Animal Science Department

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Why Cal Poly Animal Science?

Photograph of Cal Poly scenery

The Road to Success

The Animal Science Department at Cal Poly is a national leader of undergraduate training in animal nutrition and reproductive physiology. The program is one of the top four largest programs in the nation. Nearly half of the department’s graduates go on to graduate or veterinary school, while other graduates go into careers in biotechnology and feed manufacturing for prestigious companies like Cargill, Inc. and Mars, Inc. or in the pharmaceutical arena with companies such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bayer.

Learn by Doing

Learn by doing isn’t just a motto. Students in the Animal Science Department gain experience foaling horses, breeding cows, raising broiler chickens and quail, riding and training horses, running a vet clinic and much, much more. Undergraduates are doing research in the biotechnology labs and performing tests in animal nutrition and husbandry. Over twenty hands-on courses, called enterprise classes, help create a dynamic learning curriculum. In addition, the curriculum is designed for flexibility so students can mold their educational experience to best fit their interests and career goals.


Midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California's Central Coast, San Luis Obispo is the ideal place to go to college. In a community of about 44,000 people, the city and Cal Poly share a neighborly, small-town atmosphere and one of the finest natural environments anywhere. The nearby ocean and surrounding peaks, as well as clear-air and a year-round temperate climate, provide limitless possibilities for recreation and adventure.

Cal Poly is one of the largest campuses in the nation with more than 8,000 acres of land—land that is devoted to student farming, experimental architecture and outdoor laboratory studies. The sweeping hills, valleys and majestic peaks make the perfect backdrop for learning and growing.

Don’t Take Our Word For It.

"I chose Cal Poly because the Animal Science Department offers one of the best pre-veterinary programs in the country. The curriculum is excellent preparation for veterinary school and the hands-on experience you receive with both small and large animals is unmatched by most undergraduate programs. I was already ahead of some of my classmates when I started vet school, and I continue to be successful in school because of the excellent foundation I received at Cal Poly,"

Kelley Cummings, Animal Science graduate, St. George's University vet-school student.

“I chose Cal Poly and particularly Animal Science because of the intensive hands-on learning environment it provided. Between enterprise projects, animal unit management and undergraduate research opportunities, I was able to build a strong foundation of knowledge and experience that has truly paid off in the workplace,"

Angela Machado, Animal Science fourth year student

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