Certificate Program (15 credits)
Do you want to become a zookeeper or aquarist? Do you dream of working with carnivores, primates, marine mammals or other exotic wildlife? If so, our Certificate Program in Zoo and Aquarium Science is for you! Our program takes a comprehensive approach to the management and care of zoo animals, helping you to:
- Obtain a position as a zoo keeper or aquarist
- Learn to safely handle and train wildlife
- Train animals to voluntarily participate in procedures
- Design new exhibits and housing
- Create a behavioral enrichment programs
- Manage breeding programs to promote health & genetic diversity
- Create proper diets based on sound nutrition
- Minimize the risk of disease transmission
- Create engaging educational programs
- Build conservation programs that foster good stewardship
- And much, much more!
The Zoo & Aquarium Science certificate requires the completion of five online courses (15 academic credits) and a field requirement consisting of 40 hours of hands-on experience as an employee, intern or volunteer at an approved institution of your choice. The required courses for this certificate program are:
- ABI 142 Environmental Education & Outreach
- ABI 221 Husbandry & Record Keeping
- ABI 242 Exotic Animal Management & Conservation
- ABI 311 Animal Nutrition, Health & Disease
You will also choose one elective from the following:
- ABI 222 Animal Enrichment
- ABI 233 Animal Training
- ABI 251 Behavior & Training of Marine Mammals
- ABI 281 Avian Training
- ABI 378 Primate Behavior & Enrichment
Upon graduation, students will earn their certificate and may begin using the designation CZASP, Certified Zoo & Aquarium Science Professional. Most graduates go on to obtain positions as zoo keepers or environmental educators. Others work as nutritionists, animal trainers, aquarists or curators. The field of animal care and service workers, which includes zoo keepers and animal trainers, is expected to grow at 15% over the next decade.* But competition for zoo positions will remain keen in the future; let ABI give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed!
Our program in Zoo & Aquarium Science is unlike any other distance education program. Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. Students receive feedback each week, working on collaborative projects while training their own animals. This allows them to achieve a deeper level of understanding than they would develop on their own. This collaboration, coupled with the mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that they receive a very personal education.
Tuition is $1,185 per course; the total tuition for the certificate program is $5,925 (textbooks are purchased separately). Tuition assistance is available via interest-free financing. Qualified military spouses may have up to $4000 covered by MyCAA. If you have questions on the program, or need help getting started, please contact us at (866) 755-0448 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
The Animal Behavior Institute is one of the select institutions to be chosen as a Learning Partner of the AZA. The professional ties between our two organizations allow you to use many of the courses offered by ABI as electives in the Professional Development Certificates offered by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Please visit our ABI-AZA Learning Partners site for more information.
American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK)
The Animal Behavior Institute is proud to be an institutional member of the American Association of Zoo Keepers. We support their mission of fostering professional education among zoo keepers and ultimately global conservation & stewardship.
*U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition
about Careers in Zoo and Aquarium Science.