The 10 Best Colleges for Zoology

6. SUNY College at Oswego (Oswego, NY)

SUNY Oswego
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Zoology students at SUNY Oswego have their choice of a wide variety of internship opportunities, study abroad initiatives, and research activities. Popular internship employers for students include the Buffalo Zoo, Detroit Zoo, Dolphin Quest, National Aquarium, and Wildlands Conservancy. 

There are also state-of-the-art facilities affiliated with the SUNY Oswego campus that provide ample options for research. Oswego’s Rice Creek Field Station is a 330-acre living laboratory that houses classrooms, telescopes, and hiking trails. The facility supports academic instruction, research, and public service in natural sciences and environmental education. Students can apply the skills they learn in the classroom to field-based or laboratory research projects.

Another popular research laboratory is the Shineman Center. Home to many advanced labs and a leader in sustainability, the facility shows the college’s dedication to STEM programs. Zoology students conduct research work alongside peers from many departments, encouraging interdisciplinary experiments.


5. Michigan State University (Lansing, MI)

Michigan State University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

At Michigan State, students can choose between integrative biology and zoology. Integrative biology provides a broader education with courses from other departments, whereas zoology students study classical subjects such as ecology, animal behavior, and marine biology.

Furthermore, students in the zoology program can choose one or more concentrations to modify their education independently. These concentrations include animal biology and neurobiology, ecology, evolution, and organismal biology, marine biology, and zoo and aquarium science. This setup allows students to tailor coursework to align with their professional interests and make them more competitive in the job market.

Using their specialized knowledge, alumni go on to work as animal caretakers, biology assistants, cytogenetic technicians, teachers, park naturalists, and museum managers.

Students in the College of Natural Science can also choose to pursue a dual degree and get their Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees within the same or different departments.


4. Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)

Ohio State University
photo via Wikimedia Commons

Students at Ohio State University experience biodiversity through study abroad options. The Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies program allows students to travel to Panama to conduct research on tropical biology. They gain exposure to diverse ecosystems, from underwater reefs to tropical rainforests. 

If students are interested in learning about the behavior and welfare of exotic animals in a variety of environmental habitats, they can visit South Africa. The classes take place primarily in field settings such as open range, sanctuaries, and zoos to learn about the relationship between wildlife and their environment.

Finally, zoology students can stay closer to home by taking summer courses on Ohio State’s “Island Campus.” Located on Lake Erie, Stone Laboratory is a biological field station that provides practical experience and helps students decide whether research is for them. The introductory and upper-level courses focus on hands-on learning about subjects from field ecology to animal biology.

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