Anthrozoology (MS)

Program Director: Christy Hoffman, PhD

Faculty: Tara Cornelisse, PhD.; Christy Hoffman, PhD; Joshua Russell, PhD; Malini Suchak, PhD.
Adjunct Faculty: Marie-France Boissonneault, PhD; Margo DeMello, PhD; Maya Gupta, PhD.; Sheryl L. Pipe, PhD; Michael Tobias, PhD.

Degree: Master of Science

Introduction

This program is conducted in a “modified online” format.  The generic formula is one in which students taking courses during a particular term meet together with the faculty on the Canisius College campus for an intensive four-day sequence of course orientations, planning sessions, classroom meetings, and special seminars by invited speakers.  Following this “On Campus Component” (OCC), coursework for the remainder of the term is conducted in a vibrant online learning community maintained throughout the semester. In other words, except for a single, “extended-weekend” visit to the campus each semester, this program can be completed online from any geographic location.  It is hoped that this formula will allow students to participate with minimal disruption to their present employment and/or living conditions.  Additional information is available on the Anthrozoology website.

Admission

Admission to the Anthrozoology Master’s Program is selective and competitive.  Admission is based upon the applicant’s perspective on the discipline expressed in the application material, and on evidence of past academic excellence.  A previously completed bachelor’s degree (in any major discipline) is required.  The ordinary expectation is a past undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.  Submission of GRE scores is optional.

It is recognized that an applicant’s background and experiences can greatly enhance their prospects for graduate studies.  Applicants are encouraged to include any relevant information and letters of reference with the application form.

Eligible students may enter the program only in fall semesters.  Because of the OCC, all anthrozoology students must be  immunized against measles, mumps, and rubella.  Students must either be immunized against meningitis or sign a waiver.

Mission Statement

Our program focuses on humanity’s relationship with other species. Major emphasis is given to an examination of science-based knowledge about our fellow living beings, cultural differences, the extraordinary relationships between people and companion animals, interactions with and attitudes toward wildlife, the roles of zoos and sanctuaries, policies and laws that permit instrumental and industrialized uses of nonhuman animals, and many related environmental and conservation issues. The program embraces the value of human-nonhuman interactions by focusing on the many benefits that accrue to humans by including other animals in their lives, as well as benefits and protections provided to nonhumans by humans. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that promotes critical thinking skills anchored in natural science and social science investigations, philosophical considerations, religious and cross-cultural perspectives, ethical and humane education insights, and humanities-based work on topics such as animals in the arts. Students are also encouraged regularly to examine the intersection between animal protection and environmental protection and the special relationship that exists between these two worldwide movements. Students can tailor their coursework, internships and research projects so that their own topics of interest can be explored in depth. 

Curriculum

  1. Required Introductory Course
    All students are required to take the following course during their first semester in the program:
    ANZ 501Introduction to Anthrozoology3
  2. Breadth Requirement
    Students must take at least one course from each of the following categories to ensure a sufficient breadth in the discipline:
    Natural Sciences3
    Animal Behavior and Conservation
    The Mental Lives of Animals
    Animal Welfare
    Humanities3
    Animal Ethics
    Religious Perspectives on Animals
    Animals, Public Policy, and the Law
    Writing the Animal: Fables, Fairytales and Fiction
    Social Sciences3
    Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond
    Cross-Cultural Anthrozoology
    Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation
    Child-Animal Studies
  3. Electives
    Students may choose from any ANZ courses to fulfill credit hour requirements.  Current elective options include:
    ANZ 502Animal Ethics3
    ANZ 503Religious Perspectives on Animals3
    ANZ 504Animals, Public Policy, and the Law3
    ANZ 505Research Methods in Anthrozoology3
    ANZ 506Animal Behavior and Conservation3
    ANZ 507The Mental Lives of Animals3
    ANZ 509Animal Assisted Interventions3
    ANZ 510Animals in Humane Education3
    ANZ 512Writing the Animal: Fables, Fairytales and Fiction3
    ANZ 513Framing the Animal: Art History, Mass Media and Marketing1
    ANZ 516Understanding Indifference and Animal Abuse3
    ANZ 518Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond3
    ANZ 520Animal Nonprofits1
    ANZ 522Zoo Animal Exhibitry1
    ANZ 524Shelters, Rescues, & Pounds3
    ANZ 525Anthrozoological Perspectives on Zoos3
    ANZ 526Animal Welfare3
    ANZ 527Human-Dog Interactions in Puerto Rico1
    ANZ 528Embracing Coexistence1
    ANZ 531Cross-Cultural Anthrozoology3
    ANZ 532Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation3
    ANZ 533Child-Animal Studies3
    ANZ 534Animal Geographies3
    ANZ 538Animals in Popular Culture3
    ANZ 590Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation1
    ANZ 599Independent Study3-6
  4. Capstone
    All students must complete one of the following three options as a capstone experience. This can range from 3 credit hours to 9 credit hours depending on the student’s level of engagement. ANZ 601 and ANZ 603 must be completed during one’s final semester. ANZ 602 may be completed over multiple semesters, but cannot commence until the student has completed taken ANZ 505 and at least 18 credit hours overall.
    ANZ 601Anthrozoology Internship (3 credits, 6 credits or 9 credits)3-9
    ANZ 602Independent Research: Quantitative (3 credits or 9 credits)3-9
    ANZ 603Independent Research: Qualitative (9 credits only)3-9
  5. Credit Hours
    In total, the Canisius College Master’s Degree in Anthrozoology requires students to complete a total of 36 credit hours. This will involve the completion of 10-12 courses, depending on the size and scope of the capstone.
  6. Additional Considerations
  • In order to complete the degree, students must complete the curriculum with a minimum average grade of B.
  • All courses must be completed at Canisius College; the Anthrozoology Master’s Program at Canisius does not accept transfer credits from other universities.
  • Once enrolled, a student must complete this degree in no more than four years.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Students will exhibit strong critical thinking skills in their study of the interactions between humans and nonhuman animals and of the roles of nonhuman animals in human society.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Synthesize interdisciplinary information as it relates to anthrozoology.
  • Objective B: Identify strengths and weaknesses in arguments regarding human and nonhuman animals.
  • Objective C: Construct a literature review that evaluates a subset of scholarly anthrozoological publications.
  • Objective D: Evaluate how one’s own thoughts about interactions between human and nonhuman animals have changed between matriculation and graduation.

Learning Goal 2

Students will proficiently communicate anthrozoological information.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Deliver an oral presentation on an anthrozoological topic.
  • Objective B: Construct a written, evidence-based argument on an anthrozoological topic.

Courses

ANZ 501 Introduction to Anthrozoology 3 Credits

An engagement with the fundamental issues of the field of Anthrozoology by evaluating the history of human/nonhuman interactions, the categories into which human have sorted animals, and a variety of science-based and value-based approaches to humans' inevitable intersection with other living beings. To achieve this end, this course immerses students in the processes of critical thinking, interdisciplinary approaches, science-based literacies, ethics-focused evaluations, and cross-cultural inquiries.

ANZ 502 Animal Ethics 3 Credits

Analysis of different approaches to ethics as this key human ability has been discussed in different domains and throughout history as applying to human-nonhuman issues.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 503 Religious Perspectives on Animals 3 Credits

Views and treatments of nonhuman animals in the world's religions (both large and small) are analyzed as significant factors in a majority of humans' thinking and valuing of other living beings.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 504 Animals, Public Policy, and the Law 3 Credits

An exploration of both American and other national approaches to public policy and law as factors impacting modern societies' views and treatment of nonhuman animals. Particular emphasis is given to issues involving companion animals, wildlife, research animals, and food animals.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 505 Research Methods in Anthrozoology 3 Credits

This course exposes students to qualitative and quantitative research methods that they will encounter when reading about or conducting their own anthrozoological research. Students will have opportunities to read and evaluate peer-reviewed journal articles, to develop research questions and hypotheses, to practice collecting data, and to analyze and interpret data. This course is open to all ANZO students but is also a prerequisite for students desiring to enroll in ANZ 602 (Independent Research: Quantitative).

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 506 Animal Behavior and Conservation 3 Credits

This course provides a foundational overview of ecology, evolution, and conservation biology as they pertain to current issues in and research on the behavior of wild animals. The course includes investigation and critical analysis of current literature, emphasizing the application and importance of animal behavior in wildlife conservation and management. Topics may include the efficacy of protected areas, recreation ecology, invasive species, rewilding, reconciliation ecology, and the evolutionary ecology of de-extinction.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 507 The Mental Lives of Animals 3 Credits

This course explores the unobservable mental processes of nonhuman animals. Topics covered range from basic processes, such as attention and perception, to more complex cognition, such as tool use and culture. The emphasis of the course is on critically thinking about the realities of other species.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 509 Animal Assisted Interventions 3 Credits

This course examines the integration of non-human animals in therapeutic and educational settings. We will address the distinction among Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), Animal Assisted Therapies (AAT), Animal Assisted Activities (AAA), and service and emotional support animals. Also addressed are the issues of the inclusion of companion, farmed and wild/exotic animals in assisted endeavors.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 510 Animals in Humane Education 3 Credits

This course addresses the inclusion of nonhuman animals, animal themes and human and other animal social justice issues within our educational pursuits. We distinguish between broad and encompassing definitions of Humane Education, and those that are narrower. We investigate the roles of humane themed literature and focus on the basic building blocks of effective humane education lessons. We address issues in educating across the lifespan, from children to adults.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 512 Writing the Animal: Fables, Fairytales and Fiction 3 Credits

The course begins by examining topics such as anthropomorphism in fables; fairy tales and children's literature while analyzing how nonhuman animal symbols both conflict and compliment the moral and cultural concerns of their time. Together with some fundamental novels which could include Sewell's Black Beauty, Adams' Watership Down, Kafka's Metamorphose, Darrieussecq's PigTales, Flanagan's Gould's Book of Fish and/or Saunders' Beautiful Joe the class next examines a range of literary resources to understand the concepts of nonhuman animal representations and the meaning of these depictions. Students also examine the intricacy of symbolic nonhuman animal representations in literature through the exploration of the Other. In conclusion, the course considers how literature can invite its readers to question our current relationships and engage us to take action to initiate change.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 513 Framing the Animal: Art History, Mass Media and Marketing 1 Credit

This course examines the influences on societal perceptions of nonhuman animals that stem from their use as visual symbols, fictional characters, icons and/or as metaphors in works of art, mass media and marketing. Beginning with the exploration of the work of artists such as Durer, Muybridge's use of the animal body in pushing the limitations of photography, concepts of the Other in wildlife film and photography, the course then considers uses of nonhuman animals in contemporary media, the role of public perception, and nonhuman animals as entertainers/ment, in marketing and the making of mascots and icons. Throughout the course, students are asked to consider the ethical potential and the underlying meanings that nonhuman animals possess in artistic, marketing and mass media representations of human culture.

ANZ 516 Understanding Indifference and Animal Abuse 3 Credits

Exploration of the perspectives of the diverse group of stakeholders (from animal protection to human services) who are--or should be--involved in animal abuse prediction, prevention, and response. Application of psychological theories of both violence and indifference to the treatment of animals. Critical analysis of research on the link between animal abuse and other violent/deviant behaviors in children and adults. What best practices emerge from our findings? Where are the gaps in our knowledge, and where do media, laypeople, and even professionals misrepresent what we know? How can we cross disciplinary and agency barriers to include animal abuse in our coordinated community response to violence and to promote empathy as opposed to indifference?

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 517 Animal Protection as a Social Movement 3 Credits

This course looks at the animal protection movement as a broad social movement transforming social attitudes and human behavior around the globe. Accordingly, we consider international, historical and cultural developments in this course, as well as the relationship of animal protection movements to environmental protection.

ANZ 518 Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond 3 Credits

Exploration of studies of human-animal relationships from four subfields of psychology (social, biological, developmental, and cognitive). Evaluation of the claim that human-animal relationships benefit humans.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 520 Animal Nonprofits 1 Credit

Mini-course that addresses a wide range of issues arising out of the central role played by nonprofit organizations in contemporary animal protection efforts.

Offered: occasionally.

ANZ 522 Zoo Animal Exhibitry 1 Credit

Mini-course that allows students to critically examine the principles of zoo exhibitry and the effectiveness of zoos at addressing their stated missions.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

Offered: occasionally.

ANZ 524 Shelters, Rescues, & Pounds 3 Credits

This course will expose students to a variety of animal sheltering models. Students will assess the advantages and disadvantages inherent in each type of model and will evaluate a variety of shelter adoption policies. Students will also take an in-depth look at why so many animals are relinquished to shelters and at the programs some shelters have established to help keep pets in their homes. We will work together to investigate how various shelter models are implemented across the country (and world!) and the programs shelters have established to meet the needs of their community.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 525 Anthrozoological Perspectives on Zoos 3 Credits

Mini-course that focuses on the relationships between visitors and non-human animals in the zoo, keepers and non-human animals in the zoo, and the role of zoos in conservation, education, research, and recreation. Because human and non-human animals interact in complex ways in the zoo, the course takes advantage of the wide geographic distribution of students by establishing partners for group work that have access to different zoos. Students should expect to visit their local zoo (or any zoo) several times during the course.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

Offered: occasionally.

ANZ 526 Animal Welfare 3 Credits

This course explores the use of animal welfare science to assess and improve the welfare of nonhuman animals under human care. Examples discussed stem from a variety of settings including farms, zoos and aquaria, and shelters and companion animals. The emphasis of this course is on using the perspective of the individual nonhuman animal to recognize welfare problems and propose solutions.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 527 Human-Dog Interactions in Puerto Rico 1 Credit

Mini-course associated with field studies that examine various animal shelter and rescue models in Puerto Rico. Factors that contribute to the stray dog population on the island. The shelter and rescue models in place include sanctuaries in which animals remain for life, foster home networks. Trap-neuter-vaccinate-release programs that monitor and provision populations of dogs free-ranging on beaches. Service-learning opportunity via hands-on work in the shelter system.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

Offered: occasionally.

ANZ 528 Embracing Coexistence 1 Credit

Mini-course that offers a schematic overview of the history of ideas concerning humanity, the wilderness, and animals. Topics include art history, music, demography, human-animal conflict, bioethics, anthrozoological filmmaking, protected areas, reconciliation, animal rights and futurism.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 531 Cross-Cultural Anthrozoology 3 Credits

Critical evaluation of human-animal interactions from the perspectives of anthropology and anthrozoology. Symbolic, economic, ecological, and social consequences of human/non-human animal interaction in a variety of cross-cultural contexts. A global perspective is used to help students better understand world trends regarding modernization and its consequences to animals and their habitats. The concept of animal as mediated by culture, and how belief systems contribute to current animal, human, and environmental social problems.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 532 Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation 3 Credits

An examination of human relations with wildlife from a primarily psychological point of view, but borrowing from a wide range of disciplines such as ethology, biology, ecology, anthropology, cross-cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and education. Topics include human-wildlife conflicts, mediation, conservation education and outreach, as well as grassroots conservation efforts and activism.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 533 Child-Animal Studies 3 Credits

A critical, interdisciplinary examination of child-animal relationships across theoretical frameworks and in material practices. Emphasis is on the roles animals play in child development, children's cultures, and even in the social construction of 'childhood,' as well as the ways children impact and influence animals' material lives and constructions of 'animality.'

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 534 Animal Geographies 3 Credits

An interdisciplinary approach to the complex and meaningful ways in which humans and animals occupy both physical and theoretical 'spaces,' as well as place-based contexts of human-animal relationships. Emphasis given to features of actual lives, including animal subjectivities and geographical movements within individual and evolutionary time frames (zoogeography), and human impacts on animal bodies and landscapes through agriculture, domestication, captivity, hunting, resource extraction, urbanization, medicine, and technological innovation.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 538 Animals in Popular Culture 3 Credits

This course (which may be offered in a 1-credit or 3-credit form) looks at how the use and representation of animals in popular and mass-mediated culture--in genres like film and television, fiction, animation and comic books, art, and the Internet--shape and reveal cultural values. In addition, how animals are represented in popular culture in turn shapes how animals are treated in everyday society. By studying selected elements of popular culture, students will also look at how we understand and represent concepts like 'human,' 'nature,' and 'culture.'

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 539 Community Outreach Strategies for Generating Social Change 1 Credit

This course will allow students to explore social change methodology as it relates to animal welfare. Students will learn about organizations that advance the care of cats and dogs through effective engagement of community resources, exemplary customer service, and programs that ‘meet people where there are’ on their individual journey toward better relationships with animals. Students will be encouraged to identify stakeholders in various scenarios that involve animals and think about ways to overcome the challenges that people, organizations, and communities face when attempting to provide appropriate care for companion animals.

Offered: every spring.

ANZ 590 Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation 1 Credit

Graduate students who travel with an ABEC-sponsored undergraduate trip may petition the Program Director for 1 credit-hour for such a trip.

Prerequisites: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.

ANZ 599 Independent Study 2-6 Credits

This specialized one-on-one course allows the student to pursue in-depth study of a specific topic. While ANZ 599 is typically a 3-credit course, students may petition the Program Director to change the credit value to fewer than 3 or more than 3 credits. This option is reserved for advanced students who have successfully completed courses in the program.

Prerequisites: ANZ 501 and Permission of the instructor, program director, and associate dean.

ANZ 601 Anthrozoology Internship 3-9 Credits

Field and workplace experiential learning in variety of sites throughout the US and the world, including animal shelters, zoos, sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, therapy-focused work with animals, humane education organizations, and other settings. This course can count for as few as 3, or as many as 9, credits depending on the size and scope of the project.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.

ANZ 602 Independent Research: Quantitative 1-9 Credits

This capstone option is intended for students who would like to complete a 3-credit or 9-credit quantitative research project. Students who opt to enroll in ANZ 602 must write a research proposal and conduct independent research. The final product for ANZ 602 is a paper that reviews literature that provides the foundation for the student's research question, describes the methods the student employed, reports the study's results and provides an interpretation of the study's findings and contributions to the field of anthrozoology. Students completing the 9-credit option must submit a final paper that would be suitable for submission to a peer reviewed journal, and they must participate in an oral defense. ANZ 602 projects are typically survey-based but may also employ interviews, secondary data analysis, behavioral observation and/or experimental methods. Students opting to enroll in 9 credits of ANZ 602 typically complete their project over two semesters.

Prerequisite: ANZ 505.

ANZ 603 Independent Research: Qualitative 3-9 Credits

This capstone option is intended for students who would like to complete a 9-credit qualitative research project during the spring term. To qualify, students must have already completed 27 credits. Those who want to pursue this option should consult with Dr. Waldau ahead of time (in the fall term before this capstone begins) for purposes of preparing a Formal Research Proposal. The final product is a scholarly, publication-quality paper (defined as one which can qualify for submission to a peer reviewed journal) in the range of 60 pages or more. The paper must review literature, explore the research question(s) identified in the Formal Research Proposal, and explain in detail specific findings that qualify as a scholarly contribution to the field of anthrozoology. Students completing the 9-credit option must submit a final paper to two readers and then participate in an oral defense. This qualitative research project may be particularly beneficial for students planning to continue their graduate training in a doctoral or professional program.

Prerequisite: ANZ 501.