Do you dream of a life at the zoo? DelVal is one of a handful of universities in the country to offer a degree in zoo science. Drawing on our superb faculty, 1,000-acre living classroom, and close partnerships with five zoo/aquarium/natural sciences institutions, we can give you an in-depth, hands-on education you need to be a zoo professional.


DelVal is one of only three four-year programs in the country that offer a zoo science degree, and maintains partnerships with local institutions to provide internships in animal care and public education. The zoo science major focuses on zoo and aquarium management and captive wildlife conservation. You will learn the aspects of zoo science and conservation, including husbandry, handling techniques, nutrition, disease, behavior, training and management, exhibit design, small population management, and personnel and facility management skills.

You’ll receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on learning, with more than 1,000-acres of land used in several courses as a living classroom. We have an on-campus colony of Allegheny woodrats, two small animal science labs and strong relationships with five partner zoos, aquariums and museums within the surrounding area. You’ll also receive training in the ZIMS, an animal record-keeping system.

In addition to the wide selection of animal science courses and zoo science-specific classes, you will complete an animal care internship and a public education internship at one of the University's five partner institutions, which include:

  • New Jersey's Adventure Aquarium
  • Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Philadelphia Zoo
  • Elmwood Park Zoo
  • Lehigh Valley Zoo
100%
real-world experience
A student holds a lion cub
four students walking under trees on the DelVal campus
$26,420
average cost for freshmen in 2019
13:1
student to faculty ratio
college students in a classroom

Meet Reg Hoyt, Associate Professor and Department Co-Chair

DelVal Voices Video Series
ZOO SCIENCE AT-A-GLANCE

Not only do students pursuing a zoo science degree receive comprehensive in-depth classroom instruction, you will have real-world hands-on experience  through your required internships. This kind of education and experience prepares you to successfully pursue a career as a zoo or aquarium professional or in public education. You may also choose to further your education at graduate school or veterinary school.

Core Courses

  • Introduction to Zoo Science
  • Wild Animals in Captivity
  • Animal Training and Enrichment
  • Animal Behavior
  • Ecology
  • Wildlife Nutrition
  • Wildlife Health and Disease
  • Zoo Record Keeping Systems
  • Mammalogy
  • Ornithology
  • Herpetology
  • Aquatic Animal Science

Course Sequence

Recommended Minors

  • Education
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Writing
A photo of a student feeding a tiger in a zoo.
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The Experience360 Program for zoo science gives you the opportunity to apply classroom lessons to real-world activities. You will complete two internships at a zoo, aquarium or museum in the area. 

Career Paths

DelVal's comprehensive in-depth classroom instruction, combined with the real-world hands-on experience you will have, will prepare you for a number of career options.

  • Work as a zoo or aquarium professional
  • Work in wildlife rehabilitation
  • Attend veterinary school or graduate school
A female student holding an animal at a zoo
Student Clubs and Organizations
American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK)

Learn about animal care through different means such as zoos, aquariums, conservation, and research!

Three students birdwatching with binoculars
Student Clubs and Organizations
Wildlife Society (TWS)

Explore wildlife conservation issues and careers through our student chapter of this national professional organization!

A young woman plays with two dogs
Student Clubs and Organizations
Animal Lifeline Club

Help animal shelters while making new friends!

Contact
Reg Hoyt, Associate Professor and Department Co-Chair
College-aged student working at the Elmwood Park Zoo with a Bald Eagle
College-aged student holding a koala
College-age student standing in from of 2 elephants at a sanctuary