What Is an Animal Behavior Degree?


The behavior of the animals that share our planet is a constant fascination for some people. They go into the field of animal behavior in order to study and apply their knowledge to a variety of situations. They can carry this work out in the field in remote locations, in laboratories or in controlled environments like a zoo.

What is an Animal Behavior Degree?

In addition to animal behavior degree programs, animal behavior specialists can begin their education in a few other fields including zoology, animal science, biology or psychology when they want to be a behaviorist for animals. Animal behavior degree programs include coursework such as the evolution of animals, animal and plant interaction, primate behavior and ornithology.

Students interested in pursuing a career in animal behavior will want to consider an advanced degree from an accredited college. Many employers want a person to have a master’s or Ph.D.

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While continuing their education, which could take many years, students can obtain an internship in a variety of places like zoos, animal shelters, museums and aquariums. The place the student chooses for internship should be furthering their education in the types of animals they’d like to study after graduation.

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What is an Animal Behaviorist?

An animal behaviorist is a person works with animals daily to understand their patterns, interpret why they may be acting in a particular way, and develop predictions about future behavior.

The field is completely broad and animal behaviorists work with family pets or out in the jungle with wild animals. The path that a behaviorist takes will depend on personal preference. There is still much to learn about the animals in a zoo, aquarium or in our own homes when it comes to how they mate, defend themselves and how they hunt.

Continuing Education

Beyond the classroom after graduation, behaviorists must continue to obtain skills and knowledge since this is a field that sees constant changes. There are professional organizations, such as the Animal Behavior Society, that hold conferences and events cover a variety of topics that interest the behaviorist.

Animal Behaviorists have fascinating careers that take them into the world to find out about the animals who share it with us. Scientists and behaviorists work to understand animals and the way their changes can have an impact on the humans who inhabit the world with them.