University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Animal Sciences
Give to Animal Sciences

Prospective Student FAQ

Will I get accepted into the Department of Animal Sciences?

We look at several factors of a student’s application to decide if he or she would be a good fit for our department. Those factors are ACT/SAT, overall GPA/class rank, rigor of high school program, extra-curricular activities, and your essay. We take all of these things into consideration when evaluating a student. Please contact us or schedule a visit (link to visit page) with specific questions.

I took AP classes in high school. How will they transfer?

Reference the University of Illinois AP transfer page to assess what classes will transfer. However, it is important to understand that your advisor may advise you to still take a class which you have received credit for, because it is important for the series you must take or the future career plans you might have. Your academic advisor will help guide you through those decisions when you register for classes.

Will actual professors teach my classes? Or will they be taught by teaching assistants (TA's)?

In animal sciences, almost all of our classes are taught exclusively by professors. For the most part, our TA’s will assist in lab work and grading in some of our larger classes. However, almost all classes are led by professors.

How many students will be in my graduating class?

We have a total of 530 undergraduates in our department. In the last five years, our average incoming freshmen class size has been 115 students. Our average graduating class has been about 150. This increase is largely due to transfer students.

What are the class sizes like?

We do our best in the Department of Animal Sciences to keep our class sizes relatively small. We try to make hands-on classes available to all of our students and to do that, we have to keep our class sizes small. We do have a few large lecture type classes which are required of our students, but in many of those classes we do offer lab sections which have very small class sizes.

Do we actually get to work with animals in class?

We do our best to offer as many hands on classes as we can. These hands on classes start as early as first semester your freshmen year and are available to our students throughout their four years on campus.

Do you have a farm?

We have 6 farms which are owned and managed by the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois. We have a beef and sheep unit, a poultry unit, 2-swine units, a horse unit, and dairy unit. These farms are used for teaching and research. We also employ many of our undergraduate students, this not only provides them with supplemental income or aid in a work-study program but also allows them gain valuable animal experiences.

How do I transfer into the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois?

Visit the Office of the Registrar to see about specific transfer requirements.

We would also love for you to set up a visit to the Department of Animal Sciences to talk about our program and the opportunities you have here.

Do you have online classes?

We do offer a few online classes in the Department of Animal Sciences. However, you cannot receive a degree in Animal Sciences with only online classes. Most of the classes it takes to complete a degree must be completed on campus.

What are my concentration options? Can I change my concentration?

We offer 3 concentrations in Animal Sciences:

It is very easy to change concentrations, and you will work with your advisor to do so.

How do I apply to the Department of Animal Sciences?

Visit our admissions website to apply. When filling out your application, you will specify Animal Sciences as your first choice for admittance.

What are my career options with an Animal Sciences Degree?

Visit our careers page to read about some of the specific careers our alumni have. In addition to the ones listed, our students have many career options in animal sciences from veterinary medicine, to animal production, to humane education, and we will prepare our students for many different career opportunities depending on their interests and goals.

Is the Department of Animal Sciences the same thing as Veterinary Medicine?

No, a degree in Animal Sciences is not the same thing as having a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Before students can go to vet school, they must complete a bachelor’s degree. Animal Sciences is a very good bachelor’s degree option for those students wanting to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine. However, we do not guarantee admittance into vet school with a degree from our program.

Applying to vet school is very much the same as applying for your undergraduate degree. You must apply to vet school, usually in your senior year of your undergraduate program, and get accepted. University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine is the only vet school in the state of Illinois, and our students who desire to go to vet school do have many opportunities to work, shadow, or volunteer there.

Do I have to get an Animal Sciences degree to get into Vet School?

No, you do not have to get a degree in Animal Sciences to get into vet school. Any undergraduate degree is acceptable to get into vet school, assuming you completed the entrance requirements. However, we do believe that we do a very good job at preparing students for not only their future in vet school, but also provide a wonderful alternative for our students who decide vet school is not for them but still wish to have a career in the animal industry.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes, there are many scholarships available for Animal Sciences students. Animal science students qualify for departmental scholarships as well as College of ACES scholarships.

As an incoming freshmen, your application to the U of I will be your scholarship application for all College of ACES scholarships. Visit the ACES Office of Academic Programs website to find answers to questions regarding those scholarships.

In addition to the ones listed, the College of ACES also has one merit-based scholarship which you must apply for separately, the Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholarship.

The Department of Animal Sciences also awards scholarship money. However, these scholarships are only available to current Animal Sciences students, so you will apply for those scholarships in your freshmen year, not prior to. You can see a list of those scholarships and application information on our Scholarships and Honors page.