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Animal Science and Behavior

Master of Professional Science

Next start date is June 3. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Unlock your career working with

animals and mastering behaviors.

Immerse yourself in a program tailored for passionate individuals like you, merging scientific excellence with a deep understanding of animal behavior and welfare.

Engage in hands-on experiences through research projects, empowering you to ethically analyze and enhance animal behavior sustainably. Delve into the ethical treatment and welfare aspects of animal science, aligning your skills with humane practices across industries.

As you graduate, you’re not just earning a degree; you’re unlocking a world of diverse career opportunities. Envision a path in animal research, behavior consulting, wildlife management, or animal-assisted therapy – our program positions you for success in roles demanding a profound understanding of animal science and behavior.

Enroll now and actively shape a future where every skill learned contributes to a thriving job market and a world where animals are treated with compassion and respect.

Graduate Degree Program Overview

The Master of Professional Science in Animal Science and Behavior program provides students with a deep understanding of human-animal interactions with an emphasis on animal companionship, behavior, and welfare. With coursework that develops leadership and management skills, the program prepares students for employment as animal trainers, animal shelter managers, and animal service providers. 

Each student must choose a track for this program.

MPS Animal Science and Behavior Tracks:

Equine Health and Care
Canine and Feline Health and Care

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Career Outlook

Earn your degree.

Unlock new opportunities.

45k

Number of employees working in animal training professions (2018).

$50k

Median annual pay for Animal Shelter Directors, 2018.

+11%

Estimated job growth through 2028 for pet trainers.


*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unity Environmental University cannot guarantee employment. Salary data represents averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience


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Experiential and Immersive Coursework

Improve Welfare with Behavior

In a culminating course project, students apply their knowledge of biological and psychological principles of animal behavior to create a Behavior Husbandry Plan. This scenario-based assignment directs students to focus on specific behavioral issues at an animal facility and provide behavioral modification recommendations to improve animal health and welfare.

Training & Care Handbook

Graduate students are challenged to create a handbook that demonstrates proper techniques for both training & care of animals for a made-up organization. This project allows the students to practice their knowledge of the coursework they’ve learned throughout the term, as well as asking them to present best practices in the field. Students create a training philosophy, present instructions and describe reinforcement tools and techniques.

Citizen Advocate for Animal Issues

Learn how to advocate for animals and their rights by effectively communicating the issue and solutions to engage public attention and support, and influence policymakers to take a stand. Knowing how to influence stakeholders and lawmakers to create change is an important part of ensuring that the field of Animal Assisted Intervention continues to advance appropriately, focused on best practices, sound science and animal welfare.


Degree Requirements and Courses

The Master’s in Animal Health and Behavior requires 30 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA. For a more comprehensive look into the program, download our program sheet or view our full course catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Animal Science and Behavior

    Animal Science and Behavior is about understanding how humans interact with animals, focusing on their companionship, behavior, and well-being. In this program, you’ll explore these relationships from various angles, gaining insights into animal welfare and management. Through engaging coursework, you’ll develop skills in leadership and animal care, preparing you for careers such as animal training, managing animal shelters, or providing animal services. It’s all about learning how to make a positive impact on the lives of animals while also fulfilling your passion for working with them.

  • What courses will I be taking?

    Professional Masters Core: 15 credits

    • PROF 505: Strategic Management of Innovation 
    • PROF 510: Communication for Environmental Professionals 
    • PROF 515: Ethical Practice and Policy 
    • PROF 590: Capstone I 
    • PROF 690: Capstone II

    Major Program Core: 15 credits

    • ANIM 505: Animal Behavior and Modification
    • ANIM 605: Advanced Animal Training
    • ANIM 630: Emotional Support and Service Animals: Rules and Regulations

    Complete one of the following required tracks:

    Canine and Feline Health and Care Track

    • ANIM 510: Canine and Feline Nutrition
    • ANIM 610: Animal Shelter Best Practices and Management

    Equine Health and Care Track

    • ANIM 520: Equine Nutrition
    • ANIM 620: Best Management Practices for Ranches and Stables

    For course requirements and a better look into your program, view our full course catalog. Then apply online for free to get started.

  • How much does it cost?

    Your online education should be affordable and manageable. Our team of distance education concierges will work with you through the admissions process to help you plan and pay for your degree. Learn more about the costs here.

    NEW! We’ve just reduced our graduate degree tuition!

  • How many credits can I transfer?

    Apply online (it’s free!) and a distance education concierge will reach out to create an individualized plan for transferring your credits. We will consider up to nine transfer credits for our graduate programs.

  • How fast can I finish?

    The timeframe for completion is up to you! Enroll in 6 credits per term and complete the program within just one year. Alternatively, opt for part-time study by taking one course at a time. Whichever path you choose, we’re here to support your educational journey every step of the way. Contact your concierge or advisor to create your personalized plan.

Ready to Learn More?

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Program Features


Career Focus – Unity ranks in the top 15% of colleges for social mobility according to CollegeNET. Demand for employees with green skills is growing daily, and the sustainability core in every master’s program at Unity means that you’ll graduate with an environmental consciousness applicable to every career path.

Earn While You Learn – Our asynchronous model is designed to provide flexibility, allowing you to balance your studies with professional and personal commitments.

World Renowned Faculty – Learn from faculty who are working in their field, bringing their professional network and real-world insights into the virtual classroom, fostering valuable connections for your future career.

Applied Learning – You’ll be required to engage your local community and environment while completing your master’s degree, giving you practical, hands-on experience while allowing you to translate theoretical knowledge into real-world solutions. 

Personalized Support – You can rely on one-on-one professional advising, career support from your first day, unlimited mental health counseling, and more.


Experts in the Field

At Unity Environmental University, our Faculty is comprised of a wide range of environmental science experts who in addition to teaching, conduct their own research and various field and thesis work.

Amber Ramos Unity Faculty

Amber Ramos

Graduate Adjunct Faculty

Amber Ramos is a seasoned animal trainer specializing in marine mammals and animal care with over fifteen years of expertise. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University, she’s currently on an exciting journey as a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Amber’s research is a captivating exploration into the behavioral health and welfare of marine mammals in professional care. Her enthusiasm extends to all facets of behavior, cognitive enrichment, and the human-animal relationship that enhances positive welfare.

As a lead trainer at The National Marine Mammal Foundation, supporting the US Navy Marine Mammal Program since 2007, Amber has built special connections with a diverse range of bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions, spanning from neonates to geriatric animals.

Beyond her daily responsibilities, Amber extends her expertise to marine mammal rescue centers along the California coast. 

Faculty Profiles

Seek out knowledge.

Learn from leaders.


Ready to Learn More?


Fill out the form below to speak with someone at Unity about the Distance Education programs. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Welcome to Hybrid Learning where you can train for a meaningful environmental career while enjoying ultimate flexibility! Choose the combination of in-person and online courses that fits your life and goals. With 8 terms available per year with 5-week terms, we offer the best of online and hands-on education.
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Welcome to the Technical Institute for Environmental Professions! Join us for in-person, job-focused, environmental associate degrees at our commuter campus in New Gloucester, Maine. The Technical Institute offers flexible, innovative, and affordable preparation for Maine’s high-demand jobs with two-week terms, low per-credit pricing, and state-of-the-art HyFlex classrooms.

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Distance Education Concierge

Last Updated on May 22, 2024