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How to select a school with a zoology degree program?

Higher Education Articles April 21, 2014

Zoology refers to the study of the behavior, function, development, and structure of animal life. Many universities across the nation offer Zoology programs in the bachelor’s degree. Students interested in zoology may want to look into a school’s specializations, internship opportunities, and research opportunities.

Important Factors to Consider in Selecting a Zoology School

One of the most important questions to consider when you select a zoology school is whether undergraduate research opportunities are available. Research opportunities would help prospective students decide what they would like to focus their studies on, such as animals like reptiles, marsupials or big cats. The U.S. Geological Service, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are organizations that offer internship opportunities that can boost employment opportunities for students while narrowing the career path and adding a practical approach to the business.

The wide and varied quality of the field of zoology makes it imperative for prospective students to find out the nature of specializations offered at each school. When students immerse themselves in these specializations, they learn at an early stage as to what they would like to pursue as a career. For instance, they might want to work as marine biologists dealing directly with animals, or as neurobiologists involved only in research work, to cite just two possible career paths.

The focus of students may be on ecology, organismal biology or molecular biology, and this could lead them to take three entirely different career paths based on a single zoology major. Specific concentrations are offered by some schools, aimed at further narrowing the specialization that a student chooses to pursue. He or she may choose from possible concentration areas such as animal behavior, genetics, and development.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Zoology

Coursework in a Bachelor of Science in Zoology program focuses mainly on the molecular, cellular, and biological aspect of the field, with emphasis on courses in areas such as:

•Genetics
•Anatomy
•Calculus
•Diversity of organisms
•Molecular biology
•Organic chemistry

Both humanities and science classes are featured in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program; this program is less suited for students who seek research careers, than for those interested in animal-related outreach. Those who successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in Zoology can seek entry-level careers in forensic biology, wildlife rehabilitation, conservation, biotechnology, or health, among other options.

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