CFAES Give Today

Department of Animal Sciences


Companion Animals

Companion animals play a significant role in our lives. They serve as companions aiding in loneliness, provide us with unconditional love and acceptance, and serve as catalysts for social interaction. They provide health benefits, helping to improve our moods and mental states. Dogs, in particular, help aid those with disabilities or serve as police dogs. The pet industry hires individuals who are not only passionate and knowledgeable about animals but also creative and who understand small animal biology, physiology, nutrition, health, and management.

Interested in Exotics?

Through our departmental industry network, there are many opportunities to work with exotic animals and marine life through internship and research opportunities at zoos, wildlife centers, and aquariums. Each year our students complete education and enrichment internships as well as animal behavior research in zoos across the country. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which is ranked as the number one zoo in the country, employs students from our department during the academic year and summer months to gain experience. However, students shouldn’t limit themselves to local opportunities…for instance, one student assisted in a Great White shark research project off the coast of South Africa.

Career Opportunities

  • Animal Behaviorist
  • Animal Trainer
  • Animal Shelter Manager
  • Animal Assisted Therapy Coordinator
  • Wildlife Management
  • Pet Services
  • Animal Welfare Officer

Major Options and 4-year Plans

Your interests in the area of companion animals may fit under any of the three available Majors. Click here to investigate the options and plans.


The courses you will take will teach you about animal anatomy and physiology, health, nutrition, genetics, and behavior. You will learn about the bond between human and animals, and you will have the opportunity to spend time learning about animal behavior with world-renown animal behaviorist Peter Neville ( from the United Kingdom. Guest speakers from, for example, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), PAWS, and USDA Wildlife Services are just a few of the groups that come into the classroom to provide hands-on opportunities working with animals and animal demonstrations or to discuss their careers.

Club Area-Specific Opportunities (click here for more clubs)

  • Paws for a Cause