There are a few colleges in California that offer graduate programs in animal behavior or a related field, such as canine life sciences. A Ph.D and a Master of Science degree are available. Check out the schools, classes, and admission components for these programs.
California Colleges with Animal Behavior Graduate Programs
University of California - Davis
The University of California in Davis offers a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior. The program consists of 20 units of core courses, six units of electives, and a dissertation. Students have five years to complete the program. The main subject of research is the interactions of organisms in environments. A dissertation committee of three faculty members must be formed in order to pursue the Ph.D. Also, a final oral examination is required. A student can request a master's degree instead, and the university may award a Master of Science in Animal Behavior. The master's degree requires 36 credits of core courses and elective courses. It can be completed in two years, but students must begin as Ph.D. students. There is no direct entry to the master's program.
University of California - Los Angeles
The University of California in Los Angeles offers a Ph.D. in Biology, and students can specialize in animal behavior. The program consists of 20 units of graduate-level courses and a dissertation, and it typically takes 18 quarters to complete. This school gives students in this program a five-year support package. The first year consists of core courses, while the second year allows students to study within their specialization and conduct experiments on amphibians, insects, birds, fish, and mammals. One of the advantages of this animal behavior program is its interdisciplinary structure. There are regular seminars, which establish academic dialogue between students and faculty from various departments. Also, students have access to respected researchers in the field of animal behavior.
Bergin College of Canine Studies
Bergin College offers a Master of Science in Canine Life Sciences. The campus is located in Penngrove, which is part of Sonoma County, California. This program focuses on the human-canine relationship, and some of the topics covered include human-canine cognition and communication, theories of canine and human learning, and canine behavior problems. The program consists of two-week, onsite training sessions with dogs. A total of 30 credits must be completed to earn the master's degree. Each course is three credits. The courses are master-level courses labeled in the 500 range. Some of the courses have a lecture component and a laboratory session.
Common Courses in Animal Behavior Graduate Program
A graduate program in animal behavior could take up to six years to complete, especially if you are pursuing a doctorate. These courses are likely to be in your schedule.
Scientific Approaches to Animal Behavior Research
There are many methods of research. This course sets limits and boundaries for appropriate scientific research in this field. The proper tools and techniques to be used in research are presented to students. Both field and laboratory research is covered by the instructor.
Causal Modeling of Correlational Data
The goal in this course is to learn how to make inferences from data in the behavioral sciences. Several techniques are taught including regression analysis and path analysis. Students must obtain permission from the instructor to take this course.
History of Animal Behavior
Classical papers in the field of animal behavior are presented in this course. Students will take part in readings, which include in-depth discussions. A historical perspective of animal behavior science is used to study the material.
Fundamentals of Animal Behavior
Several theories and observations of animal behavior are presented in this course. This includes the evolutionary and psychological viewpoints. Also, the conclusions from other biological sciences, such as neurobiology and genetics, are evaluated.
Canine Behavioral Problems
The purpose of this course is to present the behavioral problems of dogs. This includes aggression, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive issues. The solutions to these problems are presented as well in this class.
Program Admission Requirements
Typically students complete a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in a field related to biology before applying to a graduate program in animal behavior. Also, several foundation courses must be completed. Some universities allow students to complete the foundation courses during the first year of the graduate program. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Also, some schools require GRE scores, college transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, or resume.
There are at least three schools in California that have graduate programs in animal behavior, or a related field, such as canine life sciences, and these schools accept students who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree. The courses in the program present theories, classical papers, and research methods in the field of animal behavior.