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Poultry Science

Program Description

Just the Facts

Poultry Science. A program that focuses on the application of biological and chemical principles to the production and management of poultry animals and the production and handling of poultry products. Includes instruction in avian sciences, nutrition sciences, food science and technology, biochemistry, hatchery design, and related aspects of human and animal health and safety.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Graduates of poultry science programs know enough about chickens and other poultry to get great jobs in agriculture.

"Poultry science graduates will be able to apply their knowledge of science, economics, business and ethics to identify, analyze and responsibly solve problems associated with poultry production and the production of nutritious, wholesome and safe poultry products for the modern consumer," says Roger Lien. He is the undergraduate coordinator of the poultry science program at Auburn University.

Poultry professor Wilhelm Guenter says his university offers a four-year animal systems program. Students get an all-around education, which includes aspects of poultry science.

Students develop "a good knowledge of the biology of poultry and the diversity and organization of the industry, a good understanding of the most frequent practical problems encountered in production systems, and they will have some hands-on experience in managing a small poultry unit."

Most animal and poultry science programs are offered at the bachelor's level and above. However, you may be able to find a two-year college that offers programs in poultry.

Basic prerequisites for the program at Guenter's school are good marks in math, biology, chemistry and English-related high school subjects.

Auburn University would like to see a high school or junior college GPA of at least 3.0 for its four-year poultry science undergraduate program, says Lien. "[High school students] should be focusing on biology, chemistry, business or agribusiness and mathematics classes."

One way to get some solid background experience in the industry at the college level is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Poultry Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).

The SCEP program is a viable alternative for those who don't want to spend years at college or university. There are two basic options -- market news reporter, and agricultural commodity grader.

"Participants get a first-hand view of poultry industry operations by working with experienced professionals that provide grading and market news services daily to the industry," explains Joan Violante, poultry programs recruitment coordinator. "Additionally, upon graduation, the program offers them an opportunity for full-time employment with the federal government."


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Agricultural and Food Scientists

For more information related to this field of study, see: Farmers, Ranchers and Agricultural Managers

U.S. Department of Agriculture
The site for the government agency

Poultry Science Program
Fine a resource of information on publications, research, news and events


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