12 Degrees to Work with Animals

Posted: July 08, 2022 | Author: Kate Lyons | Read Time: 7 minutes

Degrees to work with animalsHelping others, creativity, travel, and career stability – all are great reasons for one to pursue a degree that will lead to a meaningful career. At Southern Utah University, students don’t have to choose between a fulfilling career and following their passions. If you are an animal lover and want to work with animals big and small, wild and domestic, while also securing a long-term career, you’ve come to the right place! SUU offers twelve degrees to work with animals that help you get you to your dream job and beyond.

Associates Degrees to Work with Animals

Agriculture - Livestock Management

If you’re looking for a way to take your education and career further, SUU’s associate degree in agriculture livestock management is the ideal place to start. You’ll enter a world where every day is about animal science, feeding and nutrition, genetics, crops, pests, and soil. You’ll be able to master the skills needed to properly and humanely work with pigs, horses, cattle, sheep, and other livestock. This degree includes an internship or practicum to allow you to get hands-on experience. If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure full of animals, this associate degree is for you!

Equine Studies

No matter the reason for your love of horses, SUU’s associate degree in equine studies will give you the professional skills you need to make your passion into a lifetime career. You’ll learn to handle, feed, ride, and care for horses while gaining in-depth knowledge about the nutritional needs of horses and their behavior. Economics and business management courses allow you to understand the business surrounding horses. The degree also allows for options in forage, crop, soil, pest, and range so that you can study what most interests you. If you love the thought of helping horses live their healthiest lives, then this is where to start your journey.

Bachelor’s Degrees to Work with Animals

Agriculture - Animal Science and Industries Emphasis

The wide range of electives allows you to take your bachelor’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in animal science and industries anywhere you choose. Study business-related topics to prepare for a job in management or take more science and math courses to prepare for a career addressing the medical needs of animals. The main portion of the degree focuses on the science, economics, politics, culture, and history of agriculture. After graduation, you’ll be equipped to journey into a career addressing nutrition, genetics, and care of common livestock animals. If the idea of managing a farm or providing care to animals excites you, then this is the degree for you!


Explore the origins, functions, and structures of living organisms as well as the growth and evolution of things big and small. With a bachelor’s degree in biology at SUU, you’ll combine labs, microbiology, ecology, and more. If your dream is to become a veterinarian, wildlife biologist, zoologist, animal trainer, or even an animal scientist, this degree starts you on your path. Upon graduation, you will have opportunities to work with wildlife, in education, in government, or at a laboratory. This degree consistently helps those determined to make working with animals their calling in life.

Environmental Science

Study earth’s ecosystems and how humans and animals contribute to their surroundings with a degree in environmental science. SUU’s program is rooted in geosciences, providing an interdisciplinary approach to earth systems. Students will gain the skills and knowledge necessary for solving contemporary issues related to the natural environment. The degree also allows some flexibility for students to tailor the degree to their likes. Succeed in any profession you choose and land in a career meant to help protect our fragile ecosystems.

Mechanical Engineering

The pet care industry is booming with Americans spending billions of dollars each year on their pets. Pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at SUU will allow you to come to the aid of a wide variety of animals. Engineers are responsible for understanding the movement, body, and environmental needs of an animal and can create anything from zoo exhibits to animal prosthetics. Find a rewarding career helping animals with a degree in mechanical engineering!

Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism

Enjoy the journey of earning a degree that allows you to be outdoors and with animals. SUU’s degree in outdoor recreation in parks and tourism applies a disciplinary approach by incorporating agriculture science, biology, communications, geology, and hotel and hospitality management. Prepare yourself to triumphantly work in government, in protected natural areas, and in outdoor leadership. If graduate school is on your list of goals, this bachelor’s degree will help you get there and stand out on your application. Discover the exciting direction a degree in outdoor recreation will take you!

Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Combining SUU’s bachelor’s degree in biology and adding a minor in agriculture will set you up for success to be accepted into veterinary school or other graduate study programs in animal sciences or biology. SUU also offers the option to earn your bachelor’s degree in agriculture with an emphasis in animal science and industries and then use appropriate physical science and biological courses as electives. No matter which route you take on your climb to being a veterinarian, SUU will help you to reach your peak.

Graduate Degrees to Work With Animals

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies

If you’re curious if there is a way to help animals without being in the medical or agricultural world, we have great news! The Master of Interdisciplinary Studies program at SUU offers four pathways to work with animals through its Contemporary Animal Services option. The pathways include the Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification, Best Friends Professional Development Symposium, Principles of Contemporary Animal Services, or the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies emphasis in Principles of Contemporary Animal Services. These pathways are available specifically to SUU students through a partnership with Best Friends Animal Society. Take your passion for animals to the next level and make a difference through the Contemporary Animal Services option.

Certifications to Work With Animals

Agriculture - Livestock Farm Management

The certificate in agriculture - livestock farm management requires a fraction of the credit hours compared to a degree while providing students with the same great educational experience. Upon completion of the certificate, you’ll be able to demonstrate agricultural knowledge and possess the resources to solve problems. Obtain knowledge from industry experts about cows, pigs, horses, and sheep, as well as crops, nutrition, soil, communication, business, and so much more. This certificate provides students with hands-on experiences, readying them for a fulfilling career in a fraction of the time!

Minors to Work With Animals


If you’re looking for a way to add to a stellar major, minoring in biology may give you that nudge you need to land your dream career working with animals. You’ll dive into topics on physiology, development, evolution, and environmental adaptation. The minor requires less than 20 credit hours for the core requirements in addition to a few credits of electives. You’ll be sure to stand out with a minor in biology while working in a job that fits your passions.

Outdoor Recreation in Parks and Tourism

Love the great outdoors and want to make a living by doing what you love the most? SUU’s minor in outdoor recreation in parks and tourism is your ticket to get you to where you want to go. You’ll learn the foundations of outdoor recreation, risk management, and technical outdoor skills, plus a range of interdisciplinary topics. You’ll be set to take on employment opportunities with local, state, and national agencies, or you can work in protected areas or wilderness adventure/therapy organizations.

Animal-Related Clubs at SUU

Animal Ambassadors

Maybe you want a degree in something else but still want to work with animals. The Animal Ambassadors Club is the perfect place for you! It educates the public about animals, science, and studying the sciences at SUU. It also provides opportunities for students to engage in meaningful community service and a place for students to share their knowledge and discuss a range of topics.

No matter which path you decide to take, SUU is there to support you every step of the way. Learning about a wide variety of animals from industry professionals, SUU equips students with a multitude of programs and degrees to work with animals. Making a difference in the world with a degree from SUU is the next step in your big adventure.

Tags: College of Health Sciences Student Interdisciplinary Studies

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