With an increased desire for college graduates to obtain critical thinking skills on the university level, faculty evaluate curricula to ensure students are provided opportunities to develop and advance their critical thinking skills. The purpose of this study was to explore differences in critical thinking skills between freshman and senior animal science students as they relate to national norms, critical thinking skills, and selected demographics. A group of randomly selected freshman and seniors in the animal science department at Iowa State University took the Critical Thinking Assessment Test during fall 2016. Freshmen scored higher than the national freshmen norm (P<.05), while seniors scored lower than the national senior norm (P<.05). When comparing these two groups, seniors scored significantly higher (P<.05) than freshmen. This study provided the Department of Animal Science with an understanding of the levels of critical thinking skills for each group level, as well as differences between these two groups as a means to determine whether or not potential changes to critical thinking teaching opportunities within the curricula are needed. This research demonstrates the importance to benchmark critical thinking skills in collegiate curriculum to understand the level students are performing and enhance their critical thinking skills to ensure growth throughout a program.