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Grand Canyon University

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Penn Foster High School

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Zoology Classes

Zoology classes teach you about the development, makeup, and behavior of all classifications of animals. Keep reading for examples of of the various kinds of zoology classes available on campus and online.

What Will I Learn in Zoology Classes?

Zoology classes teach you about the developmental, biological and behavioral characteristics of animals and animal life. The field of zoology covers everything from zoo science to human anatomy and is an applicable major for students applying to medical, veterinary and dental school.

Classes covered include cell biology, comparative anatomy, physiology and genetics. You'll also learn about the cell structure and biology of various classifications of animals and study the causes for genetic changes experienced by species over time. Many classes include corresponding lab sessions. Examples of course topics include the following:

Evolution

Students will learn about the scientific issues and basic concepts surrounding the theories of the development of life forms. Topics typically include adaptation, genetics, natural selection, and speciation, among related concepts.

Ecology

This course will teach about the relationship between an environment and the organisms that live within it. Students will learn about the varying species and their distribution, population dynamics, and both global and landscape ecology.

Parasitology

This class examines the world of parasites and those who host them. Students will examine topics like transmission of parasites, identification, treatments, and associated diseases.

Ornithology

Ornithology is the focused study of the bird. In these courses, students will study the biology, anatomy, and physiology of birds, as well as topics like flight, migration, and reproduction.

Endocrinology

Hormones play a large role in the lives of humans and animals, and endocrinology is the study of hormones. Students will learn about how hormones affect behavior, reproduction, and growth and development.

What Degree Levels Can I Pursue?

Degrees in zoology and related fields are offered at undergraduate and graduate levels. Zoology classes are taught at numerous community colleges and universities. At the associate degree level, zoology courses introduce you to animal classification and development studies, as well as chemistry, biology and math. If you study zoology at the associate degree level, you can often apply credit toward a bachelor's degree in zoology at a 4-year university.

Some bachelor's programs in zoology allow you to choose a concentration of study, such as marine biology, ecology, genetics or animal behavior. Bachelor's degree programs include zoology classes and labs that provide you with a scientific background for graduate studies. You'll need to establish a foundation in calculus, statistics, chemistry, biology and physics.

What Will Graduate Classes Teach Me?

At the master's degree level, you can choose a particular specialty that interests you, such as gene therapy, developmental biology, neuroscience, animal behavior or zoo management. Graduate-level programs often include field work, seminars, workshops and extensive research projects. If you want to pursue a doctoral degree, you'll usually be allowed some flexibility for your research, though you might need to complete a planned curriculum before beginning your dissertation. Doctoral programs might also include a university-level teaching requirement.

Can I Take Classes Online?

Zoology degree programs at the university level may offer a limited number of classes online. Community colleges also provide some online zoology classes, often focusing on anatomy and physiology. To take an online course, you'll typically need to be enrolled in an academic program that might also include some on-campus course requirements. Online courses might require that you buy a textbook that corresponds with online lessons. You can usually view lectures at your convenience, but you'll typically need to complete assignments and quizzes by given dates.