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Animal Assisted Therapy

This program offers an innovative, in-depth study of animal assisted interventions, spanning the fields of animal assisted therapy, education and activities. Our comprehensive program will give you the skills you need to participate in an existing program or to get started building one of your own.


​Your training will allow you to:

  • Work with animals in an educational or therapeutic setting

  • Correctly interpret human and animal body language

  • Train dogs and other animals to work safely in the AAT environment

  • Anticipate and resolve potential problems

  • Understand the legal and ethical issues

  • Work with a variety of personality types

  • And much, much more!


The Animal Assisted Therapy 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. 

Choose one elective:​

  1. ABI 238 Therapy Dog Training

  2. ABI 251 Behavior & Training of Marine Mammals

  3. ABI 261 Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies

  4. ABI 271 Canine Behavior & Enrichment

  5. ABI 272 Feline Behavior & Enrichment

  6. ABI 331 Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach


​Required courses:

  1. ABI 117 Working with People & Animals

  2. ABI 211 Animal Assisted Interventions

  3. ABI 232 The Human-Animal Bond

  4. ABI 233 Animal Training 


Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CAATP, Certified Animal Assisted Therapy Professional. Many of our graduates start their own programs after completing their certificate, working as independent contractors. Others may incorporate their training into positions as therapists, counselors, teachers, social workers, special education instructors, nurses, nurses’ aides, program managers and more.


The outlook for professionals employing Animal Assisted Therapy is very positive. Therapy and therapy assistant positions are projected to grow much faster than average for the next decade, by over 27%. Opportunities in Animal Assisted Therapy have never been greater!

Our Approach

Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. You'll receive feedback each week, completing collaborative projects while working with your own animals. This collaboration, coupled with the weekly mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that you will receive a very personal education.

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