Colorado Colleges

Colorado State University Graduate Program in Environmental Ethics and Animal Welfare

Colorado State University typically has about twenty graduate students, with over half of them interested in environmental philosophy, animal welfare issues, and international development issues. Holmes Rolston teaches environmental ethics in the fall, typically Tuesday evenings, and usually a graduate seminar in the spring, typically one evening. Philip Cafaro joined the faculty fall 1999 and is now teaching environmental ethics, also offering graduate seminars and advising in the field. There are typically about two relevant graduate seminars each semester in philosophy, by Bernard Rollin, and others, and lots of other things elsewhere in the university. There are also some graduate students working in the more traditional areas of philosophy. If a student has no previous philosophy, there are about five general courses in the main areas of philosophy required as “remedial” work, that is, they do not count toward 30 hours needed for the master’s degree.


Ethical Issues in Animal Agriculture

Bernard Rollin

This pioneering course has been a part of the required block for agricultural students at Colorado State University since 1980. It deals with issues of farm animal welfare, ethical theory, and emerging social ethics for animals.


American Literature in Cultural Contexts: Contemporary American Animality

Michael Lundblad

Animals are everywhere in American cultural texts: from children’s movies to critically acclaimed postmodern writing; from Animal Planet to King Kong; from bestsellers on the inner lives of animals to blockbuster documentaries on people living and dying with wild animals.  Why are we so fascinated with these various animals and the people who know them?  This course will explore representations of animals and humans as animals in the work of contemporary writers, such as Linda Hogan, Mark Doty, Philip K. Dick, and J. M. Coetzee, as well as films, such as Gorillas in the Mist, Grizzly Man, and the 2005 remake of King Kong.  Our interdisciplinary approach will draw upon debates from the academic fields of animality studies, American studies, and critical theory, in order to focus on several key issues: animal rights; arguments for the humane treatment of various human and animal populations; evolutionary theories used to explain human and nonhuman behavior; and narrative attempts to redeem the human in relation to how we interact with the animal.  We will also pay close attention to the historical relationship between discourses of animality and the construction of human categories of sexuality, gender, and race.  With these issues and questions in mind, we will dive deeply into course texts and films and hope to develop frameworks for thinking about other representations of animality in America today. Courses include:

Philosophical Issues in Animal Science

Philosophical problems, theories relevant to professions in animal science

Bioethics and Society

Bernard Rollin


Seminar in Environmental Philosophy

Katie McShane

Seminar in Animal Rights

Philip Cafaro

Contemporary issues concerning nature and moral status of nonhuman animals.

Agricultural Ethics


Basic concepts in ethics and their application to agriculture

Environmental Ethics

Scientific, philosophical, and religious concepts of nature as they bear on human conduct; an ecological perspective.


Veterinary Ethics

This pioneering course, implemented in 1978, is required in the veterinary medicine curriculum at Colorado State University. It deals with ethical theory, animal welfare, and animal rights.

Environmental Issues in Agriculture

Jessica Davis

Science and Ethics

Bernard Rollin


University of Colorado Certificate Program in Animals & Society

he Animals and Society certificate builds on a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field devoted to the critical examination and evaluation of the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals, whether historical or contemporary, factual, fictional, or symbolic, beneficial or detrimental. The program requirements emphasize scholarship from the social sciences and humanities, but include elective options in the natural sciences. The interdisciplinary approach helps students explore the complexities of animals’ lives, human-animal relationships, ethical and moral concerns about animals, representations of animals and humans, and the significance of animals in human evolution, history, and civilization.

This certificate has an especially practical use for students in the social sciences and humanities who would like to pursue careers or interests related to wild or domesticated animals, but do not wish to become biologists, zoologists, or veterinarians. Examples of career options include:

  • Development, management, policy work, research, outreach, marketing, lobbying, or other work in animal protection or environmental organizations;
  • Administrative, fundraising, marketing, or outreach jobs at animal shelters;
  • Humane or environmental education;
  • Jobs with government agencies, such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the Fisheries and Wildlife Service, or others;
  • Animal-assisted therapy (with a master’s degree in social work);
  • Wildlife rehabilitation;
  • Humane law enforcement.

Students might also consider pursuing graduate degrees in Human-Animal Studies, Anthrozoology, or related fields.

For more information, or to apply to the certificate in Animals and Society, contact Professor Leslie Irvine at or visit this link.

Animals and Society

Leslie Irvine

Animals matter for human existence in so many ways that it is hard to imagine the entity we call “society” without them. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, and recreation. This course will cover a range of topics, many of them controversial. Although this is a sociology course, the field of human-animal studies (sometimes called “anthrozoology”) is interdisciplinary. Therefore, many of the readings come from areas other than sociology, but we will always emphasize their sociological relevance. By the end of the course, you will have gained the skills and knowledge to: account for the shifting roles and statuses of animals in contemporary Western society and the social, cultural, and ethical consequences of these positions; use key perspectives and concepts in the field of human–animal studies; understand the importance of considering non-human animals in analyses of social issues; analyze the norms and structures organizing human-animal relations in contemporary Western society; analyze the boundaries drawn between humans and animals and review their consequences; and critically assess the social, cultural, and ethical consequences of human-animal relations. The work assigned in this course aims at reflecting your progress toward these goals.

University of Denver

University of Denver Animals and Human Health Certificate program

The  is a continuing professional development program consisting of three online courses and a two-day capstone session on the University of Denver campus. Topics include animal-assisted interactions, interventions and education, as well as animal welfare and ethics. Courses utilize a variety of learning methods including readings, written assignments, community/experiential activities, videos and discussion forums. Students may complete all coursework at their convenience, within specified due dates. Experiential activities are incorporated into each course and require students to work in the community, away from the computer. The AHH program has enrolled students with a multitude of professional backgrounds from around the globe since 2006.




University of Denver Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate Program

The Equine-Assisted Mental Health (EAMH) Practitioner Certificate is a post-masters certificate program for mental health professionals wanting to add equine-assisted work as a treatment strategy to their psychotherapy or counseling practice. The program balances theory with hands-on client work and satisfies the need for education, training and supervision necessary for ethical practice. The certificate program is also open to graduate students in mental health-related masters or doctoral programs and is accessible to international participants. Delivered through a hybrid mix of distance learning, on-site workshops and supervised client work, the certificate program can be completed in one academic year alongside your practice or studies, regardless of where you live. The comprehensive program features internationally renowned instructors, guest presenters and one-to-one advising and feedback. A central focus is to understand and provide equine-assisted services that meet the needs of your specific client populations and your professional practice. The program meets the educational requirements for national board certification through the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP). Courses include:

Animals in Therapeutic Settings

Phil Tedeschi

Explores the human-animal bond and potential for therapeutic intervention with the animal as teacher, therapist, facilitator and companion in a number of therapeutic settings. Focuses on core skills for social workers seeking to integrate this clinical approach into their practice. A required course for the Animal-Assisted Social Work Certificate.

Animal Assisted Social Work Practices

Phil Tedeschi

This course provides a comprehensive examination of approaches to Animal Assisted Social Work (AASW) and emphasizes clinical application skills utilized with a broad array of persons and in a number of therapeutic settings. Students will learn to design, implement and analyze the efficacy of AASW approaches within their chosen area of specialization, providing an opportunity to practice these approaches in their field internships. Students will learn to clearly articulate, assess, and intervene in “link” violence as it relates to social work practices and AASW implications. A required course for the Animal-Assisted Social Work certificate.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this website is copyright © 2021 The Animals and Society Institute. Please visit to find out more about our reprint and use policies.

Share Us Online