There are dog people, cat people, and even people people, and while many individuals have at least some level of affection for animals, others are simply obsessed. If you are among the animal-obsessed and 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, or 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 to other fields of medicine. Students interested in pursuing vet school can receive a strong biology background, as it is related to healthcare or animal care. Courses cover basic sciences with an emphasis on anatomy, which 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, and 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 or a series of courses that one takes to satisfy the requirements necessary for admission to vet school. Pre-veterinary medicine programs are completed as an undergraduate student and are comprised of biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other science-related courses. Most schools do not specifically offer a degree in pre-veterinary medicine. These schools allow students to major in a science while meeting the requirements of a pre-vet program.
#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, and other bodies of water. At the core of an online bachelor’s in aquatic biology, students explore topics in aquatic ecology, aquatic evolutionary biology, and 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, and zoos. The degree provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to care for the well-being of 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 and 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, as this degree is referred to by different colleges, universities, and programs, are majors designed 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 students with an understanding of coastal and marine ecosystems, coupled with knowledge in how to manage these marine environments. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in this field prepares one for careers throughout the world. NOAA Coastal Management hires individuals with coastal science degrees.
Schools offering this degree: Middlebury 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, and the physiology of both animals and humans. An online zoology degree is one of the most comprehensive biologically-based degrees on our list, and it is 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, and veterinary technicians. Also, majoring in zoology can open doors to graduate and pre-professional programs, such as veterinary medicine or medical school. A zoology degree online is versatile and flexible, and it offers a broad range of study in different areas of biology.
#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, and processes. Students majoring in biology take a range of courses, including anatomy and physiology, marine biology, and molecular biology. Since biology is the basis for many scientific principles, students graduate well-prepared for advanced studies or careers in the field of biology, environmental science, and wildlife management. Common occupations for biology majors include animal-behavior researchers, park rangers, and zoo-animal experts.
#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 and 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 through a mixture of coursework, lab work, and time spent in the field. Marine biology is a major where students gain vast amounts of experience outside of the classroom, engaging in exciting learning opportunities like earning scuba certification; spending a semester at sea; and participating internships at aquariums, marine research institutes, and more.
#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, such as farming, renewable energy, and water management. Students complete several courses that cover topics in agroecology, crop science, soil science, horticulture, agriculture economics, and watershed management. Ecology majors may pursue several sectors of the economy, due to the pervasive nature and critical importance of the information they learn as part of their degree. 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 and on principles of vertebrate wildlife and their related ecosystems and habitats. The goal of wildlife management programs is to prepare graduates with the knowledge needed to manage and conserve wildlife and the earth’s precious ecosystems. Wildlife programs offer excellent hands-on opportunities outside of the classroom. Given their didactic nature, 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, and waterfowl. Careers include field biologists, game wardens, and wildlife educators.
#15 – Online Bachelor’s in Veterinary Science
Veterinary science is another excellent degree choice for animal lovers. The curriculum focuses on teaching students to meet the healthcare needs of animals, including domestic pets, zoo animals, livestock, and more. While the major does prepare students for veterinary school, there are a large number of careers that students can transition into upon completion of a veterinary science bachelor’s degree. These careers include veterinary hospital manager, veterinary researcher, or veterinary technician, to name a few. Students take a wide assortment of science classes such as zoology, mammalian physiology, and microbiology. As with similar majors, students also spend a lot of time in the field gaining hands-on experience working directly with animals.
#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, and physiology, which provide a deeper understanding of how the cell impacts life. Students should have a keen interest and affinity for the natural sciences, and they should have completed courses in college-level mathematics. In addition to coursework, students spend time in laboratories gaining hands-on experience as they apply the concepts they learn in class. Graduates are well prepared for graduate school or careers in teaching, research, and healthcare.
#13 – Online Bachelor’s in Genetics
Genetics is a fascinating major where students learn how inheritable traits and mutations are passed through genetic information and DNA. Genetics majors learn about cellular growth and reproduction, which 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, students can choose from several concentrations, such as molecular genetics, animal genetics, plant genetics, and 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. For animal lovers looking to pursue a career in research, this major is known for its research-intensive curriculum. Students take courses in molecular biology, cognitive biology, and psychology. They spend vast amounts of time doing research in their junior and senior years. In addition, neurobiology programs have several internship opportunities that allow students to earn practical experience that can lead to lucrative employment opportunities or 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. In addition, they spend a lot of time understanding how these interconnected systems and structures work together to impact human capacity, function, and health. Anatomy majors take courses in biology, chemistry, endocrinology, and neuroanatomy. These courses satisfy pre-professional requirements for vet schools. Anatomy majors often leverage the degree as preparation for graduate study, whether in human or animal health.
#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 through studying their behavior, their interaction with humans, anatomy, breeding patterns, and effective training techniques. Additionally, students focus on learning the equine industry, including how to run horse-related businesses, such as riding schools, stables, and farms. Courses cover topics like equine anatomy and physiology, equine breeds, equine nutrition, and stable management. In addition to classroom learning, students spend a considerable amount of time in the field, working 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, and overseeing fish and wildlife farms and fisheries. Students should possess a strong acumen for natural sciences and mathematics, and they should have a love for 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, and 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. Students learn about the animals and about the associated industries that help deliver one of the most widely used commodities in the world from the farm to the dinner plate. The curriculum is as wide-ranging as the industry. Students investigate the poultry species through courses in anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, biology, and genetics. They also learn about poultry regulation, production, and processing. Careers in research, business, and education abound for the graduate with a poultry science degree.
Schools offering this degree: Stephen F. Austin State University
#6 – Online Bachelor’s in Dairy Science
Dairy science prepares students for a wide range of careers in agribusiness and dairy farming. Students exit programs with a strong background in applied animal biology and versatile business acumen within the context of the dairy industry. In addition, many graduates move on to roles in education, consulting, government, and the private sector. Courses may include agriculture economics, animal nutrition, animal reproduction, and dairy farm management. As with other animal degrees, dairy science programs offer abundant real-world learning opportunities, from observations to internships, that 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, and large farm animals.
#5 – Online Bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation
The wildlife conservation major covers ecology and conservation of animals and their associated habitats. Students study birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. In addition, students 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 post-graduation career in conservation. Students take a wide range of classes such as chemistry, evolutionary biology, natural resources management, and statistics. Career options include wildlife technician, game warden, fishing and hunting guide, wildlife biologist, and zookeeper. This major is available at post-secondary colleges and universities, though the degree is not offered as often 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. Because agriculture is so pervasive in society and impacts people in a myriad of ways, the major reflects those areas of influence. Interested students can choose one of several curriculum paths within the major, such as animal science, sustainable farming, business management, policy and education, and more. No matter the area of interest, the student will receive a lot of hands-on training that bridges the real world and the classroom. Whether it’s spending time discussing agricultural issues with local and state politicians or engaging in sustainable farming research to improve crop production, this major prepares students for the rigor of an agriculture career.
#3 – Online Bachelor’s in Oceanography
Oceanography is a major in which students use scientific concepts and applications to study the ocean and its inhabitants. The major is interdisciplinary, as it involves coursework from biology, chemistry, geology, geography, math, and physics. Students will learn about the varying topographies of the earth’s oceans, along with the plant and animal species that call the ocean their home. Students also delve into how oceanic health impacts the world and how environmental threats to the oceans can be mitigated, and even halted, through effective science, innovation, and public policy. Students will have plenty of opportunities to spend time on the water during observations, internships, and field experiences.
Schools offering this degree: University of Washington
#2 – Online Bachelor’s in Forestry and Wildlife
The main goal of the forestry and wildlife major is to help empower students to use biological principles to create sustainable ecosystems and habitats for the world’s animal and plant species. Forestry and wildlife has always been a popular major for animal lovers with a passion for science and the love of the great outdoors. Students can often specialize within the major and focus on a niche area such as fisheries, forestry, or wildlife conservation. Specializations ensure that students not only have a broad foundation in forestry and wildlife, but also have an area of expertise that prepares them 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 gives animal lovers the opportunity to apply natural and life science principles as they relate to animals of all kinds. Students study various topics, including animal biology, animal biochemistry, and 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, and 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
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