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Bachelor of Science in Companion Animal Science      60 Credit Hours

Program Description

This undergraduate degree program is designed to prepare individuals with an interest in working with animals for graduate study and positions in the field of animal science and animal welfare with specific emphasis on domesticated companion animals including cats, dogs, birds, pleasure horses, and small mammals/reptiles. Enrollment in this program requires an Associate’s degree or a minimum of 60 credits including the required general education courses from another college or university. Almost all of the Bachelor of Science degree courses can be completed in online classrooms anytime, night or day. Students may also choose academic residency and field study courses as electives to qualify for board certification as a certified Canine Behavior Counselor (CBC) with the Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors.


Students will study foundation and upper level courses in biology, psychology, learning and behavior, animal anatomy/physiology, welfare, nutrition, reproduction, endocrinology, pharmacology and behavioral ecology. A field study project is also a requirement. The Department of Animal Science continuously reviews its curriculum to ensure that courses offered are relevant for employment in current animal-related fields and industries. Students are assigned an academic adviser in the Department to assist in managing their plans of study and future goals in the scientific field.

 Graduates may work for academic institutions, animal training organizations, animal shelter and welfare organizations, law enforcement agencies, the government, or veterinary practices. Graduates may also choose to continue with their higher education by applying to veterinary school or to graduate programs with the goal of becoming animal scientists, consultants, managers, companion animal behavior counselors, or educators.


In addition to being a major health benefit for humans, companion animals are also trained to assist humans in living richer and fuller lives. Graduates may wish to apply to work in the field of animal assisted therapy or with non-profit organizations that train therapy animals, services dogs, search & rescue dogs, alert dogs, and guide dogs for the blind.


Elective Modules

Elective Module I- Multi Species and Community Service can be completed online and in the student's community.

Elective Module II - Canine Behavior Analysis and Counseling requires a 5-day academic residency lab course. 


Program Outline

This program requires an Associate's degree or 60 credits to apply.  The required amount of general education credits (GENED) must also accompany the transfer of credit or GENED courses may be taken at ACAS.
Bachelor of Science – Companion Animal Science                                                                          60 Credits
Course No. Course Title Credit Hrs  
  *** Core Online Courses ***    (8 Courses)    
ANSC 4005 Companion Animal Husbandry and Nutrition 3  
ANSC 4007 Companion Animal Genetics 3  
ANSC 4009 Animal Ethics and Welfare 3  
ANSC 4011 Companion Animal Physiology 3  
ANSC 4013 Principles of Animal Behavior 3  
ANSC 4015  Companion Animal Reproduction 3  
ANSC 4017  Comparative Cognition 3  
ANSC 4020  The Human/Animal Bond 3  


  ***General Education Courses*** (5 Courses)    
SCIN 4007 Biology I 3  
SCIN 4009 Biology II 3  
SCIN 4011 Principles of Animal Science 3  
ENGL 4009 Communication Skills 3  
MATH 4012 Principles of Statistics   3  


  *** Elective Module I - Multi Species and Community Service  ***
ANSC 4101 Avian and Exotic Studies 3  
ANSC 4103 Canine and Feline Studies 3  
ANSC 4105 Equine Studies 3  
ANSC 4201 Community Service Practicum 3  
ANSC 3900 Externship Practicum 3  
-- or --
  *** Elective Module II - Canine Behavior Analysis and Counseling ***
ANSC 3001 Principles of Learning and Behavior Analysis 3  
ANSC 3003 Behavior Assessment, Intervention and Counseling 3  
ANSC 3004 Canine Phylogeny and Behavior 3  
ANSC 3701 Canine Behavior Academic Residency Lab (5-day course) 3  
ANSC 3900 Externship Practicum 3  
  *** Undergraduate Thesis ***
ANSC 4301 Undergraduate Thesis I 3  
ANSC 4302 Undergraduate Thesis II 3  
ANSC 4999 Continuing Project *  -  

* This course is available for students who need more time to complete their undergraduate thesis. There is no credit given for this continuing project.


Technical Standards and Physical Requirements

Students enrolled in this program may be required to work with certain animal species associated with the curricula, e.g. dogs, cats, horses, birds, small mammals and reptiles, etc. in academic residency labs, field project or externship practicum courses. Working with animals requires certain physical requirements including, but not limited to, responding quickly to animal movement, bending, use of hands to hold leashes, food reinforcers, and clicker signaling devices; restraining an animal such as a large dog on a leash, donning and removing training equipment used with the animal’s training, placement and removal of animals into cages or carriers, etc. Students should be confident that they are capable of performing these physical tasks, with or without accommodations, prior to enrolling in a program. If a student has questions about their ability to perform these physical tasks, it is advised that they seek the guidance of their personal physician before applying.