Animal Behavior

A multidisciplinary field, animal behavior involves the study of how animals interact with each other and the environment. An animal behavior degree can lead to a career in animal training or behavioral research. Read on to learn more about the academic requirements and career opportunities.

Inside Animal Behavior

The field of animal behavior examines the actions and mannerisms of all animal species, from single-celled organisms to large mammals. Animal behaviorists are scientists who research what animals do and how they interact with their natural environments and other organisms. The study of animal behavior combines many overlapping disciplines, including biology, psychology, ecology, ethology and anthropology. Unlike ethologists, who conduct research in animal behavior as it pertains to the functions of animal behavior, animal behaviorists often conduct research on how animals relate to their environment, or they may find work as animal trainers.

Education Information

Students interested in a career in animal behavior can pursue bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees in animal behavior. Basic science classes include biology, neuroscience and evolution. Other classes focus on animals, including how they learn, how they eat and how they adapt. Some schools offer animal behavior programs for companion animals, such as dogs or cats, while others focus on wild or zoo animals.

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