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HAS Online Courses

The following are online human-animal studies courses:

Broward College, South Campus

Vicki Hendricks

Animal-Human Interaction in Literature – Fully Online Course. Animals in literature have always captivated readers. The evolution of animal-human relationships from the 19th century to the present offers an interesting field of study, including animals as symbols, concepts of ownership versus companionship, cooperation and conflict in nature, suffering and morality, and literalist anthropomorphism as opposed to otherness-in-connection. Poe’s “The Black Cat,” Tolstoy’s Strider: The Story of a Horse, London’s The Call of the Wild, Woolf’s Flush: A Biography and contemporary works Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst are the selected texts for discussion and written analysis.

California State University, Bakersfield

Carol Raupp

People, and Other Animals. 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.

Camden County College

Phil Arkow

The Survey Course in Animal-Assisted Therapy & Animal-Assisted Activities at Camden County College is a general orientation certificate course– the starting point for individuals seeking an introduction to the human-animal bond and its therapeutic applications. Students typically are people who have pets that they think might qualify to be therapy animals, people seeking new career and volunteer opportunities, and professionals in such fields as health care, allied health, humane and human services, social work, and a wide array of therapies.

Harcum College

Phil Arkow

Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities. This is a new, comprehensive Introduction to Animal-Assisted Therapy & Activities on-line course. This 10-week course, taught by internationally renowned human-animal bond and AAT author Phil Arkow, offers a Certificate of Completion; this Certificate may be eligible for employer reimbursement and Continuing Education Units depending upon the requirements of the student’s employer and/or professional association.

Loyola Marymount University

George Jacobs

Teaching about the Interaction of Humans and Other Animals. Human interactions with our fellow animals have a major impact on other animals and on us. This course explores how these interactions can be included in our teaching. Topics include a debate about animals in schools, exploring literature, movies, tv and cartoon interactions as well as food, disease, communities and service learning. Online Course

Massey University

Mary Murray and Peter Beatson

Animals and Society. This course will explore relationships between animals and human societies historically and contemporarily. Thecourse will consider ways in which social, political, economic and cultural relationships, institutions and dynamics have shaped and have been shaped by the human-animal configuration.

Major topics include the domestication of animals; hunting; farming; the use of animals in research; companion animals; conservation; animals in spectacle; sport and entertainment; animals and folklore; animals and film; the animal welfare and animal rights movements; and ethical issues in the human animal relationship. Thecourse is available to internal and distance learning students.

Mercy College

Boria Sax

Animals in Literature. This graduate-level course covers animals in literature around the world.

New Zealand Veterinary Association

Animal welfare has emerged as a central issue nationally and internationally. Veterinarians and professionals from a wide variety of disciplines increasingly need to know how the law applies to animals in everything from routine pet care and provision of animal health and welfare services, to urban and farm management, transport, food safety, biosecurity, environmental management and international trade. The New Zealand Veterinary Association offers a number of online courses aimed at veterinary students and veterinarians, including Animal Welfare and the Law, Animal Welfare in Agriculture, and Animal Welfare and Client Confidentiality.

North Carolina State University

Gary Comstock

Open Seminar in Research Ethics. This is an online course in research ethics that has a module on the use of animals in research.

State University of Illinois at Springfield

Boria Sax

Animals in Human Civilization. This class covers folklore, literature, religion, history, artificial intelligence, and other fields to consider social, religious, and philosophical perspectives on animals throughout history. Students also explore the ways in which animals have served as metaphors for social divisions such as tribe, gender, class, and race.

Viridis Graduate Institute

Animal Sentience

Jonathan Balcombe


Following are online degree programs:

American College of Applied Science Companion Animal Behavior Counseling Degree Program

This clinical graduate degree program for professionals is the first of its kind offered by a U.S. college or university and is designed with the working adult learner in mind. The program employs a scientist/practitioner model following the principles of applied behavior analysis and evidence based practice. It is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the field of companion animal behavior and provides graduates with the necessary knowledge, task, and leadership skill sets to work as applied animal behaviorists servicing over 150 million companion animals and their caregivers in the U.S. alone. The curricula explores companion animal behavior including learned and heritable behavior, species-specific behavior, functional assessment and analysis of behavior problems, measurement of behavior using quantifiable methodologies, development of positive behavioral intervention plans, psychopharmacological intervention, caregiver counseling and ethical practice. Additional learner outcomes include a thorough understanding of the societal value of the human-animal bond as well as the cultural and ethical issues related to companion animal welfare while recognizing companion animals as members of the family unit. Students enrolled in this program are 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, field project or externship courses.

Arizona State University Understanding and treating animal abuse

In Partnership with Animals and Society Institute, the Arizona State University School of Social Work in the College of Public Programs present 3 new online courses:

  • Human-Other Animal Relationships
    Assessment and Treatment of Juvenile Animal Abuse
    Assessment and Treatment of Adult Animal Abuse

The courses may be taken individually for CEUs only or, in sequence, as part of the “Treating Animal Abuse Professional Development Certification Program.”

Bircham International University Animal Assisted Therapy

Program delivered by distance learning higher education up to a maximum of 15 credits. This module may be combined or completed with other online university courses from this faculty. This program provides an overview of the many ways in which animals can be used to assist therapists. Coverage includes how animals can assist specific patient populations (children, the disabled, AIDS patients, etc.), how animals can aid in specific settings (hospitals, prisons, independent practice, etc.), and how professionals can best select appropriate animals (species, breed, and individual temperament) and design an AAT program. Humans have long had a special bond with animals, initially as work animals, then as pets, and now more frequently as therapeutic companions. Animals help the sick recover more quickly and help the aged live longer and more satisfying lives. Specially trained animals are now helping stroke victims, the handicapped, and others to regain or build lost faculties. Courses in the module include human-animal support services, animal assisted therapy, the animal human bond, domestic animals, and animal behavior.

Cambridge E-Learning Institute Online Certificate in Animal Welfare

Our courses are suitable for veterinarians, biologists and other professionals who work with animals. They are also opened to people just wanting to learn more about animals as a matter of personal interest. The Online Certificate in Animal Welfare consists of 3 compulsory courses and at least one option from a number of optional courses. Each course is taken individually. The course materials are in English, but in the Portuguese version we provide extra materials to help in the understanding of some English concepts that are difficult to translate. Each course consists of 5 lessons. Each lesson consists of downloadable materials, pdfs, Powerpoint slides and a forum. You have one or two weeks to read the materials for each lesson. The reading week is followed by a forum week when you will discuss some questions with the other participants and the tutor.

Cambridge E-Learning Institute Online Certificate in Animal Ethics

The course introduces some basic principles of moral philosophy, how the concept of ethical behaviour has developed along history and how philosophers think about morality. These are the basic tools that enable us to engage on discussions of an moral natural and help us in the taking ethical decisions on issues where the interests of humans and animals are at stake. The Online Certificate in Animal Ethics (OCAE) consists of 3 compulsory courses and at least one option from a number of optional courses. Each course is taken individually. Each course consists of 5 lessons. Each lesson consist of downloadable materials and a forum. You have one or two weeks to read the materials for each lesson, and then the reading week is followed by a forum week where you will discuss some questions with the other participants and the tutor.

Canisius College Anthrozoology Masters Program

Canisius College offers an online Master of Science in Anthrozoology. In this two-year, online graduate program, students will have considerable latitude in choosing courses that engage fundamental issues in animal studies, including environmental issues, education, law and policy, ethics, religion, literature, economics, shelters, zoos and, of course, companion animals, wildlife, research animals, and food animals.

Humane Academy University School of Professional Development, Certificates in Humane Education, Advocacy, Shelter Management

Humane Society University is proud to offer an online professional development program for classroom teachers, school administrators, youth outreach professionals, shelter directors, humane education specialists, and humane law enforcement officers committed to humane education. The Certified Humane Education Specialist (CHES) program features a prerequisite mini-course and a choice of seven full self-paced courses that guide participants in conducting effective teacher in-services, exploring storytelling as a teaching device, identifying the connections between humane education and the preschool curriculum, middle-school and high-school service learning, character education, and working in underserved areas. Course content is based on extensive research, and courses are centered on engaging activities with a wealth of practical tips and field-tested strategies for working with children, teens, school faculty, and youth leaders. Enhance your credentials and become more confident and comfortable at advancing humane education within your own community!

Institute for Humane Education

The Institute for Humane Education offers several graduate degree and certificate programs in humane education — the only programs of their kind in North America. These distance-learning programs are offered through a partnership with the highly respected and accredited graduate school of Valparaiso University. The programs include a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Humane Education; a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Humane Education; an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership, with a Concentration in Humane Education; an M.A. in Liberal Studies, with a Concentration in Humane Education; a credit-bearing Graduate Certificate in Humane Education (which can be either stand-alone or added to an existing degree), and a new Ph.D! IHE’s graduate programs provide in-depth training in comprehensive humane education, helping educators of all types gain the skills, knowledge and strategies to teach about the interconnected issues of animal protection, human rights, environmental preservation, and media, culture & consumerism.

Oakland University Animal Assisted Therapy Program

Oakland University’s Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate program addresses several health and social issues, including an increased need for alternative, innovative and holistic practices. Utilizing animal assisted therapy in educational, therapeutic and health care settings benefit at-risk children and adolescents, the elderly and other special-needs populations. This program is supported by and listed under AAT on the Delta Society (the largest organization education, research and practice in Animal Assisted Activities and Animal Assisted Therapy) website.

Following are other programs that offer a variety of courses on animal issues, all online:

Animal Biology and Care

Animal Biology and Care Education is a limited company set up to provide high-quality learning for those who are unable to attend college, university or night classes but want to improve their personal and/or professional standing. All courses revolve around animal welfare in all its aspects. They offer an alternative pathway to demonstrating subject knowledge and understanding with the underpinning aim of providing the ability to apply both knowledge and understanding in real life. Their courses cover nutrition, accommodation, behaviour, ethics, animal science (anatomy and physiology), species-specific conservation, habitat, ecology and environmental studies. Many are accredited by the CPD Standards Office whilst others are UK regulated courses leading to a recognised qualification e.g. Animal Nursing Assistant. Other subject areas are added regularly – see Personal Interest courses. Courses are from three to twelve units with a three-month course designed to be studied and achieved within 3 months. A 6-unit course will take about six months and so on. Each unit shows an approximate number of learning hours. Animal welfare officers, animal cruelty investigators, conservation students and volunteers, veterinary nurses, veterinary surgeons, animal care volunteers, pet owners, teachers are all invited to take these courses, as well as anyone who is interested in the subjects on offer. Animal-related jobs and volunteering opportunities are listed on the website.The courses will be of value to animal care workers, animal conservationists, people who want to change career and move into animal welfare, those needing and wanting CPD activities and anyone wanting to follow a path of alternative learning. Visit this link to find out what courses are available!

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