Anthrozoology (BA)

Starting in fall 2023, we will offer a new undergraduate major in anthrozoology. Check the 2023-24 catalog when available for details


Canisius College offers a unique undergraduate degree program in anthrozoology for students who are passionate about studying humanity’s relationships with other animal species. Throughout the program you will explore human-nonhuman interactions in a variety of contexts including the extraordinary relationships that exist between people and companion animals in shelters and in the home; the many ways that non-human animals are involved in therapeutic and educational settings; humans’ interactions with and attitudes toward wildlife; the roles of zoos and sanctuaries; policies and laws that impact nonhuman animals; humane education; and a wide range of environmental and conservation issues. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes a large variety of courses that provide a liberal arts foundation centered on human-animal relationships while enabling students to specialize in areas and skills that will be relevant to their ongoing studies or careers. 


Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in Anthrozoology.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.


Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a double major. This decision may be based on career goals, planned graduate studies, and/or other student interests. Before a student declares a double major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement.  In order to declare a double major, the student must complete the appropriate double major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean. 

Per college policy, each additional major requires a minimum of 15 credits that do not apply to the student's first or subsequent major.  Some double major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in other cases additional course work may be required. Please note that students will receive only one degree, regardless of the number of majors they complete. Both (all) majors appear on a student’s transcript.

Students who are double majoring in Anthrozoology and a discipline available only as a BS, may receive a BS in Anthrozoology.


Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. To receive a minor, the student must complete at least 9 credit hours of coursework distinct from their other credentials (i.e., majors, other minors). The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

Anthrozoology majors often choose to pursue one or more of the minors offered within the department.  Additionally, Anthrozoology majors interested in informal education should consider the education minor offered in the School of Education and Human Services.


Many elective courses involve travel, field work, and/or service. The department also offers numerous internship opportunities. Students are encouraged to participate in these experiences.


An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with a bachelor's degree with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum number of credits required for graduation. The number of credits required to complete a bachelor's degree may vary depending on the student's major(s) and minor(s).

Major Requirements

Anthrozoology Major Course Requirements 

ANZ 101Anthrozoology3
ABEC 101Introductory Animal Behavior I3
PHI 245Animal Ethics3
ANZ 400Anthrozoology capstone3
Anthrozoology Major Electives (24 credits as described below)24
Total Credits36

Major Electives 

Twenty four credits must derive from the following electives. Students must take a minimum of six credits (two courses) in each category. 

Historical Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations
Animals in the Ancient World
Animals in Film and Literature
Animals in Art
Religious Perspectives on Animals
Human - Animal Interactions6
Animal Welfare
Biocultural Diversity Conservation in Costa Rica
Equine Evolution and Behavior
Animal-Assisted Interventions
Animals, Public Policy, and the Law
Children and Animals
Skills 6
ABEC 217Connecting ABEC to the Wider World3
Animal Learning
and Animal Learning Lab
Applied Dog Behavior
and Applied dog behavior lab
Conservation Education
Animal Enrichment
Animal Cognition
Humane Education
6 credits of additional major electives (any of the above)6
Total Credits27


Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Courses 

ABEC 101ANZ 101
ENG 111ENG 112
RST 101PHI 101
ANZ elective Math elective
ANZ elective History Elective
ABEC 220
ABEC 332
PHI 245ANZ 315
RST 229ANZ 336
ANZ elective Natural Science Elective
ANZ electiveANZ elective
ANZ 335FAH 272
ANZ elective Social Sciences elective
ANZ elective ANZ elective
Free electiveFree elective
Free elective Free elective
ANZ 305ANZ 400
Free electiveFree elective
Free electiveFree elective
Free electiveFree elective
Free elective Free elective

Learning Goals & Objectives

Student Learning Goal 1

Students will conduct interdisciplinary analyses to examine the interactions between humans and nonhuman animals and of the roles of nonhuman animals in human societies.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Construct a written, evidence-based paper utilizing scholarly sources from multiple disciplines.
  • Objective B: Identify strengths and weaknesses in arguments regarding human and nonhuman animals.
  • Objective C: Critically evaluate the evolution of their own thoughts about interactions between human and nonhuman animals from matriculation to graduation.

Student Learning Goal 2

Students will demonstrate proficiency in skills that are employed in the service of human-animal relationships.

Students will:

Objective A: Deliver a presentation on a topic related to anthrozoology.
Objective B: Compose a written paper outlining the use of an appropriate strategy (research, educational, or intervention) for addressing an issue in human-animal relationships.


ANZ 101 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 humans have sorted animals, and a variety of science-based and value-based approaches to humans' inevitable intersection with other living beings.

Offered: every spring.

ANZ 305 Historical Perspectives on Human-Animal Relations 3 Credits

A survey of the history of human-animal relationships from prehistory to the modern day with a focus on domestication of livestock, evolving relationships with companion animals, human-wildlife relationships, and various social movements focused on animals and animal rights. This course will cover global movements, events, and trends in addition to significant events from American history and Western civilization.

Prerequisite: ANZ 101.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 315 Equine Evolution and Behavior 3 Credits

Introduction to the latest theories regarding how horses evolved and were domesticated, with a focus on contemporary research into horse behavior, learning, cooperation, and cognition. This course also explores the significance of human-horse relationships and partnerships in the past and in the modern day.

Prerequisite: ANZ 101.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 325 Animal-Assisted Interventions 3 Credits

This course examines the integration of non-human animals in various therapeutic and educational settings. Students will learn of the distinctions 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 101.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 333 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 101.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 335 Humane Education 3 Credits

This course addresses the inclusion of nonhuman animals, animal themes and human and other animal social justice issues within various educational contexts. Students will learn the history of humane education and its connections to the humane and anti-cruelty movements. This course will also focus on the basic building blocks of effective humane education lessons and its implementation across the lifespan, from children to adults.

Prerequisite: ANZ 101.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 336 Children and Animals 3 Credits

This course considers how animals play distinct roles in child development, children's cultures, and even in the social construction of 'childhood.' It draws upon psychology, ethology, ethics, cultural studies, education, and anthropology.

Restriction: juniors and seniors only.

Offered: every other year.

ANZ 400 Anthrozoology capstone 3 Credits

This anthrozoology major capstone will permit students to synthesize all that they have learned in the major. Students may choose from an internship, a research paper, or a culminating project, under the supervision of a faculty member.

Prerequisite: ANZ 101.

Offered: every spring.