Program Details - Animal Behavior Major
Major in Animal Behavior

Bachelor of Science Degree • School of Arts and Sciences

Program Details

Animal Behavior Major

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, 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 and field 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 veterinary 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 degree: 128


(See also General Education Core)

Course Credit Hours Year Taken
Core 34-55 1,2,3,4
Major Course Requirements
Foundations for Understanding Animal Behavior
Biology 211* General Biology I 4 1
Biology 212 General Biology II 4 1
Psychology 101 Introduction to Psychology 3 1
Psychology 202 Advanced Introduction to Psychology 3 1 or 2
Research Methods in Animal Behavior
Biology 231 Research Methods in Biology I 3 1
Biology 232 Research Methods in Biology II 3 2
Psychology 211 Statistics in the Behavioral Sciences 3 1
Essentials of Animal Behavior
Biology 321 Genetics 4 2 or 3
Biology 329 Evolution 3 2 or 3
Biology 338 Animal Behavior with laboratory 3,1 2 or 3
Biology 428 Zoo Animal Behavior, Training, and Husbandry

3 or 4
Psychology 351 Learning and Behavior 4 2,3 or 4
Electives (15 cr. – at least 6 cr. in BIO/Animal Behavior and 6 cr. in PSY)
ANB 420 Short Course in Animal Behavior 1 3 or 4
Biology 323 Ecology 4 3 or 4
Biology 322 Developmental Biology 4 3 or 4
Biology 324 Animal Physiology 4 3 or 4
Biology 327 Cell Biology 4 3 or 4
Biology 343 Neuroscience 3 3 or 4
Biology 362 Endocrinology 3 3 or 4
Biology 436 Biology of Vertebrates 4 3 or 4
Biology 437 Biology of Invertebrates 4 3 or 4
Psychology 312 Research Methods in Psychology 4 2 or 3
Psychology 343 Sensation and Perception 4 3 or 4
Psychology 347 Basic Psychobiology 3 3 or 4
Psychology 352 Motivation and Emotion 3 3 or 4
Psychology 354 Cognitive Psychology 4 3 or 4
Psychology 405 Evolutionary Psychology 3 3 or 4
Psychology 453 Theories of Learning 3 3 or 4
Capstone Experience (select one)
ANB 450 Senior Research 3  4
ANB 495 Senior Seminar 3 4
Major-Related Course Requirements
Chemistry 211 General Chemistry I 4 1 or 2
Chemistry 212 General Chemistry II 4 1 or 2

Total Hours Required in Major: 68

* Students are required to earn a grade of C or better in BIO211 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 CHE331-CHE332, PHY151-152 or PHY261-262, and MAT201.

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 ANB450 and present their findings at a professional conference or 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.



Tom McCarthy, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
163 Gordon Science Center

(315) 223-2510
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(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502