Members of the National Association of Animal Behaviorists have graduate degrees in disciplines such as animal behavior, psychology, biology, zoology, veterinary medicine, ethology, and related behavioral or social science fields. Graduate degrees (M.A., M.S., Ph.D., DVM, etc.) are required by the NAAB to ensure that the highest standards are met and the profession remains credible to veterinarians, pet professionals, pet families, and animal welfare and rescue professionals. Other membership criteria are also evaluated, such as supervised hours for new graduates and continuing education for active members.
Current Requirements for Membership
Student Member: Currently enrolled in a graduate program related to the field or in an internship or supervised animal behavior training program.
Professional Member: Graduate degree or Doctorate degree in related field and two years experience in animal behavior consulting.
There are a number of accredited universities and colleges in 47 states that offer graduate degrees in psychology, biology or related fields that can lead to a specialization in animal behavior. Many of these institutions offer courses in learning theory, research methods, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, and other relevant coursework in the study of animal behavior. There are also specific programs that offer a degree in animal behavior at the Masters or Ph.D. level.
The field of animal behavior now involves not only academic research in the lab, but highly trained behavior specialists who apply the science of animal behavior directly to animals in their natural habitats, in zoos, or in the homes of pet owners – wherever animals and humans share common interests. The previous focus over the last 4 decades on animal research is being used now more than ever for the betterment and protection of animals, both in wildlife and in our homes. As we continue to study animal behavior, we have come full circle and are now applying what we know about animals and humans to the pets and pet owners that make up such a large population in the United States.
If you are interested in membership, please complete a membership application. We welcome your inquiries and look forward to having you aboard.