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Master’s in Animal Science and Behavior

Master of Professional Science

Next start date is June 7. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Leadership and Management Skills

For Animal Science Professions

The Master of Professional Science in Animal Science and Behavior provides students with a deep understanding of animal and human interaction, with an emphasis on animal companionship, therapy and service, behavior, rehabilitation and welfare. Students develop leadership and management skills, and coursework in this degree prepares them for careers as animal trainers, rehabilitators, and managers or directors of animal service businesses.      


Horse Stable

Equine Health and Care

  • ANIM 520 Equine Nutrition

    This course will explore equine nutritional needs and the essential elements of maintaining a healthy horse. With an emphasis on feeds, diet, and its relationship to health and performance, students will learn how proper nutrition and feeding schedules can be implemented to promote proper equine welfare. This course will also investigate environmental factors that influence horse health and connect the dietary management of various disorders and diseases to equine health and performance.

  • ANIM 620 Best Management Practices for Ranches and Stables

    This course will review the best management practices and safety procedures recommended for ranch and stable managers. The emphasis of this course will include barn hygiene, air quality, safety audits, implementing practices to reduce grazing pressure and pasture quality, manage nutrient gains on pastures, manage water flow, and deliberate fencing to reduce impact on nearby streams and waterways. Students will learn the importance of properly managing the natural environment to optimize the health and welfare of horses, including concepts related to natural ecosystems, ecosystem services, and beneficial management practices.

Animal Training

Canine and Feline Health and Care

  • ANIM 510 Canine and Feline Nutrition

    This course is focused on the concepts of and science behind animal health specific to canine and feline nutrition, including digestion, absorption, dietary requirements, and consumption needs. Discussions will focus on the effects of nutrition on the health and wellness of canines and felines. Emphasis will be placed in the dietary management of various disorders, allergies and diseases in these animal groups. Students will also explore how proper nutrition and feeding schedules can be implemented to promote companion animal welfare.

  • ANIM 610 Animal Shelter Best Practices and Management

    Animal shelters strive to balance animal welfare science with practical and realistic expectations that can be achieved to provide a high standard of care for their animals and meet the needs of the public. This course provides recommendations on best practices for animal health and care at animal shelters with an emphasis on facility design, record keeping, population management, sanitation, monitoring health and behavior, handling, euthanasia, spaying and neutering, animal transport, and care procedures that maximize animal welfare. This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the role of a manager in an animal shelter and practice the interpersonal and management skills required to fill the role of an Animal Shelter Manager.

Frequently Asked Questions

Career Outlook

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Median annual pay for Animal Shelter Directors, 2018.


Estimated job growth through 2028 for pet trainers.


Number of employees working in animal training professions (2018)

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


Master’s in Animal Science and Behavior

Graduates will be able to identify sources of risk to humans and animals in their interactions, as well as processes to minimize risk or harm. They will also be able to compare and contrast companion, service, emotional support and therapy animals and the rules, regulations, laws and training. As managers, they will learn how to lead change and innovation within an organization. 

Degree candidates benefit from: 

  • Personalized attention. Online classes average 10 students, meaning you’ll receive ample attention from your professors.
  • Quick time to completion. Take classes full-time and you can finish your master’s in as little as 12 months.
  • Begin your degree on one of five start dates. All classes are offered online, so you can earn your degree from anywhere in the world.  
  • Professional resources. From world-class faculty to free access to GIS software, you’ll be prepped for success.
  • No test scores needed to apply. No GRE or GMAT required for application. That’s one less thing on your plate. 
  • Recognized expertise. Unity College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, meaning your courses meet an academic standard.

Put your passion into action. Apply online.

Faculty Profiles

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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

Animal science and behavior sample courses

  • ANIM 505 Animal Behavior and Modification

    This course will focus on the science of animal behavior and learning. Students will learn how to define behavior through use of a behavioral ethogram and how to measure behavior through analysis of animal behavior videos. This course will also cover the three levels of environmental selection that impact behavior with a focus on how individual behavior can be shaped by interactions with the environment. Students will explore basic principles of animal learning including associative and non-associative learning and classical, operant conditioning, habituation, dishabituation, and sensitization. Finally students will learn about the three-term contingency and how to modify behavior through use of environmental contingencies.

  • ANIM 605 Advanced Animal Training

    This course will explore the science and theory of animal learning and how to apply learning principles to train animals. Students will review various practices and techniques that form the art of animal training. Students will learn about the principles of reinforcement and punishment, schedules of reinforcement, and how to utilize positive reinforcement to build stronger communication between the trainer and the animal. Students will also learn fear free training techniques, how to pick a reward, and training tools such as shaping, capturing, and luring to encourage animals to exhibit a desired behavior. The knowledge and skills learned in this course may be utilized to assist with medical evaluations, treatments, or procedures, and to help meet a variety of management and animal welfare goals.

  • ANIM 630 Emotional Support and Service Animals: Rules and Regulations

    This course will focus on rules, regulations, laws and training encompassed and/or required by service, emotional support and therapy animals. Students will explore principles of human-animal interactions and potential human health benefits of animals in society. This course will provide students with the ability to provide guidance to public and private stakeholders that seek support in understanding and enforcing the rules and regulations for these animal groups to minimize risk or harm to animals and/or humans. In doing so, students will explore current controversies and analyze current case studies regarding the use of animals in service, emotional support and therapy animal roles.

Distance Education Concierge