New dual degree programs at Becker College

New dual degree programs at Becker College

Published on: January 18, 2019


The Becker College School of Animal Studies & Natural Sciences is offering several new dual degree options for students who want to work with animals — while also expanding their career options.

“My goal is to allow students to customize their academic degrees in a way that will open multiple doors for them,” said Julie Bailey, dean of Becker College’s School of Animal Studies & Natural Sciences.

Participants can earn an Associate’s Degree in Animal Care, plus a Bachelor’s Degree in either Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Forensic Science or Psychology, in the same amount of time as a Bachelor’s Degree alone.

Bailey noted that the idea of offering dual degrees came from students.

“I’ve had many students who were not going to go the medical track but who still wanted to work with animals,” Bailey said. “They told me that it would be wonderful to be able to do different things.”

She researched areas of student interest and focused on dual majors that had the most obvious career paths.

For example, for a student who earns an Associate’s Degree in Animal Care plus a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, career options include police patrol, working with K-9 units, mounted units (equine) or search & rescue.

Those who chose to earn an Associate’s Degree in Animal Care plus a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology could pursue careers in animal-assisted therapy, service animal pairing/placement, or veterinary social work or they could work in schools, hospitals, or corrections facilities.

A dual degree in Animal Care and Forensics (Criminalistics) could lead to a career in animal welfare/public policy, animal-related crime prevention/investigation, explosive detection and accelerants, or fisheries and wildlife.

And for those who earn an Associate’s Degree in Animal Care plus a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, career options include animal-related business ownership, boarding, training, in-home pet care, specialty pet merchandise, pet spa, veterinary sales, veterinary supplies, pet pharmaceuticals, animal nutrition, biotech management, non-profit shelter/rescue, and much more.

All students enrolled in Becker College’s School of Animal Studies & Natural Sciences are given the opportunity to complete externships that provide hands-on learning opportunities in their chosen field of study. Students at Becker have access to more than 350 different externship locations, including animal shelters, clinics, research facilities, and zoos.

In addition, at Becker College, students have opportunities to study in biology, chemistry, and hematology/parasitology laboratories. They can also gain real-life experiences at the  Lenfest Animal Health Center, a working small animal veterinary clinic that is used for student learning opportunities, and the Becker College Equestrian Center, which houses an array of horses for student learning and is home to the Becker Equestrian team.

“The animal care degree exposes students to a wide array of knowledge and experiences,” Bailey said. “By adding a dual major, they will be diversifying their resumes. It’s a unique opportunity that is not being offered anyplace else.”

The dual degree programs will be offered at Becker College starting in fall 2019. For more information, visit https://www.becker.edu/academic/academic-programs/animal-studies-natural-sciences/animal-care-and-new-dual-degree-options/.