Bachelor's of Science in Animal Behavior
Understand the differences in coursework between Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in animal behavior, and explore the career options with each. Read on to learn about admission requirements, the curricula and online options.
What Kinds of Bachelor's Degrees in Animal Behavior Are Available?
You will find that most schools offer a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in this field. A few schools offer a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in areas like animal behavior or a bachelor's degree in biological sciences with a concentration in zoology, but these programs are rare. The difference between a B.S. and a B.A. is that the Bachelor of Arts has a concentration in liberal arts and general education requirements, while the Bachelor of Science focuses more on mathematics and science requirements.
If you're interested in a scientific career or want to go on to a graduate program or veterinary school, the B.S. program is usually the way to go. If you're leaning toward exploring other avenues after you get your degree, you might choose the B.A. program.
|Degree Types||Bachelor of Science (most common), Bachelor of Arts|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent; experience working with animals and a strong background in science are recommended|
|Course Topics||Mammals, ecology, insect behavior, biology and evolution|
|Online Availability||Some general education courses may be offered online|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$34,420 (for veterinary technologists and technicians)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||20% (for veterinary technologists and technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Are There Any Prerequisites?
There are no specific prerequisites other than the usual high school diploma or GED. If you are homeschooled, you may have different requirements to meet, so check with the school before you apply. Previous experience working with animals isn't required, but it can enhance your application. A strong background in science is also encouraged.
What Courses Will I Take?
You will take a broad variety of scientific courses mixed with laboratory and field work designed to introduce you to every facet of animal behavior. You will likely observe and work with animals of all types, from household pets to livestock and wildlife.
Topics of study may include biology, chemistry, eating behavior and appetite, mammals, psychology, primate behavior, insect behavior, ecology, statistics, evolution and more. Most programs also have a wide selection of electives to choose from to allow you to study the animal group of your choice. You may also have the opportunity to write and present a thesis during your senior year, though some programs may have you do a research project instead.
Can I Earn the Degree Online?
Because of the heavy research and lab requirements for this degree program - not to mention the time spent observing animals - it is not typically possible to earn an animal behavior degree online. If scheduling is a problem, you may find some schools that offer the program at night and on the weekends, and you may also be able to take the general education requirements of your program online.