25 Best Online Degrees for Animal Lovers

20 Best Online Degrees for Animal Lovers

While many individuals have at least some level of affection for animals, others are simply obsessed. Are you are among the animal-obsessed? Would like your career to include tasks such as caring and nurturing our four-legged friends?  Then consider pursuing a top online degree for animal lovers.

Today’s college students are offered some freedom to seek courses and programs they enjoy. Some of the nation’s top institutions provide first-year students with many opportunities to explore their passions and interests before selecting a major. Also, students understand that their education can be inclusive of passions and hobbies. For animal lovers, college programs may include:

  • animal behavior
  • marine biology
  • veterinary technology, among others

If you’ve spent your childhood collecting bugs or researching dinosaurs, you don’t have to suddenly switch gears to pursue a major you only halfway care about.

Below is a list of 25 best online degrees for animal lovers. These degrees include majors that build on a student’s passions while carving out a unique career path. Take a look at the following degrees that lead to promising careers for animal lovers.

#25 – Online Bachelor’s in Biomedicine

A biomedical degree can act as a gateway to veterinarian school or other fields of medicine. Students interested in pursuing vet school can receive a strong biology background as it relates to healthcare or animal care. Courses cover basic sciences with an emphasis on anatomy. This is helpful for those planning to go to graduate or professional school. The degree is anchored in the basic sciences with courses in:

  • anatomy
  • chemistry
  • microbiology
  • physiology.

Schools offering this degree: National University

#24 – Online Bachelor’s in Pre-Veterinary Medicine

Pre-veterinary medicine may be a stand-alone pre-professional degree. It can also be a series of courses you take to satisfy the requirements for admission to vet school. Pre-veterinary medicine programs are completed as an undergraduate student. They’re comprised of:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • mathematics
  • other science-related courses

Most schools do not specifically offer a degree in pre-veterinary medicine. These schools allow you to major in a science while meeting the requirements of a pre-vet program.

Schools offering this degree: Arizona State University, Purdue University

#23 – Online Bachelor’s in Aquatic Biology

A major in aquatic biology focuses on marine life and on life found in all aquatic environments, such as:

  • lakes
  • ponds
  • rivers
  • other bodies of water

At the core of an online bachelor’s in aquatic biology, you explore topics in:

  • aquatic ecology
  • aquatic evolutionary biology
  • conservation and management of aquatic systems

The degree is ideal for animal lovers who have a penchant for marine life and oceanography.

Schools offering this degree: UC Santa Barbara

#22 – Online Bachelor’s in Animal Health

An online bachelor’s in animal health or animal health and behavior builds a foundation for a career at:

  • animal welfare offices
  • aquariums
  • veterinarian facilities
  • zoos

The degree provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to care for wild and captive animals. These skills are important for those seeking careers in veterinarian medicine. Few online programs exist. But those that do exist offer flexible coursework and schedules. Some even offer concentration options in areas of study like:

  • emergency disaster management
  • wildlife ecology

Coursework is very hands-on and serves as preparation for the internships and field experience common in the program.

Schools offering this degree: Unity College

#21 – Online Bachelor’s in Coastal Science

Coastal science, coastal management, and marine management. This degree program has different names at  different colleges and universities. The majors are for individuals with a strong interest in marine organisms and life. The programs are relatively new, having emerged on the scene within the last decade. Coastal science provides you with an understanding of coastal and marine ecosystems. You also learn  how to manage these marine environments. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field prepares you for careers throughout the world. NOAA Coastal Management hires individuals with coastal science degrees.

Schools offering this degreeMiddlebury Institute of International Studies

#20 – Online Bachelor’s in Zoology

Zoology isn’t only about zoos! Students majoring in zoology often contribute to the scientific world by making an impact on niche areas like:

  • animal anatomy
  • behavior
  • evolution
  • the physiology of both animals and humans

An online zoology degree is one of the most comprehensive biologically-based degrees on our list. It’s specifically designed for individuals seeking careers working with animals.

Career options for graduates of an online bachelor’s in zoology program include roles as:

  • animal nutritionists
  • biologists
  • conservation activists
  • veterinary technicians

Also, majoring in zoology can open doors to graduate and pre-professional programs. These include veterinary medicine or medical school. A zoology degree online is versatile and flexible. It offers a broad range of study in different areas of biology.

Schools offering this degree: Atlantic International University, Oregon State University, University of New England

#19 – Online Bachelor’s in Biology

Biology is the study of the scientific processes behind living organisms. As such, the major has always been one of the most popular for animal lovers. An undergraduate degree in biology is comprehensive. It provides a fundamental understanding of all forms of life within the context of:

  • characteristics
  • functions
  • habitats
  • processes

Students majoring in biology take a range of courses, including:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • marine biology
  • molecular biology

Biology is the basis for many scientific principles. Students graduate well-prepared for advanced studies or careers in the field of:

  • biology
  • environmental science
  • wildlife management

Common occupations for biology majors include:

  • animal-behavior researchers
  • park rangers
  • zoo-animal experts.

Schools offering this degree: Arizona State University, University of Florida

#18 – Online Bachelor’s in Marine Biology

Marine biology is an excellent major for animal lovers, especially those with special interests in marine life and ocean habitats. Oceans cover more than two thirds of the earth’s surface. They present an expansive range of life, from microscopic organisms to the largest known living creatures on the planet.

As a marine biology major, you will learn how creatures are able to survive and thrive in various bodies of water. You’ll do this through a mixture of:

  • coursework
  • lab work
  • time spent in the field

Marine biology is a major where you gain vast amounts of experience outside of the classroom. You engage in exciting learning opportunities like:

  • earning scuba certification
  • spending a semester at sea
  • participating internships at aquariums, marine research institutes, and more.

Schools offering this degree: Florida Tech, Unity College

#17 – Online Bachelor’s in Ecology

Ecology is the study of agricultural concepts and practices that promote a positive impact on the environment in specific contexts. These include:

  • farming
  • renewable energy
  • water management

You  complete several courses that cover topics in:

  • agroecology
  • crop science
  • soil science
  • horticulture
  • agriculture economics
  • watershed management

Ecology majors may pursue several sectors of the economy, due to its pervasive nature Careers for ecology majors may include:

  • agricultural science teachers and professors
  • conservation scientists
  • forestry workers
  • soil and plant scientists, and more.

Schools offering this degree: Southern New Hampshire University

#16 – Online Bachelor’s in Wildlife Management

Wildlife management majors focus on biological processes. They also study principles of vertebrate wildlife and their related ecosystems and habitats. The goal of wildlife management programs is to prepare you with the knowledge to manage and conserve wildlife and the earth’s precious ecosystems.

Wildlife programs offer excellent hands-on opportunities outside of the classroom. These programs are for students who enjoy spending time in nature and working closely with a variety of animals. Courses focus on topics such as:

  • conservation biology
  • large mammals
  • waterfowl

Careers include:

  • field biologists
  • game wardens
  • wildlife educators.

Schools offering this degree: American Public University, Colorado State University

#15 – Online Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science

Veterinary science is another excellent degree choice for animal lovers. The curriculum focuses on learning  to meet the healthcare needs of animals, including:

  • domestic pets
  • zoo animals
  • livestock, and more

The major does prepares you for veterinary school. However, there are a large number of careers that you can transition into when you earn your veterinary science bachelor’s degree. These careers include:

  • veterinary hospital manager
  • veterinary researcher
  • veterinary technician, to name a few

You take a wide assortment of science classes such as:

  • zoology
  • mammalian physiology
  • microbiology

You’ll also spend a lot of time in the field gaining hands-on experience working directly with animals.

Schools offering this degree: Oregon State University, Purdue University

#14 – Online Bachelor’s in Cellular Biology

Cellular or cell biology majors study the processes that govern the basic unit of life – the cell. Cell biology draws from various scientific disciplines, such as:

  • chemistry
  • genetics
  • biochemistry
  • physics
  • physiology

These provide a deeper understanding of how the cell impacts life. You should have a keen interest and affinity for the natural sciences. You also should have completed courses in college-level mathematics. In addition to coursework, you’ll spend time in laboratories gaining hands-on experience. Graduates are well prepared for graduate school or careers in teaching, research, and healthcare.

Schools offering this degree: Bellevue University, University of Florida

#13 – Online Bachelor’s in Genetics

Genetics is a fascinating major in which you learn how inheritable traits and mutations are passed through genetic information and DNA. Genetics majors learn about cellular growth and reproduction. This provides essential research in the fight and prevention of diseases such as cancer.

Courses include:

  • developmental genetics
  • biochemistry
  • molecular genetics
  • human genetics
  • chemistry, and more

In addition to a general major, you can choose from several concentrations, such as:

  • molecular genetics
  • animal genetics
  • plant genetics
  • genome sciences

This degree often prepares students for graduate or medical school, as well as for a host of careers in animal and human research.

Schools offering this degree: University of Maryland Global Campus

#12 – Online Bachelor’s in Neurobiology

Neurobiology is the study of the human brain and its development. Are you an animal lover looking to pursue a career in research? This major is known for its research-intensive curriculum.

You’ll take courses in:

  • molecular biology
  • cognitive biology
  • psychology

You will spend vast amounts of time doing research in your junior and senior years. In addition, neurobiology programs have several internship opportunities. These enable students to earn practical experience that can lead to lucrative employment opportunities.They also serve as preparation for graduate school.

Schools offering this degree: University of Pennsylvania

#11 – Online Bachelor’s in Anatomy

Anatomy majors focus studies on tissue structures and organ systems in the human body. They also spend a lot of time understanding how these interconnected systems and structures work together. You will study how they impact:

  • human capacity
  • function
  • health

Anatomy majors take courses in:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • endocrinology
  • neuroanatomy

These courses satisfy pre-professional requirements for vet schools. Anatomy majors often leverage the degree as preparation for graduate study in human or animal health.

Schools offering this degree: Oregon Institute of Technology, Parker University

#10 – Online Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior

Animal behavior deals with the brain and nervous systems of animals in an effort to understand behavior. How do animals learn new behaviors? How do they adapt to their environment? How do animals solve problems? These are all questions that animal-behavior majors attempt to tackle while earning a degree. With a foundation in the natural sciences, animal behavior is a major that can propel graduates to fruitful careers or into graduate schools. Graduates pursue roles as animal trainers, consultants for zoos and sanctuaries, or animal researchers.

Schools offering this degree: University of New England

#9 – Online Bachelor’s in Equine Studies

Equine studies is the perfect major for horse lovers. In this niche animal program, students become horse experts by studying:

  • their behavior
  • their interaction with humans
  • anatomy
  • breeding patterns
  • effective training techniques

Additionally, students focus on learning the equine industry. This includes  how to run horse-related businesses, such as:

  • riding schools
  • stables,
  • farms

Courses cover topics like:

  • equine anatomy and physiology
  • equine breeds
  • equine nutrition
  • stable management

In addition to classroom learning, students spend a considerable amount of time in the field. They work with horses in various contexts. Equine studies is an ideal program for those interested in horses.

Schools offering this degree: Midway University

#8 – Online Bachelor’s in Fish and Wildlife

Fish and wildlife studies is an excellent major for students interested in life sciences and outdoor work environments. Students generally move into careers:

  • managing conservation areas
  • enforcing conservation laws
  • overseeing fish and wildlife farms and fisheries

You should possess a strong acumen for natural sciences and mathematics. You should also love working in labs and in nature. Students who engage in internships will have the best employment and graduate-school opportunities. Sample careers include:

  • fisheries biologists
  • wildlife biologists
  • wildlife program managers

Schools offering this degree: Oregon State University

#7 – Online Bachelor’s in Poultry Science

Poultry science is the study of chicken, eggs, turkey, and other poultry products. You learn about the animals. You also learn  the associated industries that help deliver one of the most widely used commodities in the world. The curriculum is as wide-ranging as the industry. Students investigate the poultry species through courses in:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • biochemistry,
  • biology
  • genetics

They also learn about poultry:

  • regulation
  • production
  • processing

For  graduates with a poultry science degree, there are many careers in:

  • research
  • business
  • education.

Schools offering this degree: Stephen F. Austin State University

#6 – Online Bachelor’s in Dairy Science

Dairy science prepares you for a wide range of careers in agribusiness and dairy farming. When you finish the program you have a strong background in applied animal biology. You’ll also have  business acumen in the context of the dairy industry.

In addition, many graduates move on to roles in:

  • education
  • consulting
  • government
  • the private sector

Courses may include:

  • agriculture economics
  • animal nutrition
  • animal reproduction
  • dairy farm management

As with other animal degrees, dairy science programs offer abundant real-world learning opportunities, from observations to internships. These are critical in teaching students the important skills they need for their future careers. Dairy science is for individuals who are passionate about:

  • farming
  • agriculture
  • large farm animals.

Schools offering this degreeUniversity of Massachusetts

#5 – Online Bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation

The wildlife conservation major covers ecology and conservation of animals and their associated habitats. You’ll study:

  • birds
  • reptiles
  • amphibians
  • mammals

In addition, you’ll explore how public policy and climate change impact animals and their habitats. Wildlife conservation is a proven major that prepares students for graduate school or for a move into an exciting career in conservation.

You’ll take a wide range of classes such as:

  • chemistry
  • evolutionary biology
  • natural resources management
  • statistics

Career options include:

  • wildlife technician
  • game warden
  • fishing and hunting guide
  • wildlife biologist
  • zookeeper

This major is available at post-secondary colleges and universities, though the degree is as common as certain other biology or ecology programs are.

Schools offering this degree: Southern New Hampshire University

#4 – Online Bachelor’s in Agricultural Science

Agriculture science continues to be a popular major for animal lovers. Agriculture is pervasive in society and impacts people in myriad ways. The major reflects those areas of influence. You can choose one of several curriculum paths in the major, such as:

  • animal science
  • sustainable farming
  • business management
  • policy and education, and more

No matter your area of interest, you will receive a lot of hands-on training that bridges the real world and the classroom. During your career you might discuss agricultural issues with local and state politicians. Or you may engage in sustainable farming research to improve crop production. This major prepares you for the rigor of an agriculture career.

Schools offering this degree: Iowa State University, Murray State University

#3 – Online Bachelor’s in Oceanography

Oceanography is a major in which you use scientific concepts and applications to study the ocean and its inhabitants. The major is interdisciplinary. It involves coursework in:

  • biology
  • chemistry
  • geology
  • geography
  • math
  • physics

You’ll learn about the varying topographies of the earth’s oceans. You’ll study the plant and animal species that call the ocean their home.

You’ll also delve into how oceanic health impacts the world. You’ll learn how environmental threats to the oceans can be mitigated, and even halted. This can be done through effective:

  • science
  • innovation
  • public policy

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to spend time on the water during:

  • observations
  • internships
  • field experiences.

Schools offering this degree: University of Washington

#2 – Online Bachelor’s in Forestry and Wildlife

The forestry and wildlife major has a main goal.  That goal is to help empower you to use biological principles to create sustainable ecosystems and habitats for  animal and plant species. Forestry and wildlife has always been a popular major for animal lovers. It’s for people with a passion for science and the love of the great outdoors.

You can often specialize within the major and focus on a niche area such as:

  • fisheries
  • forestry
  • wildlife conservation

Specializations ensure that you have a broad foundation in forestry and wildlife. It also means you have  an area of expertise that prepares you for specific careers. This major is available at most accredited four-year colleges and universities.

Schools offering this degree: Oregon State University

#1 – Online Bachelor’s in Animal Science

The study of animal science enables animal lovers  to apply natural and life science principles as they relate to animals of all kinds. You’ll study various topics, including:

  • animal biology
  • animal biochemistry
  • animal anatomy and physiology

Students are prepared for further graduate study or a wide range of careers, including:

  • dairy management
  • biomedical research
  • wildlife conservation
  • farm management
  • wildlife education

Students with a love of the sciences and of animals are good fits for this major.

Schools offering this degree: North Carolina State University

BDP Staff
October 2021

Related resources:

This concludes our list of the 25 best animal degrees online.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris