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Bachelor of Science in Anthrozoology

Our new major explores the extraordinary relationships and interactions that people have with animals, combining scientific study and exploration with theoretical applications in the areas of animal welfare, animal behavior, and conservation. Our unique approach includes classroom instruction and hands-on learning. You can choose from three distinct tracks based on your interests and career goals:

Download the Anthrozoology brochure

On campus, you’ll have hands-on experience with a variety of animals, including small mammals, large birds, snakes, fish, lizards, turtles, and many more.

What You'll Learn

Using your critical thinking skills to evaluate situations involving animals, you’ll first and foremost think like a scientist, and you’ll leave Beacon prepared to work in zoos, aquariums, animal shelters, and nature centers. You will be able to articulate scientific ideas, and you’ll demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of animal husbandry, behavior, and zoonosis (diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans). You’ll be a leader in helping to create solutions that enhance positive interactions between humans and animals.

Choose Your Path

Our new major explores the extraordinary relationships and interactions that people have with animals, combining scientific study and exploration with theoretical applications in the areas of animal welfare, animal behavior and conservation. Our unique approach includes classroom instruction and hands-on learning.

Hands On Learning Opportunities

Senior students in Beacon College’s Anthrozoology program had the opportunity to participate in a semester-long class focused on the human relationship with horses. Limited to five senior students, they were paired with five untouched mustangs. They spent the semester earning the horses’ trust and training for five behaviors: haltering, leading, backing up, picking up all four feet, and loading/unloading in a trailer. At the end of the semester, students showcased their training progress in a musical freestyle format with a theme of their choice.

Sample Courses

Principles of Animal Husbandry

Explore the skills needed for successful animal management practices, including sanitation, safety, zoonosis, and handling/restraint.

Principles of Organismal Biology

Learn about the diversity of the vertebrate and invertebrate animal families through the comparative study of structure-function relationships.

Science of Animal Welfare

Focus on the scientific measurement of animal welfare in varying contexts, including research and captivity. Topics include physiological measurements of animal well-being, quality of life, and basic introduction to laws regulating animal use.

Animal Behavior and Communication

Examine the ultimate and proximate causes of social, reproductive, and food-gathering behaviors along with human-influenced changes to animal behavior through analysis of scientific literature.

Animals in the Public Eye

Discusses human relationships and perceptions of animals, as well as animal use, through examination of scientific literature and critical thinking.

Animal Training and Enrichment

Examine the theories guiding contemporary practices in behavioral husbandry. Applications of theory will be examined as it pertains to the development of modern animal training programs.

Conservation Biology

Examine the significance and complexity of Earth’s biological diversity, the scientific and biological consequences of human impact to our planet’s ecosystems, and the technical approaches towards addressing human impact on biodiversity.

Animal Shelter Operations and Management

Topics relating to animal shelters in order to maintain animal health and well-being. Learn about Asilomar records, behavior analysis programs, and community programs.

Biology and Behavior of Domesticated Animals

Explore the anatomy, physiology, and evolutionary paths of animals commonly used for human companionship. Learn how natural history impacts these animals’ biology and behavior as well as how we care for them.

Zoo Biology

Learn about husbandry, nutrition, reproduction, and conservation of a variety of exotic species commonly held in zoological institutions.

Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation

Explore wildlife protection, human-wildlife conflict, government agencies and conservation laws, conservation strategies, and conservation psychology.

Field Experience and Internships

In this major, you will have access to special learning opportunities and internships through our close relationships with local employers and organizations that work with animals. In addition to on-campus experiences, you will participate in hands-on learning at zoos, rescue shelters, stables, farms, and more.

All Anthrozoology majors are required to complete an internship. We work with you to identify and secure an internship in the Leesburg area. If you prefer to complete a summer internship, we will work with you to identify an internship close to your home or at a location of interest to you.

Student Spotlight

The Anthrozoology department provides great learning opportunities for those who want to obtain a path with animals. During my experience at Beacon majoring in Anthrozoology, I have found that the staff are very easy to talk to and very accommodating. The classroom setting and the overall environment are very easygoing and supportive of each other. Overall, I think that Anthrozoology is a very rewarding major and provides a wide variety of career paths to choose from.

—Claire Dryden

Career Opportunities

Students with a B.S. in Anthrozoology can immediately begin working in the field, or continue their education in graduate school for advanced study in animal behavior or conservation biology. This degree provides solid preparation for employment in zoos, aquariums, animal shelters, and nature centers or a career in animal training, wildlife conservation, or animal welfare.

  • Animal nutritionist
  • Animal caretaker
  • Conservation officer


  • Marine biologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Zookeeper
  • Park ranger

Anthrozoology Minor

The Anthrozoology minor is an interdisciplinary program open to all Beacon students. The curriculum provides students with a broad view of animal behavior and human interaction with other species. It can be combined with a degree in another field such as business.

Learn More About Anthrozoology

To schedule a visit, please contact our admissions team at admissions@beaconcollege.edu or call 352-638-9731 or 855-220-5376 (toll-free).

Download the Anthrozoology brochure.