Mar 19, 2018  
Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 
Graduate Catalog 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Animal Behavior & Conservation-MA

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The growing scientific and public sentiment, awareness, and interest in conservation and animal welfare science and the importance of enrichment for zoo, laboratory, and farm animals, recently reflected in new legislation and in zoo policy has created a growing need for highly trained scientists and professionals.  This 36-credit Master’s Program within the Psychology Department prepares students interested in animal behavior and conservation (ABC) to develop and enhance their research skills and understanding of the behavior of animals and to acquire credentials for employment in fields related to ABC.


Admission Requirements

Students must hold a bachelor’s degree comparable to that from Hunter College. Twelve undergraduate credits in psychology, including courses in statistics and experimental psychology, are generally required; however, students lacking this but with high undergraduate GPA and general GRE scores may be admitted without a strong background in psychology. Applicants are ranked according to their undergraduate grade point average, GRE exam scores, letters of recommendation, and personal statement, as well as prior course work and experience relevant to animal behavior and conservation. Note: There is no foreign-language requirement for the MA in psychology. The GRE advanced test in psychology is not required for admission.


Students who elect the ABC master’s degree are required to complete 36 credits, consisting of a minimum of 15 credits in the ABC area in addition to the 12 credits in courses required for all Psychology MA students. All courses carry 3 credits.

Most courses are offered after 5:30 p.m. so that students can work while in the program. The sequence of course offerings enables students taking 3 courses (9 credits) per semester to graduate in 2 years.

* Note

Special Topics courses and Independent Research projects related to ABC will depend upon student and faculty interests. Recent topics included Companion Animals in Society and Conservation Biology/Psychology. ABC students may also meet the ABC-relevant course requirement by taking courses in other departments such as Anthropology and Geography with permission of the Director of the ABC program.

Breadth Requirement

ABC students satisfy a breadth requirement by taking a 3-credit course in the applied psychology area and a 3-credit course in the social/cognitive/developmental area of psychology.

Thesis Requirement

The MA thesis is a report of individual research supervised by a faculty member in the Hunter College Department of Psychology. The thesis must be approved by the student’s thesis committee, consisting of the supervisor plus at least another reader, and by the ABC Director. An oral presentation and comprehensive examination in the area of the MA thesis, conducted by the thesis committee, is required.

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