Masters in Zoology | Top Universities, Eligibility (2019)

Fascinated with wildlife? Are you passionate about studying and observing animals in their natural habitat? A Masters in Zoology can help you get that exposure that you have been looking for. Opt for the masters degree to understand more about the growth, evolution and behavioural patterns of animals in the wild. Read more on top universities, program eligibility, job scope and career prospects in this field.

Zoology

Zoology is the branch of biology that talks about the study of the animal kingdom. This includes the structure, embryology, classification, habits, and also the distribution of all sorts of animals. This consists of both living and extinct animals and also about their interaction with the ecosystems.

History of Zoology

Aristotle is regarded as the father of zoology and biology. The history of zoology traces back the study of the animal kingdom from ancient to modern times. The concept of zoological sciences emerged from natural history owing to the contribution of biological works of Aristotle and Galen during the ancient Greco-Roman world.

This work during the ancient times was furthermore developed in the era of the Middle Ages by several Muslim physicians and scholars like Albertus Magnus. During the European Renaissance period and also during the early modern period, zoological thought was revolutionized in Europe. Naturalists like Carl Linnaeus and Buffon started to classify the diversity of life and even the fossil record, and the development and behavior of organisms.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, zoology became a professional, scientific discipline. Explorer-naturalists, like Alexander von Humboldt, explored the interaction between organisms and their environment. It also talks about the relationship that depends on geography. The developments in the field of cell theory, the mutability of species, extinction, embryology, and paleontology, were initially synthesized in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Importance of Zoology

Zoology adds crucial information to the world about our natural surroundings and also about the habitat of various kind of creatures. A zoologist examines the survival process and the lifestyle of animals to create a pleasant atmosphere for their recovery and population growth. The study of animals provides valuable insights as to how life works.

Especially higher mammals offer useful insights into the human world. Many of the Zoologists are also directly involved with the conservation of endangered species. The maintenance of biodiversity is regarded by most of the people to be crucial for our survival.

Different Branches of Zoology

The various departments of zoology include:

  • Entomology, the study of insects.
  • Ichthyology, the study of fish.
  • Ornithology, the study of birds.
  • Herpetology, or the study of reptiles and amphibians.
  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Zymology / Enzymology- Study of domestic animals
  • Sericulture Rearing of silkworms
  • Pisciculture Culturing of fishes

Different types of zoologists

Considering the fact that 1.3 million species have been identified to date, there is no surprise to the fact that zoology is a broad field. With practitioners varying from bacteriologists to wildlife biologists, there are different types of zoologists which are as follows:

Specialist Zoologists

Most of the zoologists specialize in a particular type of animal. Some of the common zoologists’ examples include ornithologists, mammologists, entomologists, and ichthyologists. Specialist zoologists have earned master’s degrees, and many have also earned doctorates in zoology which include original research based on the specialties.

Ecologists

Ecologists study the relationships among different kinds of organisms and also the surrounding environment. Instead of focusing on one type of animal, ecologists study the ecosystems usually. The two different types of ecologists are grasslands or a forest ecologist.

Wildlife Biologists

Wildlife biologists choose a research career which means they spend a reasonable amount of time in the lab and also in the field. Some wildlife biologists prefer working in conservation, ecology or wildlife education, while some prefer to work in academia. Some of the biologists are also employed by government agencies like the US Forest Service.

Marine biologists

Marine biologists study organisms in living in saltwater environments like oceans, tides, or salt marshes. It has been seen that scientists know very less about marine life than they know about terrestrial life owing to the difficulties in researching underwater. So, marine biologists work to get involved in research projects which can be anything from observing whale migration patterns to filming a sea squid in the deep sea.

What can you do with a masters degree in zoology?

A zoology graduates can choose to go for the Ph.D. level to practice in a particular area of interest within this field. For example, you can wish to opt to study further conservation biology, ecology, and management of the natural environment, ecology and environmental sustainability,

Some choose to pursue further study in an entirely different domain. Many postgraduate courses are open to graduates with a degree in any subject.
You may also opt to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or even a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in Scotland, to prepare yourself for a career teaching biology or general science.

Prerequisites for an MS in Zoology

The requirements for an MS in Zoology are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology-related fields is a must-have to pursue this program. Zoology should be one of the majors for your bachelor’s degree.
  • IELTS and TOEFL scores are required for language proficiency tests.
  • Work experience can be an added advantage for some universities.
  • GRE scores are also required for some specific universities in the US. Have a look at the university website to know more.
  • Statement of Purpose: Letter of motivation or Statement of Purpose talks about your academic and professional journey. It also talks about what motivated you to take up this course.
  • LOR: Letter of Recommendation that talks about your achievements in your professional life as well during your academic journey.
  • Resume: Your resume should speak about your grades, training, certifications, internships, and also your achievements.
    Subjects you can expect to study in an MS in Zoology program

Topics you can study in an MS in Zoology program are as follows:

  • Physiology
  • Neurobiology
  • Cell biology and development
  • Aquarium management
  • Anatomy
  • Genetics
  • Animal behavior
  • Biology
  • Ecology and evolution.

Top universities for an MS in Zoology

US

University of California
University of Wisconsin
Miami University
Colorado State University
Texas A&M University
Michigan State University
Ohio State University
North Carolina State University

UK

University of Cambridge
University of Oxford
Imperial College London
University College London
Stockholm University
University of Basel
University of Bristol
Queen Mary University of London
University of Exeter

Australia

The University of Western Australia
The University of New England
James Cook University
Western Sydney University
Monash University
Deakin University
The University of Melbourne
Deakin College

Canada

University of Saskatchewan
University of Guelph
McGill University
The University of British Columbia

Germany

RWTH Achen Germany
Humboldt University Of Berlin

Sweden

University of Gothenburg
Linkoping University
Stockholm University
Lund University

New Zealand

Massey University
University of Otago

Scope for Zoologists

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for zoologists was expected to increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022. The median annual salary as of May 2012 for zoologists was $57,710. During the same month, veterinarians earned a median wage of $84,460, while animal trainers made a yearly median salary of $25,270. Biological postsecondary instructors, including zoology teachers, made a median income of $74,180 per year.

Employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists is predicted to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, which is as fast as the average for all the occupations. More of zoologists and wildlife biologists will be needed to study human, and wildlife interactions as the human population will grow.

This development will impact wildlife and their natural habitats, countries like the UK. US, Australia, and New Zealand are the countries offering the best of zoology courses and ample job opportunities for you to explore.

What kind of work can zoologists expect to do?

Types of work

As a zoologist, you can work in a range of areas which include:

  • conservation of endangered species, habitats
  • controlling pests and diseases
  • animal education and welfare
  • improving livestock crops in agriculture
  • teaching and research
  • drug development and testing

Job Responsibilities

As a zoologist, you’ll need to:

  • study animals in their natural environment or when they are in a captivated stage
  • collect, store and prepare specimens for analysis
  • conduct laboratory research and field research
  • manage large data sets and make use of statistical software packages
  • manage animal care, movement, and enclosures
  • identify, record and monitor species of animals
  • write scientific reports and issue recommendations
  • restore and release animals back into their natural environment
  • Keeping updated with relevant research, policies, and legislation
  • Supervise volunteers or assistants.
  • use modeling software to predict future scenarios, like changes in habitats or population numbers
  • Identify, monitor and also address invasive species and other sorts of threats
  • use software or tools like geographical information systems (GIS), terrestrial locomotor activity monitoring systems, global positioning systems (GPS), sonography, and also video recorders
  • teach infield or in different research centers
  • educate members of the public, which include children or adults
  • Usually, as a zoologist, day-to-day tasks and activities will primarily be based on your job.

Jobs are available for an MS in Zoology

The different types of jobs that you can opt for with a masters degree in zoology are as follows:

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Ecologist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Field trials officer
  • Marine scientist
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Physician associate
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Zookeeper
  • Zoologist

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

  • Animal physiotherapist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Environmental education officer
  • Environmental manager
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Marine biologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinary nurse
  • Dangers involved as part of the job as a zoologist
  • Animal Attacks

If zoologists are in the wild, far from human interaction, they can die due to lack of emergency medical aid. Even small disturbances in the natural environment might cause some animals to feel threatened.

Injuries

While performing their jobs, zoologists travel to untamed areas, both on land and water. This can put them at risk of suffering injuries which are not caused by animal attacks. For example, if zoologists are studying animals that live in mountain areas, they can slip and fall off sliding rocks. Their equipment can also stop working, which causes them to endure injuries that are not caused by animals.

Diseases

Poisonous plants and diseased animals can present dangers for zoologists. Inappropriate handling of infected animal blood can cause sickness in zoologists who are working in laboratories. For example, Zoologists might unintentionally consume poisonous plants and become ill.

Environmental Hazards

Extreme temperatures can also be a reason for zoologists having dehydration or even hypothermia. Other environmental hazards also include food or clean water shortages, especially when zoologists enter any unknown terrain. Zoologists who spend a lot of time away from their families can also experience emotional and psychological discomfort.

Sectors in which Zoologists Work

Typical employers

An array of jobs are available with a varied range of organizations in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Some of the common employers include:

  • zoos or wildlife parks and environmental protection agencies
  • environmental consultancies
  • medical research establishments and also the National Health Service
  • schools, colleges, science centers, libraries, and museums
  • ecological and animal charities
  • government agencies and research institutions
  • universities and research institutes
  • aquaculture and animal nutrition companies
  • chemical, pharmaceutical, and petroleum companies

Highest Paying Jobs for zoologists

  • Wildlife Forensic Scientist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Zoology teacher
  • Zoology assistant
  • Field assistant
  • Veterinary technician assistant