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Colleges with Animal Psychology Majors: Tips on Choosing a School

Jan 02, 2019

Students interested in studying animal psychology may enroll in a bachelor's degree program in animal behavior and cognition. A small number of schools in the U.S. offer these interdisciplinary degrees.

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Students interested in animal psychology may pursue bachelor's degrees in animal behavior and cognition. Students often have the chance to be lab assistants for ongoing research projects, and they can also undergo internships at off-campus labs or participate in study groups in Africa or Asia.

Schools with Animal Psychology Programs

The following private and public institutions offer bachelor's degrees in the field:

College/University Location Institution Type Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA 4-year, Private $50,152
Carroll University Waukesha, WI 4-year, Private $29,535
Southwestern University Georgetown, TX 4-year, Private $37,560
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public $10,388 (In-state) $33,741 (Out-of-state)
University of New England Biddeford, ME 4-year, Private $34,760
Florida Institute of Technology** Melbourne, FL 4-year, Private $39,290

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, **School website

College Selection Criteria

Students should keep the following things in mind as they search for animal psychology programs to attend:

  • Students work directly with animals in the course of completing a degree program, and sometimes independent research is required, especially for those interested in graduating with honors. Look for programs that promote these opportunities.
  • When selecting a school, prospective students can consider a school's research facilities and whether there is an on-campus farm.
  • Research opportunities are fundamental to an education in animal psychology, so students should look for programs with faculty that have similar research interests to their own.
  • Students might keep course offerings in mind when selecting a program in animal behavior. Animal psychology can be covered in many different courses, such as cognition and language, animal neurochemistry and comparative psychology.

Bachelor's Degrees in Animal Behavior

Bachelor of Art and Bachelor of Science programs focus on the study of the behavior of animals and their underlying cognitive processes and biological bases. Programs are interdisciplinary, combining animal studies and biopsychology with coursework that explores animal communication, cognition, ecology and evolution.

Research opportunities are usually offered throughout the curriculum and may be required. Most notably, senior projects may involve independent research with animals, such as rodents, birds or primates. An animal behavior degree program can prepare graduates for a number of different paths, including veterinary school, careers in zoos or museums and advanced academic research.

There are several 4-year public and private institutions that offer bachelor's degree programs in animal psychology or behavior. Students should consider things like research opportunities and on-campus research facilities when searching for a program that is the best fit for them.

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