(Bachelor of Science Degree)
The Animal Behavior major is an integrative and interdisciplinary program of study examining the behavior of animals from a biological and psychological perspective. The major seeks to provide students with a background in scientific knowledge to examine the evolutionary, ecological, genetic, and neurological, and cognitive mechanisms that influence the behavior of animals, as well as ways in which behavior is modified by learning, training, and changes in the natural environment. Additionally, students will gain an understanding of techniques for studying behavior through our research-intensive program that includes laboratory experiences, training in research methods, and conducting independent research projects. Students will be introduced to zoo research, animal care and husbandry, and animal training through our partnership with the Utica Zoo.
The major in Animal Behavior will provide a foundation of courses and experiences for students interested in pursuing graduate training for research, high school or college/university teaching, conservation, or veterinarian medicine. Additionally, this major will provide training for those seeking careers requiring training at the bachelor’s level, such as research assistants at universities, businesses, or government institutions; animal care specialists or managers for research facilities; animal handlers/trainers for zoos or as a business; zoo keeping and aquarium husbandry; veterinary assistants; and museum or zoo educators. Other careers include applied animal behavior in industry and animal control officers.
Students graduating with a degree in Animal Behavior will:
- Integrate biological and psychological principles in the investigation of animal behavior to understand the proximate and ultimate factors influencing behavior and to recognize the underlying biological, ecological, and psychological processes that influence the behavior of animals;
- Demonstrate critical thinking skills in the process of scientific inquiry and the development of experimental design in the study of animal behavior;
- Use primary literature in the field of animal behavior;
- Analyze and present scientific data using statistical analyses and statistical software;
- Compose oral and written scientific presentations using experimental design and data.