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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate: Zoo and Aquarium Studies (2002-2003)

The post-baccalaureate certificate program in Zoo and Aquarium Studies provides detailed knowledge about the biology of special groups of animals often kept in captivity like dolphins, seals, primates, big cats, canids, large birds, or large reptiles; background in the basic concepts and techniques of animal training; practical management skills required for working with people, budgets, and time at zoos or aquaria; information on policies and regulations that affect the operations of zoos and aquaria; practical, hands-on experience working with animals and with the personnel at a zoo or aquarium; network of people employed at local zoos and aquaria; access to available jobs at zoos or aquaria.

Requirements for Enrollment

Applicants to the Zoo and Aquarium Studies certificate program must have a bachelor’s degree in one of the following majors: biology; zoology; psychology; recreation, park and tourism; environmental science; animal science; or agriculture.

Certificate Requirements

  • ZOOL 578 Zoo/Aquarium Practicum: 3 s.h.
  • ZOOL 584 Biological Studies in Zoos and Aquaria: 3 s.h.
  • ZOOL 585 Animal Training: 3 s.h.
  • MGT 500 Management of People and Organizations: 3 s.h.
  • Electives (select from the following:): 6 s.h.
    • ZOOL 410G Ornithology (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 412G Mammalogy (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 413G Herpetology (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 414G Ichthyology (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 416G Marine Mammalogy (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 553 Animal Behavior (3 s.h.)
    • ZOOL 583 Bioacoustics (3 s.h.)

TOTAL: 18 s.h.

Course Descriptions


500 The Management of People and Organizations. (3) This course focuses on the theories and applications of managing people and organizations including the functions of management, organization behavior, organization theory, and human resource management. Topics include decision making/problem solving, planning and organizing, motivation, leadership, organizational change, communication, conflict, teamwork, human resource planning, performance appraisal, training and development, negotiations, and reward systems.


410G Ornithology. (3) Identification, biology, ecology, and life histories of birds. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

412G Mammalogy. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and life histories of mammals. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

413G Herpetology. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and biology of reptiles and amphibians. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

414G Ichthyology. (3) Identification, classification, distribution, and life histories of fishes. Field Trip estimate: $10. Prerequisites: BIOL 102 and 103; graduate standing in biology.

416G Marine Mammalogy. (3) Survey of marine mammals with emphasis on taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, and conservation. Laboratory includes observational study of marine mammals at the Shedd Aquarium. Prerequisites: BIOL 102, 103; graduate standing in biology or related field.

553 Animal Behavior. (3) The activities and responses of animals which facilitate survival under natural conditions. Prerequisite: ZOOL 451 or permission of the instructor; graduate standing in biology.

578 Zoo/Aquarium Practicum. (3) Gain practical experience at organizations that hold captive animals, such as zoos, aquaria, oceanaria, or animal rehabilitation facilities. Experience includes legal issues, ethical issues, husbandry standards and methods, research methods, organizational structure and policy, and facilities management. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Graduate standing; acceptance in the post-baccalaureate certificate program in zoo and aquarium studies.

583 Bioacoustics. (3) Survey of animal adaptations for producing and receiving sound. The effects of human-generated noise on wildlife is described. Techniques for recording sounds, and measuring amplitude and frequency, and time characteristics of sounds are demonstrated. Students will make recordings of animals in the field. Analysis of animal sounds using computer programs is required. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, one year of college physics, or permission of the instructor.

584 Biological Studies in Zoo and Oceanaria. (3) This course discusses the types of studies suited to animals in a captive environment, current research trends, and new techniques being applied to animals in a zoo or oceanarium setting. Long-term monitoring of animals with known life histories provides unique research opportunities. Course covers topics on a variety of vertebrates and emphasizes research conducted at local zoos or oceanaria. Student research project required. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, with at least one year of college-level biology, senior biology major, or permission of the instructor.

585 Animal Training. (3) This course discusses concepts of training in a variety of animals. Techniques for observing behavior, operant conditioning, research, and husbandry/medical training are described. Laboratories include training demonstrations on animals at the Shedd Aquarium. Prerequisites: Graduate standing, with at least one year of college-level biology or psychology, senior biology major, or permission of the instructor.

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