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Best College Animal Behavior Programs

The following is a ranking of the best colleges for a bachelor’s in animal behavior degree.

We did not include degrees in zoology/animal biology, marine biology, wildlife science, animal physiology, or animal science.

The eleven schools below are ranked based on two data elements from College Navigator, with ties broken by the lower annual net price:

Overall graduation rates as an indication of student support
90-100%: 5 points
80-90%: 4 points
70-80%: 3 points
60-70%: 2 points
50-60%: 1 point
less than 50%: 0 points

Annual net price
10k-15k: 5 points
15k-20k: 4 points
20k-25k: 3 points
25k-30k: 2 points
30k-35k: 1 point
35k and up: 0 points

Ranking the Top College Animal Behavior Programs

11. Hampshire College

Amherst, Massachusetts

Animal Behavior and Cognition Program

hampshire college bachelor's animal behavior


Points: 2

Net price: $35,079: Graduation rate: 68%

The School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College offers the animal behavior and cognition study area (Hampshire College does not have “majors”). This program is a great choice for students wanting to understand how both wild and domesticated animals think and behave and what light that sheds on human thinking and behavior. As a student in the animal behavior program you will be closely connected to the Hampshire College Farm Center.

10. University of New England

Biddeford, Maine

BS in Animal Behavior

University of New England bachelor's animal behavior


Points: 3

Net price: $32,175; Graduation rate: 65%

In the BS in Animal Behavior program, you will rub shoulders in class and lab with undergrads, grad students and professionals as you study in a beautiful coastal Maine setting. This is an interdisciplinary program drawing from psychology, biology, neuroscience and more to understand organisms’ physical and social contexts. This is an ideal program for students aiming for work at a zoo, aquarium, wildlife preserve, or animal hospital.

9. Utica College

Utica, New York

BS in Animal Behavior

Utica College bachelor's animal behavior


Points: 3

Net price: $22,466; Graduation rate: 42%

The bachelor’s in animal behavior at Utica offers some unique features. The program is research intensive, meaning you will not spend all of your time in the classroom. This is great for hands-on learners who love animals and are naturally curious about why animals behave the way they do. And because of the program’s connection with the Utica Zoo, you’ll be able to conduct research and take care of animals there during your course of study.

8. Carroll University

Waukesha, Wisconsin

Animal Behavior

carroll university animal behavior


Points: 4

Net price: $23,744; Graduation rate: 59%

How does the brain influence animal behavior? How do animals learn new behaviors? And why do certain kinds of behaviors develop in the wild? These are the kinds of core questions you will study in the animal behavior major at Carroll. But you will also get out of the classroom and learn at the 60-acre Greene Field Station as well as at the Milwaukee County Zoo. And you will have a great start on planning for your career by engaging in a required internship at a Midwest, aquarium, or wildlife center in the northern Midwest.

7. Bucknell University

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania

BA or BS Animal Behavior

bucknell university animal behavior bachelor's


Points: 5

Net price: $35,677; Graduation rate: 90%

Bucknell’s offering in animal behavior, a joint program of the psychology and biology departments, has existed for 40 years. Over the years the department has graduated over 375 students. At Bucknell you would take courses like Social Insects, Behavioral Ecology, and Comparative Animal Cognition. Research, vet, museum, and zoo are just some of the career paths that an animal behavior bachelor’s from Bucknell would open up to you.

6. Southwestern University

Georgetown, Texas

BS or BA in Animal Behavior

southwestern bachelor's animal behavior


Points: 5

Net price: $25,345; Graduation rate: 75%

A solid graduation rate puts Southwestern University at the #6 spot in our bachelor’s in animal behavior ranking. Because the major approaches animal behavior from the biology and psychology sides, you will take courses like introductory psychology and statistics, chemistry, evolution, and behavioral neuroscience.

5. Canisius College

Buffalo, New York

Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation

canisius animal behavior program


Points: 6

Net price: $19,754; Graduation rate: 70%

At Canisius you can study animal behavior in the context of a value-based liberal arts curriculum. Potential elective courses include animal welfare, zoo animal management, animal cognition, and much more. Many of these will include service or field work. A solid graduation rate and reasonable tuition puts this bachelor’s in animal behavior in our top five.

4. Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Millersville, Pennsylvania

B.S. in Biology with Animal Behavior Option

millersville bachelor's in animal behavior


Points: 6

Net price: $17,950; Graduation rate: 62%

At Millersville, your animal behavior bachelor’s can be custom made to fit your interests and career aspirations. You will work with an advisor with expertise in the animal behavior field, helping direct your studies and field experience towards careers in zoos, aquariums, conservation centers, museums, wildlife control, academic or private research, and more.

3. Franklin and Marshall College

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Animal Behavior Studies

franklin and marshall animal behavior program


Points: 7

Net price: $23,092; Graduation rate: 87%

Animal Behavior undergrads at Franklin and Marshall have an excellent opportunity to be apprenticed to faculty researchers in lab and field contexts. The animal behavior bachelor’s degree in presented in the context of the Biological Foundations of Behavior program, along with the bachelor’s in neuroscience. The newly constructed Teaching and Research Laboratories in Animal Behavior, Behavioral Ecology, and Comparative Psychology offer state of the art facilities to work with fish, birds, mammals, monkeys, and more.

2. Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

BS Animal Behavior

texas a&m bachelor's animal behavior


Points: 8

Net price: $13,723; Graduation rate: 79%

Texas A&M offers a bachelor’s in animal behavior particularly relevant to those planning to work with livestock and domesticated animals. Research focuses particularly upon how animals behave in production contexts and how to manage animal stress. This program features a low net price and high graduation rate, indicating solid student support throughout the college experience.

1. Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Animal Behavior BS

IU Bloomington BS animal behavior


Points: 8

Net price: $13,289; Graduation rate: 77%

Our number one spot goes to Indiana University-Bloomington for a combination of low net price and high graduation rate, showing significant student support throughout the college experience. The animal behavior program is offered by the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior and features consideration of both human and non-human behavior from the angles of evolution, ecology, and physiology. At IU you will be able to interact with experts in the discipline in classroom and laboratory settings.

CVO Staff
May 2017

This concludes our ranking of the best colleges for a bachelor’s in animal behavior degree.

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