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MA Program in Animal Behavior and Conservation

This 36-credit program prepares students interested in animal behavior and conservation (ABC) to develop and enhance their research skills and create an understanding of the behavior of animals as well as acquire credentials for employment in fields related to ABC. This free-standing master of arts program replaces the previous concentration in ABC within the Psychology MA program with no changes in requirements.


Criteria for Admission to the MA in ABC Program

The formal admission requirements are the same of those for the MA program in General Psychology. Please note: when reviewing admission requirements, generally a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits in psychology, including one course in statistics and one laboratory course in experimental psychology are required; however, students who have a high undergraduate grade point average and high general GRE scores but lack a full psychology background may apply for admissions. Such students may be required to take preparatory statistics and experimental courses.

Students can satisify the remainder of their credits from any ABC or other graduate level psychology course.

See listings of all graduate level psychology courses.


Requirements for the MA Degree in ABC

The students who elect the ABC Master’s degree are required to complete 36 credits, consisting of a minimum of 15 credits in the ABC area in addition to the 12 credits in courses required for all Psychology MA students. All courses carry 3 credits.

Required Courses for All MA Students – 12 credits

  • PSYCH 690 - Independent Research in Psychology (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 701 or 747 or 739 – A course in Experimental Psychology.
  • PSYCH 705 – Statistical Methods in Psychology
  • PSYCH 707.01 – Thesis Research (on an ABC topic for ABC students)

Required Courses for ABC Students – 6 credits

  • PSYCH 717 – Animal Behavior and Conservation in Captivity and the Wild
  • PSYCH 751.03 – Basic Psychological Processes 1: Perception, Learning, and Comparative Cognition

Elective Courses for ABC Students – a minimum of 9 credits from the following:

  • PSYCH 641 – Comparative Psychology
  • PSYCH 680 - Special Topocs in Psychology
  • PSYCH 690 - Independent Research (3 credits)
  • PSYCH 691 - Independent Research (1 credit)
  • PSYCH 692 - Independent Research (2 credits)
  • PSYCH 716 – Animal Behavior I
  • PSYCH 717.51 – Field Study in Animal Behavior and Conservation
  • PSYCH 718 – Ethology
  • PSYCH 730 – Psychology of Learning
  • PSYCH 754 – Applied Animal Welfare and Behavior
  • PSYCH 757 – Animal Thinking and Communication
  • PSYCH 750.xx – Special Topics *
  • PSYCH 758 - Conservation Biology/Psychology

* Special Topics courses and Independent Research projects related to ABC will depend upon student and faculty interests. Recent topics included Companion Animals in Society and Conservation Biology/Psychology.



MA in Animal Behavior & Conservation
Program Director: Ofer Tchernichovski & Diana Reiss


Graduate Advisor: Karolina Czech

For more information on Graduate Admissions to Hunter College, please click here.

For more updates and details about the program, please visit