These resources provide information about educational programs that may help prepare students for a career in the zoo and aquarium field, including programs of studies at various universities and colleges and scholarship opportunities.
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Laura Marx feeds a capybara.
The Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) is a non-profit organization composed of marine aquarium clubs, individual hobbyists, and industry partners from North America and abroad, totaling several thousand individuals. MASNA offers a scholarship in May of approximately $7,000 to undergraduate and graduate students who are seeking a degree in the marine science field and are active in the marine aquarium hobby. Visit their website for more information.
The University of Arizona School of Natural Resources & the Environment features several related undergraduate and graduate degrees, but most notably has an Undergraduate Certificate in Zoo and Aquarium Conservation that can be completed in one summer. Subjects covered include the history of zoos, legislation, animal welfare, ex situ breeding, zoo education, and habitat enhancement. The course is taught by Stuart Wells. For more information, visit their website or learn more about the certificate.
Eckerd College has a School of Animal Studies that offers both a major and a minor for undergraduate students. The programs are interdisciplinary and teach students quantitative, critical thinking, communication and research skills. Eckerd has several labs, including a Dog Cognition Lab, where students can gain experience. The major also requires a practicum which can be completed through their connections with zoos, aquariums, and other animal facilities in the area. For more information, visit their website.
The Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College provides a rich curriculum, over two years, in animal care and husbandry paired with hands-on experience while working at the onsite zoo, America’s Teaching Zoo. Students receive valuable training in wildlife education, conservation, animal training and nutrition. For more information, visit their website and learn about their admissions process.
Saint Francis University offers a Bachelor of Arts degree program in Aquarium and Zoo Science (ZAAS). The program has a heavy emphasis on biology, animal husbandry, and psychology. Pertinent coursework includes animal behavior, animal care, animal nutrition, conservation biology, and the psychology of learning. Through required practicum and internship experiences, students also receive "hands-on" training working with animals on campus and at cooperating zoos, aquariums, wildlife rehab centers, and other types of animal care facilities. To learn more about the SFU ZAAS program, please visit their website.
Housed at Miami University, Project Dragonfly offers two unique and fully accredited Master’s degree options for individuals interested in conservation science and environmental education. The Advanced Inquiry Program combines online courses from Miami University with field study at premier zoos and botanical gardens in select cities across the nation. The Global Field Program enables students to combine online coursework with international field travel to global biodiversity hotspots. If you are considering a master’s degree in the fields of sustainability, education, ecology, or conservation, feel free to reach out to either program for more information.