Animal Science emphasis, these jobs and more can be part of your career path.
Animal Health Inspector
An Animal Health Inspector ensures that animals are kept in safe environments by evaluating facilities and making sure they are in compliance with state and federal laws.
An Agricultural Journalist is responsible for planning and producing web and print articles that report current agricultural trends as well as verify the data in their story through research.
Breed Association Representative
A Breed Association Representative contacts potential buyers to present and sell products and services for dairy farmers and businesses.
Students who choose the animal science emphasis will complete courses in chemistry, biology, and agriculture in addition to completing the general requirements for an agriculture degree. Although students have some flexibility about which courses they take, students will complete at least eight credit hours of lab work and are encouraged to perform an internship.
- General Chemistry: A first course in the fundamental principles of chemistry for students in all science disciplines. Topics include measurement, the mole and reaction stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular forces, gases, types of reactions, and energy in chemical reactions. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Organic and Biological Chemistry: Organic molecules and their functional groups and biomolecules and their function in living cells will be studied. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week. The laboratory will include experiments in organic and biological chemistry.
- Principles of Chemistry: A study of the fundamental principles of chemistry and an introduction to foundational issues in science. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, chemical equilibria, chemical kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, and electrochemistry. An introduction to laboratory safety and chemical hygiene is included in the laboratory. This is the first course in chemistry for majors in the physical and life sciences. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Organic Chemistry: Structure and Mechanism: In this foundational organic chemistry course, students will learn the foundational topics and problem-solving skills needed to understand the plethora of chemical reactions that involve compounds containing carbon. A working knowledge and application of topics such as nucleophiles, electrophiles, acids, bases, stereochemistry, mechanism, kinetics, substitution reactions, elimination reactions, carbonyl chemistry, and conformational analysis will be developed. Through a detailed understanding of the chemistry, an honest discussion of ethical implications, and a thoughtful interaction with the material we will develop an understanding of how God reveals himself through his creational structure.
- Cell and Molecular Biology: An introduction to molecular mechanisms in living organisms. Topics include structure and functions of cellular components, gene structure and expression, and recombinant DNA technology. Concepts of reductionism and evolutionary theory will be addressed. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week.
- Microbiology: A study of the form, structure, and classification of microorganisms, including an introduction to viruses. The course will emphasize bacteria, general laboratory techniques, culturing and control of microbial growth. A substantial portion of the course will deal with immunologic processes: antibodies and antigens, host-antigen reactions, T & B cell response mechanisms, and non-specific host defense mechanisms. Three lectures and one laboratory period per week.
- Advanced Microbiology: An upper-level course in the study of microbes, their history, their cell biology, and inter-organism (symbiotic) processes. Topics will include and build on pro- and eu-karyotic distinctions, in-depth study of viruses and plasmids, anaerobic metabolism, biofilms, endosymbiosis, antibiosis, antibiotic resistance, disease mechanisms, how host immune responses develop and adapt. Laboratory work will include basic microscopic observation, culturing, and identification. Isolation and characterization of bacteria, viruses, and potential antibiosis will be featured as “unknown” work. Intended for biology majors and pre-medical students. Students cannot receive credit for both Biology 302 and 310. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Feeds and Feeding: The evaluation, composition, and values of feedstuffs as they relate to animal nutrient requirements will be considered. The basics of ration formulation and feeding management will be covered for the major livestock species. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Principles of Animal Health: Animal care and facility sanitation will be discussed, focusing on care, disease prevention, disease detection, animal treatment, pharmacology, and health programs. Three lectures per week.
- Anatomy and Physiology of Animals: The structures and functions of the major body systems will be studied as they work together in the life processes of an animal. The nervous, skeletal, muscle, circulatory, endocrine, digestive, and reproductive systems will be examined. Three lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Agriculture Genetics: The current understanding of genetics will provide the basis for molecular and population genetic applications in plant and animal breeding systems. The role of genetic change in agriculture production has been, and will continue to be, an influential part of yield, quality and efficiency of production. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Principles of Dairy Science: Dairy reproduction, physiology, lactation, breeding, nutrition, and genetics will be discussed with an emphasis on scientific principles and their application to dairy science. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory period per week.
- Principles of Swine Science: A study of swine care and management, physiology, diseases, equipment, reproduction, and nutrition. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Beef and Sheep Science: A study of beef and sheep management, production, physiology, nutrition, reproduction, diseases, equipment, facilities, and care. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week.
- Reproductive Physiology: A study of the principles of reproductive physiology and lactation focusing on the major classes of livestock. Students will use these principles to develop an understanding of reproductive management techniques and will examine the ethics of reproductive technologies. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week for seven weeks.
- Advanced Animal Nutrition: A problem-solving approach will be taken to examine the nutrient requirements of animals in different production systems. Methods that can be used to meet those requirements will be evaluated. Ration formulation will be discussed as it relates to the different digestive systems and production requirements. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week for seven weeks.
- Meat Science: The processes of converting muscle tissue into meat and factors affecting meat quality will be studied. The role of the producer, packer, USDA, and consumer in quality and safety issues will be examined. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week for seven weeks.
- Internship: Students are given the opportunity to apply the principles of agriculture and business in an off-campus assignment. Prerequisite: sophomore, junior or senior standing.
Ready to take the next step?
With experience in a variety of fields, our faculty members are equipped and ready to help you succeed.
Agriculture Stewardship Center
With an emphasis in animal science, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time in Dordt’s Agriculture Stewardship Center. This unique location includes 200 acres where students will raise livestock and grow crops, small grains, and produce.Learn more
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