If you are thinking of declaring a zoology major, you will need to work with your academic advisor to explore different educational tracks and zoology programs available at your school. Your advisor can share information about the program requirements, introductory and advanced zoology courses required, and any internship or field work needed to meet graduation requirements. Your counselor or advisor will also be able to share information about the different types of career options available for zoology majors in your state.

Declaring a Zoology Major

Most accredited colleges and universities that allow students to declare a zoology major only permit students who are at the graduate level to do so. You will need to first complete your undergraduate studies in science and related fields, and excel in natural science, biology, chemistry and other subjects. When you apply for graduate school, you will be able to take several specialized courses and elective that are directly related to zoology, animal science and research.

Some schools do allow students to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, however, and this means that students are able to take upper level courses during their junior and senior years. The general zoology major curriculum prepares students for graduate studies, as well as training for veterinary school and certain types of medical schools.

Students who choose to continue their education with a zoology major can also explore options for advanced degrees in a certain specialization. This may include wildlife and fisheries science, ecology, cell biology, marine science or work in the biomedical field.

Required Courses for Zoology Majors

Course and research hour requirements for zoology majors varies by school, but most zoology universities and colleges require students to take a series of introductory courses in the field of physics, advanced math, biology and chemistry.

Examples of required courses for zoology majors include:

  • Animal Diversity & Phylogeny
  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Ecology
  • Animal Behavior
  • Endocrinology
  • Comparative Nutrition
  • Functional Histology
  • Invertebrate Zoology
  • Cell Biology

Career Options for Zoology Majors

The field of zoology is fairly broad and zoology majors typically take both a series of classes that involve classroom, in-lab research projects and field studies. As a result, students develop a number of skills that can be valuable in a variety of career paths. Common skills developed in this major include: operation and understanding of different types of scientific equipment, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, technical skills, biology theory, practical knowledge, statistical awareness, and communication skills. Zoology majors can typically gain some work experience with a co-op, internship or even a summer job during the course of their education.

Common career options for zoology majors include:

  • Professional studies in the medical field
  • Research positions at a college or university
  • Research positions with government agencies
  • Positions with environmental assessment organizations
  • Positions at a zoo or as a zoologist
  • Positions with environmental impact firms

If you are interested in co-op opportunities as a zoology major, you will need to work with your college or university to find out which organizations, labs and medical centers in your area have been approved for a co-op program. In some cases, organizations that work with co-op students can offer a job or an internship upon graduation.