When you declare a zoology major during graduate school or are interested in taking advanced courses in the field of zoology during your undergraduate studies, you will need to excel in several specialized zoology courses and related subjects. Zoology course programs typically consist of both experiential learning and classroom instruction, giving students a chance to work with different types of animals and insects in a lab setting, and also learn about different species, animal behaviors and interactions through lectures and study materials. Some experiential zoology courses cover several topics that are otherwise not covered in a classroom setting.

Zoology Course Programs

Many zoology colleges and universities break up their zoology course programs into several different levels. Lower-level courses are typically introductory courses in subjects including animal biology, introductory biology, human and animal relationships, extinction of species and medical entomology. Upper-level zoology courses typically have a research component and may include subjects such as general genetics, ecology of fish, neurobiology, animal development, human cytogenetics and cell biology.

The experiential component of zoology course programs typically includes field studies in a controlled animal habitat, onsite work at a forest, river or other outdoor habitat, lab work, and also requires the student to apply practical zoology concepts to their work.

Some zoology course programs include independent study components where students have the chance to explore and analyze different topics based on their own goals, objectives and methods of evaluation, and then submit the results of their study and conclusions to their instructor.

Types of Zoology Courses

From the in-depth study of insects and fish, to the general study of genetics and cell biology, students who declare a zoology major or are taking advanced courses in the field at the undergraduate level need to take a number of specialized course Many courses consist of 50 percent of lectures and 50 percent of labs work, but some are entirely lab-based or classroom based. Many schools now also offer the option for students to take zoology courses online.

Some of the most common types of zoology courses available at accredited colleges and universities around the country include:

  • Animal Biology
  • Introductory Biology
  • Heredity
  • Biology and Society
  • Introductory Ecology
  • Introduction to Entomology
  • Limnology
  • Conservation
  • Human and Animal Relationships
  • Parasitology
  • Extinction of Species
  • Medical Entomology
  • Endocrine Physiology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates
  • General Genetics
  • Animal Development
  • Plant and Insect Interactions
  • Ornithology
  • Neurobiology
  • Animal Structural Design
  • Insect Behavior
  • Ecosystem Analysis

Advanced zoologist course programs typically include seminars and interactive presentations on select topics related to today's industry. Many upper-level zoology course programs also include a research component where students must log in a certain number of hours in a lab or controlled-environment setting.

Taking Zoology Courses Online

As more college campuses adopt Internet-based technologies and applications for learning, it may be possible to take select zoology courses online. Online zoologist course programs give students some flexibility with their schedule and may make it easier for students who live far from campus to complete their coursework and credits at a faster rate.

While students aren't able to meet the lab requirements for certain zoology courses online, they can still complete classroom-based training by watching videos, completing online tutorials, attending web-based conferences or chats, participating in discussion groups and completing projects that require collaborating with other students from a distance.