ANSC Undergraduate FAQs

What is a minor and what are my options?

A minor is an approved, limited, structured concentration in a field of study outside of your major. Not all academic programs offer minors. For a list of minors please visit the UMD Course Catalog.

The ANSC department does not currently offer a minor. Students are free to pursue any of the minors listed regardless of their current major or department, so long as they can meet both sets of requirements.

How can I add a second major or minor?

To add a double major or double degree, you must first submit a Double major/double degree form. To submit the form, first collect signatures from the ANSC Undergraduate Office, the College of AGNR Academic Programs Office, and the advising office of the second major program. Part of the process is determining which will be your primary major; this is the department which will maintain your records and certification of general education requirements. If you are interested in double majoring, we recommend declaring as soon as possible so as not to further delay graduation.

Please note: if you wish to add a Limited Enrollment Program as a second major, you must do so at the earliest possible opportunity to assure that specific credit and GPA requirements can be met.

What is the difference between a double degree and a double major?

A double major requires students to complete all requirements of the two majors within a total of the normal total of 120 credits that undergraduates must earn. At graduation, the student will earn one degree and the student’s transcript will indicate the completion of major requirements for both majors. 

Double degrees are more ambitious, and require the completion of 150 credits while completing the degree requirements for two majors. At graduation, students will be awarded two degrees and the student’s transcript will indicate the completion of major requirements for both majors and the awarding of two bachelor’s degrees. More information about double majors/degrees can be found within the student's major college.

I have an Associate's Degree - how does that affect my program requirements?

If you have a verified Associate's Degree (AA) from a Maryland institution, you do not have to complete all individual General Education requirements; however, you must still complete all ANSC required courses, even if they also fulfill a Gen Ed requirement. You will also need to complete a Professional Writing (PW) course at UMD. 

Please note: that this policy only applies to verified AAs from a Maryland Institution. Out of state AAs do not qualify.

What is a course prerequisite?

A prerequisite course is one which must be completed before taking another course. For example, ANSC101-Principles of Animal Science must be completed before you may enroll in ANSC204 - Anatomy of Domestic Animals; ANSC101 is considered a prerequisite for ANSC204. Prerequisites are listed under a course’s details in the Testudo Schedule of Classes.

How do I find my registration time?

Registration times can be viewed by clicking the Appointment and Registration link on Testudo. Your registration time represents the earliest time you can register, but you can register at any point after that time/date, once your advising block is cleared.

**Your registration time does NOT represent a meeting time with your faculty mentor or group advising session.**

Factors when considering dropping a course with a "W"

1. Number of times a student can attempt a course:

A student can only attempt a course twice. All attempts at a course (including withdrawing with a W or failing the course) count as an attempt.

Students may petition to repeat a course a 3rd time, but exceptions are only given in “rare and extraordinary circumstances” in which a problem is “out of the control of a student and not predictable.” Requests are not guaranteed and are considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who would require a 3rd attempt to pass a course fundamental to the major may be required to switch out of ANSC. 

2. What is the "freshman forgiveness" (repeat) policy? 

To help freshmen and transfer students adjust to the UMCP campus, the following two exceptions allow for the cumulative GPA to be calculated so that only the higher grade is included. However, any grade earned in prior attempts of a repeated course will appear on the student's transcript, regardless of whether the grade is dropped from, or averaged into, the cumulative grade point average:

  • When the repeated course was taken within the student's first semester at UMCP
    - or -
  • When the repeated course was taken within the student's first 24 credit hours attempted (including transfer credit, but not including AP or IB credits) or within the semester during which the student reached the 24th credit hour attempted.

3. What is considered a passing grade for ANSC?

Please review the Minimum Grade Policy for ANSC. Note that students who were enrolled in ANSC Spring 2016 or prior will remain under the old policy.

Make sure you carefully read and understand the Minimum Grade Policy as it affects you, including the requirement for a 2.0 GPA in major required courses.

4. Benchmarks and progress in ANSC

Make sure that dropping a course will not put you in violation of ANSC Benchmarks. Students who are not meeting benchmarks and not making timely progress towards their degree will be required to change into a new major.

5. Repercussions of going below 12 credits: 

12 credits is the minimum a student needs to be enrolled in to be considered a full-time student. There are several items that may be contingent upon them having this status. It should be stressed to the students that these are just some of the possible things that could be affected, and that they should speak with parents/examine their individual situation carefully before making this decision. Some of the things most commonly effected are:

  • Health insurance - health insurance providers may require an adult child to be registered as a full-time student to be covered under their parents' health insurance
  • Scholarships - most (if not all) scholarships require students to be full-time to be eligible and to receive scholarship money
  • Financial aid - depending on the financial aid package, it may be contingent on full-time status
  • On-campus housing - Students living in on-campus housing are required to be full time students. Dropping below 12 credits can jeopardize future housing.

What is the "freshman forgiveness" policy?

To help freshmen and transfer students adjust to the UMCP campus, the following two exceptions apply to how repeated courses are reflected in your cumulative GPA. While both repeated courses will appear on your transcript, only the highest of the two grades will factor into your cumulative GPA if...

  • The repeated course was taken within your first semester at UMCP.

  • The repeated course was taken within your first 24 credit hours attempted (24 credits includes transfer credit, but not AP or IB credits).

Please note: If you are repeating a course you have transferred in, within your first 24 credits, and the transfer grade is the higher of the two, then the repeated grade will not be included in your GPA.


Veterinary School FAQs

One of our most frequently asked questions is "How do I get into veterinary school?" Here are the answers to some of our specific frequently asked questions about preparing for veterinary school, getting into veterinary school, and what to do if you decide not to go to veterinary school.

ANSC has created an extensive Pre-Veterinary Advising Guide that addresses the majority of commonly asked questions regarding veterinary school and the application process. Students interested in applying to veterinary school should make sure to carefully read through that guide for information on admission requirements and how to be a competitive applicant. 

1. How successful are your students at getting into veterinary school?

Based on our records, on average 80% of our ANSC students who apply are successful in gaining admission to one or more AVMA-accredited veterinary schools. National data indicates that about 50% of applicants are successful. The success of our students is due to the quality of our program and the reputation of our graduates. In the last five years, we've had students accepted at:

  • Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (the in-state school for Maryland and Virginia)
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine
  • The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • The Royal Veterinary College in London

2. Do I have to be an Animal Science (ANSC) major to get into veterinary school?

No. A student can pursue any major and get accepted to veterinary school; however, regardless of major, to apply to veterinary school a student must have completed all of that schools pre-requisite courses (one year of organic chemistry, one year of general chemistry, one year of physics, general biology, etc.) and have gained sufficient experience with a variety of animal species in a variety of settings.

3. How can an Animal Science degree enhance my chances for getting into veterinary school?

Animal and Avian Sciences students take a variety of courses that directly support their later coursework in veterinary school. All ANSC students take anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and animal management courses which provide excellent background for these courses when they are taken again at a higher level in veterinary school. Additionally there are many electives relevant to a veterinary education, from health management of animal populations to food safety to bioethics.

In addition, our campus farm provides our students with many excellent opportunities to work with horses, sheep, cows, pigs, and chickens, allowing students to get animal care experience. Our departments close relationships with many other agencies and companies in the areas allow our students to get more in-depth experience in a variety of settings from research laboratories to farms.

Sample course plans for completing our program can be found on our Major Requirements section.

The ANSC students who get to veterinary school tell us that they feel that they're more prepared than most of their classmates for veterinary school due to their ANSC courses. Going through our sciences/professional option follows a curriculum that will not only meet the minimum requirements to apply to most veterinary schools, but will leave them well qualified for other professional degrees and career options.

4. Do you have an accelerated entry program to veterinary school?

The College does also have an 'accelerated' program for pre-vet students, and that's called the Combined Agriculture/Pre-Veterinary option in Animal Sciences. If you're applying, that's option 1299D. The way this works is that students focus on requirements to apply to veterinary school, and students apply to vet school in the fall of their junior year. If accepted to veterinary school, they start veterinary school after three years, and then after completing their first year of veterinary school the students use those credits to earn their BS degree at UMD. A typical course program for students in this option can be viewed here.

It is important for students to understand that acceptance to veterinary school is very competitive, so not many students in this 'accelerated' approach gain acceptance to a veterinary school in their third year. Most have to wait until they finish their BS degree before they gain acceptance. This is an option for some students, but not for all. We typically have a student or two accepted in any one year.

5. What type of pre-veterinary advising is available to Animal and Avian Sciences students?

Another key difference between pre-veterinary programs in various departments at UMD is advising. Our departments pre-veterinary advisor is a veterinarian herself, and there are two other veterinarians working in the department who work with and advise students. All freshmen pre-veterinary students attend an in-depth pre-veterinary focused advising session within their first year. During advising sessions, we discuss course work, experience, getting references, budgeting for a veterinary education, and career opportunities. Additionally, we are pleased to have Dr. Nathaniel Tablante from the admissions committee of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine come each spring to discuss the components of a successful vet school application with our sophomores.

In addition, we are happy to share our pre-veterinary advising guide with the campus community.

6. What are some alternative options to vet school?

At the end of four years, a number of students who originally wanted to go to veterinary school decide to pursue other educational or career options after graduation from UMD. Some decide to go to medical school and are accepted each year without having to take any additional classes. Some decide to go to graduate school, either in animal sciences or another scientific field. Other students explore career options and have their choice of jobs when they finish.

7. What kinds of hands-on animal/research experience can I get through the Animal Science Department?

We teach most classes using a comparative species approach, meaning we teach general principles and use the species differences to help emphasize core principles. We have a sheep flock (20 ewes) that we keep on campus the year around and use in various classes. We have seven or eight horses on campus the year around for both classes and the use of the Equestrian Club. We keep two cattle on campus the year-around and bring pigs, turkeys and other animals on campus for teaching. We keep colonies of mice, rats, quail, chickens, rabbits and fish on campus for research purposes. Off-campus, we have poultry, horse and cattle farms for research.

In addition, many of our students get extensive experience with domestic pets while working at small animal veterinary clinics in the area.

Undergraduates can volunteer or intern in our faculty's research laboratories or they can be employed in a few paid positions. Additional opportunities exist working with zoo animals at the National Zoo, the National Aquarium, and the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. In the past, ANSC students have gone to China to work on the Giant Panda project, South Africa to work with wildlife, or more locally with various species at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. All of those projects are through collaborative efforts with ANSC faculty.

8. Is the University of Maryland too big for me?

The University of Maryland is a large campus with all the benefits in course diversity that comes from a large campus. The College of AGNR is a smaller college, and we pride ourselves in 'making a big place small.' When you join our department, you will quickly feel like you have joined a family.

In the UMD Admissions Office, our college has a specific representative, Ms. April Brohawn. Please feel free to contact her if you have questions about the admissions process or your application in the future. If you have question about the options within the major, or the courses and curricula, please contact, the Undergraduate Office for ANSC.

Additional Resources