Skip navigation

Aquarium and Zoo Science

A program built specifically to prepare students for careers in aquaria and zoos.

  • Why study Aquarium and Zoo Science?

    Contact Us to Learn More!

    Dr. Justin Merry
    Biology Chair 
    p. 814.472.3089
    Science Center 107
    jmerry@francis.edu

    Schedule a Visit

    Do you want to work in a zoo or aquarium?  Do you want to work behind the scenes caring for or training animals?  Do you want to educate visitors about biodiversity, conservation, and natural history? 

    The Aquarium and Zoo Science major is a B.A. degree with heavy emphasis in biology, animal husbandry, and psychology.  Students will have "hands-on" training in the program. We coordinate learning both with animals on campus and with a local wildlife facility. Coursework includes an emphasis on animal behavior, animal nutrition, biodiversity, and the psychology of learning.  The program is designed to specifically meet the needs and expectations of employers in aquariums and zoos. 

  • Use Technology to Study and Care For Animals

    Aquarium and Zoo Science majors have the opportunity to make use of technology in the aquarium.  Our 1,500-gallon aquarium is large enough for a single diver to enter, and students are involved in the operation of the large-scale filtration system needed to maintain it.  We also make use of a submersible security camera to monitor fishes in the aquarium.  These cameras are connected to a DVR system; recording and playback of fish behavior allows our students to diagnose abnormal behavior, which often is among the first manifestations of a health problem.  Finally, this camera, along with a special mask connected to a speaker system, allows our students to deliver presentations from directly inside the aquarium (read more on our use of cameras here).

    Aquarium and Zoo Degree Requirements
    • Aquarium and Zoo Science, B.A.

    See requirements: Visit the academic catalog and scroll to the School of Sciences to view degree requirements. 

    View the Aquarium & Zoo Science Paradigm [PDF]

    Career Options for Aquarium and Zoo Science Majors

    Career opportunities exist at nature centers and wildlife rehabilitation centers along with the many aquarium and zoos. Students can also seek employment with whale watch groups and others types of activities where animal knowledge and presentation abilities are utilized.

    • Student In Tank

      Aquarium Students Get New View with Submersible Cameras

      Students at Saint Francis University are using submersible cameras to track fish health and pursue new research opportunities.

      Learn More About These Cameras