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Best Online Degrees in: Zoology

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology

While most bachelor’s programs in zoology are offered in a traditional format, there are some zoology and biology programs offered entirely online for prospective students interested in the field. Zoology is the study of the biology of animals. Programs are designed to give students knowledge of zoology from the organizational level of molecules and cells, to zoology on the level of various ecosystems. Most programs allow students to pick an area of emphasis for upper level courses. These include animal behavior, aquatic biology, genetics and evolution, and more. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in zoology will take approximately four to five years to complete, depending on the school and program.

Class Curriculum

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in zoology can expect required core courses in introductory biology, chemistry, physics, statistics, and calculus. Once students are into more advanced courses, they can expect a wide range of courses that can include animal behavior, cell biology, advanced human anatomy and physiology, and neurobiology.

  • Comparative Physiology. In this course, students study the organ systems of vertebrates and the physiological processes involved in maintaining homeostatic state. Students also learn about the compensatory mechanisms of various vertebrates that are deployed during times of stress.
  • Experience and the Brain. The course shows how an individual’s behavior interactions with the world can affect the structure and function of the adult brain. Students also focus on reading and discussion of research literature.
  • Neurobiology. In this course, students receive an overview of the neurosciences with a focus on fundamental principles in function, structure, and development of the nervous system. Students study multiple levels of analysis, from molecular to behavioral, with an emphasis on the mammalian nervous systems.

While most online bachelor’s degrees in zoology typically allow students to complete course work at their own pace within a specific time frame for each class and assignment, certain programs require students to gain some kind or internship, or work experience before graduating, due to the hands of nature of lab work.

Building a Career

In most cases, an entry-level position in zoology or wildlife biology can usually be obtained with at least a bachelor’s degree in the subject. However, a master’s degree is usually required for advancement, while a Ph.D. is needed to perform independent research or to teach at the college level. In the field, zoologists perform a wide variety of tasks, but most commonly develop and conduct experiments with animals in either controlled or natural surroundings. They also conduct research to increase the knowledge and understanding of wildlife species. It is also very common for zoologists to work closely with public officials, or private organizations, to protect and conserve certain animal species.

It is important to remember that the field of zoology is relatively small, with a high level of competition for existing jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for zoologists is only projected to grow by 7% through 2020, which is slower than average for all occupations. Additionally, the BLS reported that the median annual income of zoologists was $57,430, in 2010. However, inviduals in entry-level positions will make considerably less. The BLS also reported that the lowest 10% of workers in the occupation earning less than $35,600. Also, keep in mind that your particular salary may differ depending on your employer, level of experience, and other considerations.

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