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Production Specialization

Production means animal breeding operations, so you’ll choose this path primarily for beef or dairy cattle or swine production. It’s also a path for those interested in horse breeding operations. We’ll emphasize genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, herd health, waste management and business economics.


This specialization can lead to other careers as well, including:

  • nutrition specialist
  • feedlot management
  • animal feed and nutrition sales
  • feedlots
  • breeding facilities
  • meat and dairy production farms
  • marketing
  • research
  • education
  • government agencies
SIU Animal Science Production class cow
SIU Animal Science Student grooms a horse in the Stables

Equine Science Specialization

Whole horse. That’s our approach. You’ll learn physiology, reproduction, genetics and nutrition. And you’ll learn training and riding. We’ll also focus on the business-side of the horse business, so you’ll learn management skills as you gain a practical, yet scientific, understanding of what it takes to make a successful horse-related career. You’ll spend time in a classroom, but you’ll also have lots of barn time. Basic chores are part of the learning process. And you’ll learn about therapies and medications and advanced horse care. You’ll even get to assist with breeding, stallion handling, and starting young horses. You’ll love Foal Watch, during which you’ll spend the night in the barn to witness the birth of a foal. Your senior project – full responsibility for a subset of the SIU herd.


You’ll be ready for just about horse-related career you can imagine. Your internship can have an impact on your career entry. Here are some possibilities:

  • Horse breeding facility manager
  • boarding stable
  • lessons manager
  • feed and pharmaceutical sales
  • education
  • race or show training stable manager
  • performance horse stables and training
  • equine event manager
  • farrier
  • horse dentist
  • racetrack manager
  • equine insurance agent
  • equine massage therapist
  • therapeutic riding instructor
  • equine publications writer

Pre-Veterinary Medicine & Science Specialization

We have nearly 100% success with students in this specialization going on to Veterinary School. That’s a big deal – getting into vet school is extremely competitive. One advantage you’ll have, coming from this program, is experience handling large animals. Not every program offers you opportunities to work with bulls and steers, sows and pigs and horses. That’s the “animal” side of the equation. The “science” part of Animal Science means you’ll graduate with applied biology and chemistry, and specialized knowledge of genetics, reproduction, animal physiology, nutrition and more. Add the certificate for Companion Animal Nutrition, and you are a strong candidate for a career in veterinary medicine.


Veterinary medicine school, with the ultimate goal of becoming a veterinarian – that’s the primary focus of this specialization.

Other options:

  • Veterinary tech
  • Health care at animal production facilities
  • biomedical research
  • animal nutrition and pharmaceutical sales
  • education, including commercial outreach and university extension
  • animal-care research
SIU Animal Science Pre-Veterinary Student with dog
School of Agricultural Sciences | College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences | 618-453-2329 |