The Department of Animal Science, originally the Division of Animal Husbandry, originated in Berkeley in 1901. The division moved to Davis in 1908 and 1909 and later became the Department of Animal Husbandry. The department's name changed to Animal Science in 1967, recognizing its emphasis on the basic biology of domestic animals as well as animal husbandry in its teaching and research programs. In 1998, faculty, staff and students from the Department of Avian Sciences transferred to the Department of Animal Science, adding avian species to the department's missions.

As you will see as you explore our website, our program is vibrant, diverse, and comprehensive with our research and teaching programs covering from the molecule to the ecosystem as it pertains to animals.

We have a rich heritage and an exciting future as we address issues related to animal agriculture in the context of a contemporary environment. Our efforts also span domestic and captive species including companion animals and conservation of wild species harvested for food.

Recently, UC Davis scored first in programs for plant and animal sciences in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Global Universities” report, which based its rankings on overall research and academic reputation.

For prospective undergraduates, there are many opportunities in the majors that are housed within the department: Animal Science and Animal Science and Management. These majors offer specializations in animal industry, animal biology, aquaculture, avian sciences, companion animal biology, equine science, laboratory animals, and livestock production. The curriculum provides a strong science background as well as hands-on, working with animals experience. Research and internship opportunities, from the basic to the applied, abound. Check out our Animal Science Advising page and the facilities pages for more information.

For prospective graduate students, our faculty are members of the following graduate groups: Animal Behavior; Animal Biology; Avian Sciences; Cellular and Developmental Biology; Ecology; Genetics; Immunology; International Ag Development; Microbiology; Molecular, Cellular, and Integrative Physiology; Nutritional Biology; and Pharmacology and Toxicology. Admission to either a M.S. or Ph.D. program is through the individual graduate groups ( but the faculty mentor is housed within the Department of Animal Science. Explore our faculty members’ interests and see if they match yours by clicking on the faculty links.

Animal Science Extension faculty members provide a vital link between Department of Animal Science researchers and county farm advisors, animal producers and consumers. If you need assistance, our Extension teams can help you in many aspects of animal management. Our Cooperative Extension specialists provide teaching, research and outreach programs related to dairy, livestock, waste management, poultry and avian biology, and marine and freshwater aquaculture; the research and outreach activities of our Extension specialists and advisors are as diverse as the state of California. Fact sheets can be found on our website to assist you with common concerns.

A number of campus buildings bear the names of distinguished departmental faculty. Regan Hall was named after W.M. Regan, an expert in dairy cattle, and Hughes Hall after E.H. Hughes, a specialist in swine production. Hart Hall commemorates G.H. Hart, department chair for 22 years, who contributed significantly to the development of scientific emphasis in departmental teaching and research and later became the first Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. H.H. Cole (Cole Facility) and M. Kleiber (Kleiber Hall) helped establish the campus as a center of excellence in reproductive physiology and energetics, respectively. V .S. Asmundson (Asmundson Hall) was an early pioneer in poultry genetics. J.M. Meyer (Meyer Hall), a faculty member and department chair, went on to become dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and chancellor of the campus for eighteen years. 

The Department of Animal Science is a premier department using discipline-based expertise for interdisciplinary study of relevant animal agriculture and animal biology issues. We invite you to become part of our community.

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