Zoology is the branch of biology that focuses on the structure, behavior, and evolution of animals. At the undergraduate level, students can earn either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in zoology. General introductory courses include chemistry, physics and math, while major courses emphasize concepts such as animal anatomy, genetics and physiology, and the biological structures particular species. Students may also take courses in environmental policy and regulations.
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Bachelor's Degrees in Zoology
Most required classes in undergraduate zoology programs focus on biology-related subjects, such as anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, and ecology. Alongside these technical topics, students may also take elective courses such as literature and history. Some zoology major courses include:
- Statistical Research Methods
- Cellular Biology
- Animal Behavior
- Evolutionary Biology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
After earning a bachelor's degree in zoology, students may seek employment in the agriculture industry, the government sector, or a nonprofit organization. They are also qualified to work in zoos, bird sanctuaries, and wildlife preserves. Careers for zoology majors might include:
- Zoo caretaker
- Research assistant
- Science teacher
- Laboratory technician
- Park ranger
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of animal care and service workers is expected to increase 11 percent between 2014 and 2024. This is faster than the average rate, but competition for jobs as zookeepers, marine mammal trainers, and horse trainers is likely to remain strong. As of May 2015, the median salary for nonfarm animal caretakers was $21,010 per year.
Continuing Education Information
Students with an undergraduate degree in zoology are prepared to apply to graduate programs in related fields, such as biology, wildlife sciences, and ecology. Programs are available on both the master's and doctoral degree levels, and they may require students to defend a thesis or dissertation prior to graduation.
In summary, a bachelor's degree in zoology provides students with the fundamental biological knowledge to gain employment in a variety of industries or pursue a graduate degree in an animal science-related field.