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Best 15 Animal Behavior Degree in 2021

March 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Animal Behavior is a multidisciplinary degree that prepares students for a variety of careers.  The following list of colleges offer an accredited bachelor’s degree program in animal behavior.  Every institution on this list is accredited.  The institutions are ranked according to a  matrix using  key pieces of information including cost, faculty to student ratio, and graduation rate.  The lower the cost and faculty to student ratio the higher that institution will rank.  The higher the graduation rate will also move an institutions ranking up.  These items of information show a more complete picture of the value of the program and likelihood of students graduating with the skills they need to be successful in their career.  

1. Indiana University Bloomington

 A public institution for higher learning, Indiana University Bloomington is the flagship campus for the Indiana University system.  The program for Animal Behavior is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.  The degree in an interdisciplinary program that studies human and non-human behavior as well as relationships with their environment, ecology, evolution, and physiology.  Students will participate in both traditional coursework and workshops where they gain hands-on experience with expert faculty within the field.  Internships are also available for added experience and opportunities to learn skills and hands-on experience.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Bloomington, Indiana
  • Tuition: $10,947 (Resident)  $36,512 (Non-Resident)
  • Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 16 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 76.1%

2. Drake University

A private institution for higher learning, Drake University offers many undergraduate, graduate and professional programs and degrees.  If working with animals and helping in conservation efforts is a life long dream then the degree in Animal Behavior will lead you to a rewarding career.  Students in this degree will study the science behind animal behavior.  Courses include ecology, neuroscience, evolution, psychology and more.  Students will engage in experiential learning with a wide range of species in the laboratories on campus as well as with the Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo.  With domestic and wild animals, students will have opportunities to work alongside expert faculty in studying and advocating for these animals.       

At A Glance

  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Tuition: $42,840
  • Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 78.1%

3. Duke University

A private research university , Duke University was established by Methodists and Quakers in 1838 and has since become a world class institution for higher learning and research.  At Duke University students study Animal Behavior from a multidisciplinary standpoint as this topic has become too diverse to be studied from a single discipline.  Students will study biology, psychology, and anatomy as they learn aspects that contribute to an animal’s behavior.  Students are required to participate in labs where they gain hands-on experience and understanding of specific animals.  Students will also complete a capstone project required for graduation.       

At A Glance

  • Location: Durham, North Carolina
  • Tuition: $58,031
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 6 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 94.5%

4. Bucknell University

A private liberal arts college, Bucknell University is home to a unique hands-on animal behavior degree.  Students can choose between a Bachelor of Science Or Bachelor of Art in Animal Behavior.  The degrees differ in the number of advanced science classes and labs required for graduation, though they are both interdisciplinary in nature.  Students will take courses in biology, chemistry, physiology, and psychology regardless of the path they choose.  Bucknell is home to four species of primates that students will research, observe, and interact with throughout their degree program.  Class size is limited to 8 to 10 majors per year to allow direct mentoring from expert faculty.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $58,196
  • Accreditation: Middle State Commission on Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 88.2%

5. Franklin and Marshall College

A private liberal arts college, Franklin and Marshall College is a small institution that provides a unique and experiential learning method for students of the animal behavior degree.  Students will learn in a state of the art laboratory, in the field, at the zoo, and across the world.  The hallmark of this degree program is the hands-on experience undergraduate students receive while working alongside expert faculty that are active researchers.  Students learn not only in the classroom but also in the field with living species.   Students will collaborate with other students and faculty as they perform their own research.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $58,800
  • Accreditation: Middle State Commission on Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 9 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 86.9%

6. Hampshire College

Hampshire College was established in 1970 as an institution that was open to alternative education models.  Hampshire College is a private liberal arts college that offers a variety of degree programs including a Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior and Cognition.  Students of this program will learn and study the cognition of animals, animal communication and evolution.  Students will have opportunities to gain hands-on experience through the Hampshire Farm Center.  Graduates will complete a student project in which they study and research interactions of various natural organisms.  Such projects have included the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone and Frog Malformations and possible causes to name a couple.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Tuition: $52,068
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of HIgher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 10 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 64.6%

7. Millersville University of Pennsylvania

A public institution for higher learning, Millersville University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.  Millersville offers a Bachelor’s degree with a focus in animal behavior.  In this program students will take the same core biology courses as all biology majors as well as courses in animal behavior, neurobiology, courses focusing on one animal group, and electives of student choice.  In addition coursework students of this program are expected to gain hands-on practical experience.  This experience can come in the form of internships, vet tech positions, working in animal shelters, zoos, or aquariums.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Millersville, Pennsylvania
  • Tuition: $12,250 (Resident)  $22,220 (Non-Resident)
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 59.5%

8. Canisius College

Canisius College is a private Jesuit College that was founded in 1870 and has grown to provide over 100 degree programs for students of all faiths.  For those seeking an exciting career in animal behavior will find a rigorous program that blends behavioral biology with animal welfare and wildlife conservation.  The program provides a strong scientific knowledge blended with hands-on learning opportunities in labs and field experiences.  Another strength of this program is the ethical and legal considerations students learn.  Participants will have opportunities for internships and research activities with faculty.    

At A Glance

  • Location: Buffalo, New York
  • Tuition: $29,428
  • Accreditation: Middle State Commision for Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 70.5%

9. Eckerd College

Eckerd College is a private liveral arts institution for higher learning and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.  The degree of Animal studies at Eckerd College is of an interdisciplinary model that takes students through courses of the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and communications.  Students will study the relationships between humans and animals through history and the consequences of said relationships.  Students will study beyond the classroom in various labs associated with the Animal Studies Research Collaborative which has partnerships with various zoos and aquariums.  The Eckerd Dog Cognition Lab is on campus and allows students to have direct opportunities for research.  

At A Glance

  • Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Tuition: $46,096
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 12 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 65.7%

10. Carroll University

Carroll University is a private liberal arts college that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.  Carroll University is home to a comprehensive Animal Behavior degree program that is an ideal fit for students that are seeking to work with animals at any level in their career.  Students will build their knowledge based on a scientific foundation as they study how the brain and nervous system work together to how animals learn new behavior.  Participants will learn both in the classroom and at the Greene Field Station and Prairie Springs Environmental Education Center.  Students will also be given opportunities for hands-on learning at the Humane Animal Welfare Society.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Waukesha, Wisconsin
  • Tuition: $32,850
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 19 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 62.5%

11. UTICA College

UTICA College is a private institution for higher learning in New York.  Within the Biology department students can earn a bachelor’s degree in Animal Behavior.  Within this research focused program students will work with faculty as they utilize experimental methods to understand ecological, evolutionary, and physiological basis of behavior.  With partnerships with the utica zoo, students take their knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to the field as they have opportunities to perform research, animal care, and husbandry at the zoo under the direction of faculty and staff.   As students complete the program they can participate in a capstone project, research or seminar.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Utica, New York
  • Tuition: $22,110
  • Accreditation: Middle State Commission on Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 11 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 45.3%

12. Unity College

A private liberal arts college, Unity College offers education based on sustainability science.  For those that are seeking a career working with animals, the Bachelor’s degree in Animal Health and Behavior at Unity College will prepare students to learn how to provide hands-on care for wild, rescued, and domestic animals.  Graduates are able to use the knowledge and skills they gain being employed at vet techs, working at zoos or aquariums, and animal rehabilitation.  Students have one-on-one advising, multiple start dates, and the option to complete coursework entirely online.  This particular degree program is offered in an online format that provides opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers within the program.   

At A Glance

  • Location: Unity, Maine
  • Tuition: $30,000
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 57.4%

13. Florida Institute of Technology

A private research institution, Florida Institute of Technology is home to four academic colleges.  Students seeking an education that prepares them to work with and understand animal behavior will take the course of a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Animal Behavior and Training. This interdisciplinary degree allows students to gain knowledge of psychology, biology and behavior analysis in tandem. The culmination of the program is an internship within a facility or institution with animal training, rehabilitation, or husbandry.  Along with completing an internship many students choose complete preinsternships with the Brevard Zoo.     

At A Glance

  • Location: Melbourne, Florida
  • Tuition: $42,470
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 14 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 57.3%

14. Muskingum University

A private liberal arts college, Muskingum University was established in 1837 and is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.  At Muskingum University students that study Animal Studies will discover a multidisciplinary degree program that takes students through courses in biology, psychology, communication, and more.  Students of this program are prepared for careers in organismal biology, animal behavior and conservation.  This program has a strong emphasis on career development.  Students will also participate in courses of management and finance to help them be better prepared for various careers within animal studies such as vet tech, rehabilitation, and more.  

At A Glance

  • Location: New Concord, Ohio
  • Tuition: $28,878
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 53.7%

15. University of New England

A private institution, the University of New England operates three campuses as well as a wide array of online degree programs.  For anyone that has dreamed of working with animals, wild and domestic will find a fabulous interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior program at UNE.  Students will have a degree that is at the crossroads of biology, environmental science, marine science, psychology, and neuroscience.  Students will learn directly from experienced faculty as well as participate in internships where they will gain skills and experience necessary for their careers.  Students will be mentored by faculty and have access to a pre vet track and opportunities to work alongside faculty research.  

At A Glance

  • Location: Biddeford, Maine
  • Tuition: $38,750
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Faculty to Student Ratio: 13 to 1
  • Financial Aid: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 58.6%

Points Methodology

  • Cost:   Below $15,000 Per Year     Points:  5
  • Between $15K and $25K Per Year   Points:  3
  • Above $25K Per Year   Points:  1
  • Faculty to Student Ratio:  10 to 1 and Below    Points:  5
  • Between 10 and 20 to 1   Points:  3
  • Above 20 to1  Points:  1
  • Graduation Rate:  Above 70%   Points:  5
  • Between 60% and 70%  Points:  3
  • Below 60%  Points:  1
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