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Certificate Program in Animal Behavior and Conservation

The Department of Psychology offers a Certificate Program in the Advanced Psychology of Animal Behavior and Conservation (ABC), registered with the New York State Education Department. The ABC Certificate provides formal recognition of training in ABC for students who already possess a baccalaureate or graduate degree in another area and, by virtue of prior educational or practical experience in animal behavior and conservation, are qualified for the additional training described in this proposal.

Courses are scheduled so that the certificate requirements can be completed within one year. All required, and most other courses, are offered after 5:30 PM enabling students to complete the certificate requirements while working.


Criteria for Admission to the Certificate Program

Students must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Applicants will be ranked according to grade point average, two letters of recommendation, personal statement as well as course work and experience relevant to Animal Behavior and Conservation. Students must demonstrate research skills, either through relevant work outside of the program, or successful completion of an independent research or field project.


Requirements for the Certificate in ABC

To obtain the Certificate in ABC, students must complete a total of 15 credits (five three credit courses). This consists of two required courses and an additional three courses chosen from those listed as Electives (see below).

Required Courses

  • PSYCH 717- Animal Behavior and Conservation in Captivity and the Wild
  • PSYCH 751.03 - Basic Psychological Processes 1: Perception, Learning & Comparative Cognition (with permission)
  •            or
  • PSYCH 641- Comparative Psychology


  • PSYCH 690 - Independent Research*
  • PSYCH 717.51- Field Studies in Animal Behavior and Conservation
  • PSYCH 754 - Applied Animal Welfare and Behavior
  • PSYCH 757 - Animal Thinking and Communication
  • PSYCH 758 - Conservtion Biology/Psychology
  • PSYCH 750.xx - Special Topics *

* Special Topics courses and Independent Research projects related to the concentration will vary with student interests and faculty availability.

Students who lack adequate background in research will be required to take a statistics course, and/or a course in research methods, in addition to the 15 credits.

Courses taken for the certificate may be used as credits towards the MA in ABC program if accepted.

Please note: Students who only enroll in the Advanced Certificate program are not eligible for Federal student loans. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional information about your financial aid eligibility.


Program Director: Professor Diana Reiss and Professor Ofer Tchernichovski