How do I get a Zoology Degree?

Miranda Fine

Zoology is the study of the biology and environments of animals. A career in zoology requires at least a bachelor’s degree in one of the life sciences. Most colleges offer zoology courses as part of education in the life sciences, but it is becoming less common for them to offer specific zoology degree programs, although some still do. An advanced zoology degree will require enrolling in a master’s degree or Ph.D. program in a field of natural science at a university.

Zoologists may study animal aggression.
Zoologists may study animal aggression.

Degrees such as a Bachelor’s of Art or Science in Biology, Zoology, Wildlife Management, Environmental Policy, or Studies and Conservation are all good preparation for a career in zoology. Zoologists can work in a variety of sub-fields like research, education, conservation, veterinary medicine, resource management, and agriculture.

Zoos often have internship programs for students.
Zoos often have internship programs for students.

While getting your bachelor’s degree, you will want to take courses that focus on animal biology, wildlife, or policy issues related to animals, depending on your interests. Talk to your professors to find out about the research they are doing and whether there are opportunities for students to get involved. You might look to local zoos, animal hospitals, and wildlife and animal rescue organizations to see if they have internship opportunities. These experiences will enhance your education in zoology as well as make you more attractive when you are looking for a job or pursuing further study.

An advanced zoology degree requires between two to seven years of study.
An advanced zoology degree requires between two to seven years of study.

An advanced zoology degree requires between two to seven years of study, on average. As with the undergraduate degrees, a specialization in zoology can be undertaken in several fields in the life sciences. A master’s degree is usually accomplished in two years, while a Ph.D. usually takes between five to seven years. For a higher level zoology degree you can expect to take more advanced classes, including several on how to conduct research, and complete your own research. For a Ph.D. program, expect to conduct extensive individual research, apply for research funding, and write and attempt to publish scientific articles with your research results.

Someone with a zoology degree may ultimately decide to work as a veterinarian.
Someone with a zoology degree may ultimately decide to work as a veterinarian.

In general, students must pay tuition for their master’s degree, while Ph.D. students are funded by the university, grants, teaching or assistantships during most or all of their studies. Some universities offer co-op degree programs with federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife. These programs usually will pay for your schooling in return for an obligation to work at the agency for a certain period of time.

Zoologists may focus on animal nutrition.
Zoologists may focus on animal nutrition.
Zoologist courses may focus on the anatomy of insects.
Zoologist courses may focus on the anatomy of insects.
Someone with a zoology degree may volunteer at a shelter to gain experience working with animals.
Someone with a zoology degree may volunteer at a shelter to gain experience working with animals.

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Discussion Comments

anon348638

Can anyone please tell me that if zoology has a very low pay then please suggest to me any other stream in studies regarding the study of animals. I will be thankful to you.

Forever12

I love animals but I don't want to be a vet or a petshop owner. I want to study them and chill with them, so what is the best career for ME?

anon156093

i need to get my life on track. I love animals and i want to be a Zoologist. What is my first move onto doing this?

anon133280

Don't go into zoology, the pay is really really low, the expectations are really, really high and the job market is horrible.

anon108079

I've been thinking a lot about my future, and now I've realized that I want to be in Zoology one day. But just beginning my senior year in high school, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Which college should I go to, and what kind of marks do I need to proceed in this career?

shaikh1623

I am and Indian Citizen (Mumbai). Suggest to me what should I do after Zoology?

Germansniper

i was just wondering what class's would i have 2 take 2 earn credits to be able 2 become a zoologist?

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