Apr 24, 2024  
2015 Undergraduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER - FALL) 
2015 Undergraduate Catalog 1.2 (SUMMER - FALL) [ARCHIVED CATALOG - Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Animal Behavior (B.S.)

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(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.

Total credit hours required for the degree: 128

Learning Objectives

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;
  • Understand how the behavior of animals is affected by their environment, including natural and captive environments;
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills in the process of scientific inquiry and the development of experimental design in the study of animal behavior;
  • Be familiar with and use primary literature in the field of animal behavior;
  • Be able to analyze and present scientific data using statistical analyses and statistical software;
  • Have skills in oral and scientific presentation of experimental design and data; and
  • Perform activities that promote and nurture scholarship, responsible citizenship, and skills for lifelong learning.

Academic Requirements

See Core  section of this catalog.

Core: 34 - 55 Credit Hours

Major Course Requirements

3 Credit Hours

8 Credit Hours

Total Hours Required in Major: 68


*Students are required to earn a grade of C or better in BIO 211  before enrolling in any subsequent course with an Animal Behavior or Biology prefix that is required for the major.

Note: Students who plan on graduate study may need to complete CHE 331 -CHE 332 , PHY 151 -PHY 152  or PHY 261 -PHY 262 , and MAT 201 .


The student must complete sufficient elective courses to earn at least the minimum credit hours for this degree and at least 64 of the 128 hours required must be in the liberal arts and sciences.

Honors in Animal Behavior:

In order to be considered for Honors in Animal Behavior, the following requirements must be satisfied.

  1. The student must have a GPA of at least 3.4 in all Biology, Psychology, and Animal Behavior courses taken at Utica College and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  2. The student must take ANB 450  and present their findings at the Annual Undergraduate Research Conference (or similar venue).
  3. The Psychology and Biology faculty will evaluate the student’s credentials and then select those who shall receive Honors. The student’s participation in departmental activities will also be considered.

For those students selected, the transcript will read: Bachelor of Science with Honors in Animal Behavior.

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