Human-Animal Studies

The Field of Study

Human-Animal Studies (HAST) is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field devoted to examining and critically evaluating the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals: historical or contemporary, factual or fictional, real or symbolic, beneficial or detrimental. In exploring these relationships, we acquire a greater understanding of the ways in which animals figure in our lives and we in theirs. As our understanding of ecology and the fundamental interconnectedness of all living beings continues to grow, the importance of studying human-animal interactions becomes ever more evident.

All students with an interest in the interactions between humans and animals are encouraged to consider a Human-Animal Studies minor. This minor will have an especially practical use for students pursuing careers related to wild or domesticated animals in zoos, shelters, refuges, wildlife rehabilitation centers, laboratory science, veterinary medicine, conservation programs, or other settings.

The Minor

The minor in HAST consists of six (3 or 4 credit) courses: two foundational courses, three electives, and a practicum.

Foundational Courses

There are two required courses for the minor:

One of the following courses:

  • PHIL 212 Humans and Other Animals
  • PHIL 213 Animal Ethics and Policy
  • PHIl 211 Environmental Ethics


One of the following  courses:

  • BIOL 331 Ecology

  • BIOL 340 Conservation Biology

  • EVST 230 Biodiversity

  • EVST 305 Ecology for Environmental Scientists

  • BIOL 352 Animal Behavior

  • PSYC 350 Evolutionary Psychology