The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) identify motivational constructs in animal sciences students and the association with demographic variables; and 2) consider self-reported satisfaction within the major and decisions to persist. Motivational constructs included themes of affect, self-efficacy, academic and career outcomes. Findings indicated strong positive academic affect and intrinsic career motivation (4.39 ± 0.03 and 4.56 ± 0.02, respectively on a 5-point scale), which did not differ among rank, cumulative point-hour ratio (CPHR), transfer status, or community association. Both intrinsic and extrinsic measures were important to achieve positive academic outcomes. Self-efficacy emerged as the leading construct associated with demographic variables and CPHR. Rank 1 students, out-of-state and regional, agricultural technical transfer students and students with CPHR less than 3.00 reported reduced values for self-efficacy (P <0.01). Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported with certainty that they would graduate within the Animal Sciences major, but 23.7% of students reported that they were too far along in the degree to change majors. Collectively, measurements of motivational constructs and decisions to persist reported herein provide a framework for understanding student attitudes and orientation to the academic environment. A basis for future research to strengthen academic achievement and major persistence through academic approaches that foster self-efficacy is established.