College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, Koleke Mahiʻai, Kālaiululāʻau, a Hoʻokele Kumuwaiwai Kūlohelohe

Animal Health and Management

General Information

The undergraduate Animal Health and Management specialization at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo started in 1975. In 1990, the Animal Science Production curriculum was developed, which evolved into Livestock Production. UH Hilo has relatively small class sizes which allows for more faculty-student interaction and individual attention. All Animal Science classes have lectures and hands-on lab periods. UH Hilo has a 110-acre farm with various enterprises including a livestock operation with beef cattle, hair sheep, horses, meat goats and swine. Students have the chance to work with these animals in labs.

The undergraduate Animal Science specialty at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has existed since 1975. In 1990, The Animal Science Pre-Veterinary Medicine curriculum was developed for students interested in pursuing post-graduate studies in Veterinary Medicine or Animal Science. CAFNRM has small class sizes which allows for more faculty-student interaction and individual attention. Animal Science classes are both technical and practical. To help translate classroom instruction into real life situations, hands-on exercises are practiced during most lab periods at the 110-acre farm with cattle, sheep, horses, goats, and swine.

Animal Science Pre-Veterinary Medicine students are required to take many of the same courses as Biology students. Because of this, it is possible for students to receive a B.S. in Agriculture and a B.S. in Biology. Another feature of this curriculum is that it meets the entrance course requirements of many Veterinary Colleges and graduate Animal Science programs. Students that enter these post-graduate programs are pursuing degrees in Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) or Animal Science (M.S., Ph.D.).

Why Study Animal Health and Management?

Livestock has been used throughout history for producing food and fiber. Because of pollution and dwindling natural resources, more farmers and ranchers are adopting sustainable production methods. If properly managed, livestock help to preserve the land and environment for future generations.

The Animal Health and Management curriculum helps to prepare students to work with livestock on farms and ranches or to obtain positions in the livestock industry or related fields. The Big Island of Hawaiʻi has some excellent livestock operations including Parker Ranch, one of the largest ranches in the U.S. Former Animal Science students have taken positions at farms, dairies, ranches, equestrian centers, experiment stations, quarantine stations, veterinary clinics and zoos. Positions also exist with companies that sell feed, food products, livestock products and supplies.

This premier Pre-Veterinary Medicine curriculum meets the pre-professional course of many veterinary schools in the U.S.: i.e., Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, Oregon State University, Washington State University. With a D.V.M. degree, a wide range of employment opportunities exist such as private veterinary practice, representative for drug and pharmaceutical companies, university teaching and research, federal inspection, governmental research, animal care. After completing a M.S. or PH.D. degree in Animal Science, graduates can take positions as geneticists, meat scientists, nutritionists, researchers, teachers, technicians or extension livestock agents

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will achieve a working knowledge of biology, chemistry, and mathematics as a foundation for further studies.
  • Students will achieve a basic understanding in the different animal science disciplines and be able to apply this knowledge to effectively manage and care for livestock.
  • Students will have experiential learning opportunities with farm animals through routine hands-on laboratories held at the UH Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory. When available, field trips to local farms and ranches will also provide learning opportunities with farm animals. Students will gain hands-on experience with livestock to help enhance their competitiveness in future studies and careers.
  • Students will use and refine their communication skills in various classes.
  • Students will develop and apply their computer skills to agricultural examples.

Requirements for Graduation

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with a specialization in Animal Health and Management, a student must complete a minimum of 123 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.0. See the B.S. in Agriculture: Animal Science, Livestock Production Specialty Requirements in the UH Hilo catalog. Also see the