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Animal Behavior, PhD

Animal Behavior, PhD

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Animal Behavior, PhD

Anthropology, Complex Behavior, Honeybees, Metabolism, Physiology, Reproduction, Social Insects, Vertebrates, veterinary

This interdisciplinary animal behavior program --- one of the few in the world --- encompasses several areas, and coursework includes field- and lab-based research and student-driven seminars covering emerging science. If you want to create an integrative research niche in animal behavior, this program is ideal.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: PHD  Animal Behavior

The PhD program in animal behavior is a transdisciplinary graduate degree program that provides doctoral-level training in mechanistic and functional approaches to understanding behavior in a variety of animal taxa.

The study of behavior is at the interface of several scientific disciplines, including physiology, anatomy, neuroscience, ecology and evolution. This program offers the diverse but specialized array of skills and knowledge needed to produce excellent research in animal behavior.

Students gain knowledge and skills with applied scientific value in areas such as veterinary science and mental and behavioral health in humans. The ecological focus of the program feeds into local, state and global priorities in biological conservation and ecosystem sustainability.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

84 credit hours, a oral and written exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (8 credit hours)
ANB 601 Research Strategies in Animal Behavior (4)
ANB 602 Current Issues in Animal Behavior (4)

Electives or Research (64 credit hours)
The department and the student's advisor determine these courses in conjunction with the student.

Culminating Experience (12 credit hours)
dissertation (12)

Additional Curriculum Information
Core courses ANB 601 and ANB 602 are one credit hour courses, each taken four times.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in a related discipline, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. graduate admissions application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. academic record form
  4. personal statement
  5. curriculum vitae or resume
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

Career Opportunities

A doctorate in animal behavior provides strong preparation for academic careers at every level, from community colleges to research universities. The skills and knowledge obtained in this program are also valuable for government careers in federal and state agencies responsible for wildlife management and conservation, and for conservation-related careers in nongovernmental organizations.

Career examples include:

  • animal scientist
  • biology professor
  • conservation biologist
  • postsecondary biology teacher
  • wildlife biologist
Contact Information

School of Life Sciences | LSA 181 | 480-965-1768

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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