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Degrees & Majors

Animal Behavior

Bachelor of Science in Animal Behavior


The B.S. degree in Animal Behavior includes courses from the different disciplines that study animal behavior, providing the interdisciplinary foundations students need to reflect on the consequences of different intellectual approaches to a single problem. The B.S. in Animal Behavior is particularly valuable for students interested in careers in animal biology and behavior, including but not limited to research and teaching, wildlife management and conservation, veterinary medicine, animal training, and zoo management.

Animal behavior is the scientific study of everything animals do. The field of animal behavior examines the causes, functions, development, and evolution of behavior including the stimuli that affect behavior, whether external (food or predators) or internal (hormones or nervous system). The function of behavior includes both the immediate effects of behavior on an animal and the adaptive significance of the behavior in a particular environment. The development of behavior is concerned with how behavior changes over an animal's lifetime. The evolution of behavior is concerned with origins of behavior patterns and how these change over generations.

Students have opportunities to conduct their own independent research or gain hands-on experience in animal behavior through the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior (CISAB) internship program. They may also find opportunities for supervised laboratory research in which they apply their newly learned knowledge to real-world contexts such as zoos, museums, and wildlife rescue centers.