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Human-Animal Studies: Courses in Psychology

Psychology Overview

This is a list of colleges and universities around the world who provide courses for Psychology in relation to the human-animal relationship.  This includes the name of the college, the name of the course, who is teaching the course, and brief description of the Psychology course that the instructor will be covering.


California State University, Bakersfield

People, and Other Animals

Carol Raupp

Examines peoples’ attitudes toward other animal species and the current psychological research describing our differing relationships with companion animals, animals used for food, animals used in research, sports, or entertainment, and so-called “wild” animals. This course is now available online to students everywhere.

Environmental Psychology

Carol Raupp


Carroll College

Introduction to the Human Animal Bond

Anne Perkins

The Human-Animal Bond Program at Carroll College is the first degree program of its kind in the nation. Carroll College’s Human-Animal Bond Program (HAB) is designed so that students attend three core classes that provide them with foundational information regarding theory, research, and services applicable to human-animal bonding.


Christopher Newport University

The Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond: Exploring our Relationship with Animals

Sherman Lee

Animals play a central role in the lives of their human companions. This course will explore the complex relationship between humans and animals in a variety of contexts. Topics will include research methods, pets, animals for food and clothing, animals in human culture and health, psychological disorders, welfare and cruelty, and death and dying. Although the study of the human-animal bond draws from a range of disciplines, the topics in this seminar will be framed from a psychological perspective with an emphasis on the cognitive, emotional, and motivational components of the human experience.


Eastern Kentucky University

Introduction to Animal Studies.

Robert Mitchell

A survey of the field of animal studies, focusing on animals’ lives and histories, and the human experience of animals as food, as objects of entertainment, spectacle and science, as companions, and as representations. The course will introduce students to the field of animal studies by reading, discussing, thinking, and writing about various traditions in the field, including anthropology, art, biology, history, literature philosophy, psychology, and sociology.


Niagara County Community College

Psychology of Human-Animal Relations

Kathleen C. Gerbasi

Human-Animal Relations will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of Anthrozoology. Since this is a psychology course, the main focus of the course will be Anthrozoology from the psychological perspective, however we will also touch on other academic fields in addition to psychology. Topics covered in this course represent an overview of current issues in Human-Animal Studies. This includes human’s relationships with pets, psychological and physiological benefits of companion animals, concern for animal rights and animal welfare, the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, individual differences in people’s relationships with animals (including sex differences), a study of the similarities and differences between human and non-human animals, especially as related to language, communication, cognition and problem solving, and a review of moral and ethical concerns about eating meat, wearing fur and the use of animals for research and entertainment.


Northeastern University

Psychological Research and Personal Values

Perrin Cohen

Considers historical, psychological, philosophical, sociological and spiritual perspectives regarding animal experimentation. Includes evaluation of research projects through written and oral reports.

Experiments in Learning and Motivation

Perrin Cohen

Presents alternatives to using laboratory animals for teaching purposes and thus provides an ongoing forum for discussing issues concerning the use of animals in research and teaching.

Ethics in Research Psychology

Perrin Cohen

This graduate seminar is required of all psychology graduates. It addresses ethical concerns and dilemmas that psychology students and professional research psychologists face in acquiring and using scientific knowledge.


Saybrook University

Non-Human Consciousness

Jacquie Lewis

This independent study course, which is part of the Applied Consciousness Certificate, focuses on both research and anecdotal cases having to do with positive non-human cognitions and emotions.  Animals regularly demonstrate cooperation, sharing, and care for each other.  On occasion, these traits have also been known to occur when different species interact.  Some topics include:

  • Non-humans display empathy
  • Non-humans experience self- awareness
  • Non-humans do complex problem solving
  • Non-humans exhibit strong social networks
  • Non-humans grieve
  • Non-humans show ethical play
  • Non-humans communicate and some communicate with humans
  • Non-humans have personality
  • Non-humans have a sense of the past and future
  • Non-humans not only use tools but make tools
  • Non-humans demonstrate intuition


University of Central Florida

The Psychology of Human-Animal Interaction

Matthew Chin

The Psychology of Human-Animal Interaction. This course introduces students to many types of human-animal interaction including “pet adoption,” “animals and our health,” “animal training,” “animal abuse,” “animal consumption” and “wild animals and zoos.” Several guest speakers provide “question-and-answer” sessions about animal training, working with wild animals and animals in zoos, and shelter work. Students also complete two projects for which they must collect empirical data about how humans verbally interact with animals and views of vegetarianism.


University of Georgia

Humans and Animals in Society

Janet Frick

The purpose of the first-year seminar program is to explore a topic of academic and personal interest in a small classroom environment. This particular freshman seminar will be concerned with exploring various aspects of the complex relationships between human and non-human animals, ranging from the bond we have with pets, to the ethics of animal research and experimentation, to animal abuses and cruelty, all the while trying to understand how these various behaviors can all co-exist. We will explore these issues from a psychological perspective, and look at how our broader cultural assumptions and norms affect our views on these issues. Healthy debate, disagreement, and discussion are all expected in this course; students will be expected to be actively involved in class discussion each week.


Utah State University

Abuse, Neglect and the Psychological Dimensions of Intimate Violence

Frank Ascione

This course has evolved from a child abuse and neglect course to a course covering all forms of intimate violence across the life span. During the semester, we will address issues related to child abuse and neglect (including physical, sexual, and emotional maltreatment), animal abuse, dating violence, domestic violence, and the abuse of elderly individuals. We will examine theory and research addressing various forms of maltreatment and will incorporate developmental, historical, and cross-cultural perspectives whenever possible.

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