DEGREES AND PROGRAMS IN HUMAN-ANIMAL STUDIES
This page provides a series of browsable and searchable databases for both students searching for educational resources and faculty wishing to highlight their programs. Below are listed higher-education programs from around the world that offer degrees, majors and minors, and certification in subjects relating to the field of Human-Animal Studies.
In order to gather these different programs together into a searchable database we are using “Human-Animal Studies” as an umbrella term for any of the many names for academic fields through which the study of human and nonhuman animal relationships take place: Animal Studies, Anthrozoology, Critical Animal Studies, Human-Animal Interactions, etc. (This video, a part of ASI’s Defining HAS Video Series, addresses why this area of study has so many names.) We have kept the names used by different universities in their individual listings, so please bear this in mind while searching the programs.
To use this resource, locate the category you wish to see and click the gray box to expand that section. Once expanded, the default will be to display the first ten entries, listed alphabetically by University / Organization. To see beyond the first ten, you can change the “Show 10 entries” box to a higher number or you can use the Previous and Next links at the bottom of the section to page through the pages or entries. Alternatively, entering any text into the Search bar will search all fields within the section. For example, entering “can” into the search for Undergraduate Minors in Human-Animal Studies will return results for both Canada and Canisius University, which are from different fields.
Degrees and Minors in Human-Animal Studies
This section covers conventional university and college-based degree programs, from undergraduate minors and major degrees to graduate degrees. Degrees marked with an asterisk (*) were created via ASI’s International Development Program.
Note that the programs listed use various approaches to study Human-Animal Studies – scientific, social scientific, humanities, and interdisciplinary methods among them. Viewing the programs themselves will give you a fuller picture of the program’s focus.
Undergraduate Minors in Human-Animal Studies
Bachelor’s Degrees in Human-Animal Studies
Graduate Degrees in Human-Animal Studies
Animal Law Programs
The specialization in Animal Law is relatively new and has blossomed over the past two decades. It addresses legal, statutory, and policy issues and intersects with various other areas of law. It concerns all nonhuman animals, from wildlife, companion, and farmed animals to those used for entertainment.
Animal Law Programs
Here we list programs that deal with some aspect of human-nonhuman animal relationships beyond the conventional medical aspects of animal physical health. These programs typically are associated with a school of veterinary medicine, take a scientific approach, and often encompass a research component. Some deal with Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAIs), ASI’s position on which follows below under the “Animal-Assisted Intervention / Therapy Programs and Certifications” section. Viewing the programs themselves will give you a fuller picture of the program’s focus.
Following are programs that focus on “Humane Education” and other miscellaneous certifications that do not fit in any of the categories above. “Humane Education” refers to a type of inclusive education that promotes social justice, environmental issues, and the welfare of all living beings. It focuses on teaching empathy, compassion, and ethical values toward all beings, including humans.
Humane Education Programs
|University & Program||City||Country|
|Factory Farming Awareness Coalition Animal Advcoacy Certification||Sacramento, CA||United States|
|Hudson Valley Community College Certificate Program in Animal Policy||Troy, NY||United States|
|Learning Animals/Institute for Zooanthropology||Savano||Italy|
|Madonna University Certificate in Animal Cruelty||Livonia, MI||United States|
|Thompson River University Animal Welfare Certificate Program||Kamloops, BC||Canada|
|University of Colorado Boulder Certificate Program in Animals & Society (2018)||Boulder, CO||United States|
|University of Denver Animals and Human Health Certificate program||Denver, CO||United States|
|University of Pennsylvania Online Graduate Certificate in Animal Welfare and Behavior||Philidelphia, PA||United States|
|Compassion Consortium Certificate in Animal Chaplaincy||New York, NY||United States|
Animal-Assisted Intervention / Therapy Programs and Certifications
The term “Animal Assisted Intervention” (AAI) is an umbrella term for programs conventionally used to promote human physical or mental wellbeing. It includes such practices as Animal-Assisted Psychotherapy, Animal-Assisted Therapy, and Animal-Assisted Learning. The term also includes programs that center on the use of particular species of nonhuman animals within these frameworks, such as the use of horses for physiotherapy or dogs that visit hospitals, schools, retirement homes, among others. This list is intended as a resource only and does not imply an endorsement by ASI of the practice of AAIs. Please refer to ASI’s position on AAI immediately below to understand the issues of concern.
Click here to read ASI's position on AAI / AAT
The extended list below of organizations and training programs evidences the proliferation of the practice of Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI), including animal-assisted therapy and therapeutic-related activities (AAT), as well animal-assisted education. It is intended as a resource only and does not imply an endorsement of the practice by ASI. While research on the effectiveness of AAT has progressed from early efforts that largely relied on anecdotal accounts and single case studies, many, if not most, recent studies continue to have methodological deficiencies (e.g., small sample size, lack of control group, unblinded observations, lack of long-term follow-up studies).
The current common definition of AAT involves human-animal relationships (Shapiro, K., 2020, Human-Animal Studies: Remembering the past, celebrating the present, troubling the future, Society & Animals, 28, 797-833). However, many in the field strongly urge a corrective to the largely human-centered focus of this literature. There is some concern that AAT introduces yet another human-centered and potentially exploitative animal enterprise. However, as most of the counselors and therapists attracted to AAT are animal friendly or at least companion-animal friendly people, manifestly abusive treatment is very unlikely. This leaves the possibility of more subtle and unintentional harms and distress. These might arise related to the sources of the animals involved, their willingness to be involved, the amount of stress and number of hours associated with the work, and the behavior toward the animals of the target recipients of the intervention. Not incidentally, the language that is employed to refer to the animals involved is important both as it influences their treatment and as it conveys a message to the public about the status of animals – compare “used” and “tools” to “co-workers,” and “partners.” It is important to consider how the non-human animals who are directly or indirectly involved in AAIs are benefitting from these practices. As a result, future AAI research calls for more adequate study of the role, the experience, and constitutive contribution of the non-human animal to the relationship. In addition, a substantive potential benefit of AAI that cannot be ignored is the opportunity to expand compassion and empathy towards all animals. Grappling with questions at the core of human relationships with other animals regarding sentience, protection, care, and fundamental fairness can promote paradigm shifts for mutually beneficial and respectful human-animal interactions that a more just and sustainable world requires.
Animal Assisted Therapy / Interventions
Faculty, if you don’t see your program on our list or have additions or changes, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this page biannually.