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Master’s in Animal Science and Behavior

Master of Professional Science

Next start date is October 25. No GRE needed and applying is free!!

Leadership and Management Skills

For Animal Science Professions

Do you love animals and want to turn your passion into a career? In the Animal Science and Behavior Program you can choose your track and specialize in Equine Health and Care or Canine and Feline Health and Care.

Program Overview

The Master of Professional Science in Animal Science and Behavior provides students with a deep understanding of human-animal 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. 

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

Program Features

+ One-on-one academic and professional advising as our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality. 

+ Unity College is an accredited institution by New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). 

+ Experiential Online. Experiential programs are delivered 100% online with fieldwork designed with the working professional in mind. 

+ Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time. 

+ Make professional connections with leaders in your field. 

+ Get job placement assistance. Browse our online job board and use free tools through our career services

+ Multiple start dates. Begin your program on your time. Choose from five year-round start dates.

Experiential and Immersive Coursework

Animal Ethogram

In the Animal Ethogram assignment, students are asked to pick an animal they can observe, and make a list of their behaviors. If students don’t have an animal in their local environment that they feel comfortable observing, they have a list of different live streams from the Zoo to the Smithsonian, where they can choose an animal to observe. Students must decide how trainers should adjust their training protocol based on feedback they receive from the animal as well as how to identify environmental contingencies in training and how to set up your environment to reach your training goals.

Training & Care Handbook

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.

XR Animal Behavior Assessment

Learning how to handle animals before students are prepared can be dangerous for both the animal and the handler. The Unity College XR Innovation Lab has developed a simulation where students can interact safely with an animal and study how they react to their handling tactics In this assignment students will learn how to recognize animal body language and behavior, assess how human behavior impacts animal behavior, how to respond appropriately to animal body language and behavior, conduct an animal behavior assessment and identify low-stress handling techniques for human-animal interaction.

Experts in the Field

At Unity College, our Faculty is comprised of a wide range of environmental science experts who in addition to teaching, conduct their own research and various fieldwork.

Dr. Christine Calder

Instructor of Animal Health and Behavior

Dr. Calder earned her DVM from the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has lived and practiced veterinary medicine in both her home state of New Jersey and Maine for many years. In addition to general practice, Dr. Calder has worked at the San Francisco SPCA, Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and Louisiana State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine. As a general practitioner, she has always had an interest in animal behavior especially clinical veterinary behavior. She also successfully completed a residency with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and went on to become a Diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (DACVB). Dr. Calder’s special interest is in shelter behavior, feline behavior, and shy/fearful dogs.

Dr. Calder brings value to her students with her extensive fieldwork. She is the Director of Behavior Services at Midcoast Humane in Brunswick, ME. In addition to improving the welfare and adoption potential of Midcoast Humane residents, she still consults on out of shelter behavior cases. Dr. Calder works with dogs, cats, birds, pocket pets, horses, exotics, and zoo animals. She consults on behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, house-soiling, feather-picking behavior- birds, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, excessive vocalization, destructive Chewing, and many more.

Small Class Sizes

Small Class Sizes

At Unity College, we believe our students are not just a number. The value of small class size intimacy is just as important to us in our distance education program as it is in traditional classroom settings. We give the benefit of creating tight-knit communities where networking can flourish. By keeping our class sizes small, our faculty can dedicate their time to providing all one-on-one guidance when needed by a student.

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

Career Outlook

Earn your degree.

Unlock new opportunities.


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

Careers and Outcomes

Follow your curiosity.

Realize your potential.

Faculty Profiles

Seek out knowledge.

Learn from leaders.

Distance Education Concierge

Last Updated on August 25, 2021