Skip to Top Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Child petting a horse.

Prepare for a rewarding career in the growing field of animal-assisted therapy


Animal-Assisted Therapy

Bachelor of Science

Quick Facts

Total Credit Hours: 120-122
Time to Completion: 12-42 months*
Tuition: $398 per credit hour**


Animal-Assisted Therapy Degree

Bachelor of Science

At Husson University, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Animal-Assisted Therapy fully online and learn how to incorporate trained therapy animals into healthcare and therapeutic settings.

Through our animal-assisted therapy degree program, you’ll study the psychology and physiology behind the human-animal relationship and learn how to utilize domestic animals, such as dogs, cats and horses, to improve the physical and mental well-being of patients. You’ll also take foundational courses in animal behavior, human psychology, animal welfare and more to gain a comprehensive understanding of this field.

Earn your Bachelor of Science in Animal-Assisted Therapy online from Husson University and start your journey toward a rewarding career.

Prepare for a career in animal-assisted therapy

2023 Start Dates

Term 6        

July 3

Term 1

August 28

Term 2

October 23

Get Started Request Info


As a student in our B.S. in Animal-Assisted Therapy program, you can tailor your education by pursuing one of our many undergraduate certificates. One such certificate, the Certificate in Animal Training, allows you to continue developing your animal-focused knowledge and skillset while also enhancing your résumé for future employers and/or clients. While in this program, you can also earn digital badges, which certify your expertise in a professional subject area.

Request Info Apply Now

*Time to completion varies based on allowable transfer credits from any prior undergraduate coursework. **All rates subject to change. Please see Cost and Aid for more information.

Courses you will take:

animal-assisted-therapy-curriculum-image.jpgTo complete your online Bachelor of Science in Animal-Assisted Therapy degree, you will be required to earn at least 30 credits at Husson.  View the full curriculum below.* Reach out to us today if you'd like more information or if you'd like to speak to an enrollment advisor.

*Student’s curriculum will depend upon which credits are transferred.



AB 110 Human-Animal Bond (3 credits)
AB 201 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
AB 210 Emotional Support and Service Animals (3 credits)
AB 221 Animal Cognition (3 credits)
AB 301 Animal-Human Interactions (3 credits)
AB 310 Animal-Assisted Therapy (3 credits)
AB 410 Canine- and Feline- Interventions (3 credits)
AB 411 Equine-Assisted Interventions (3 credits)
AB 441 Animal Welfare (3 credits)
PY 232 Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
PY 431 Behavior Modification (3 credits)

HE 114 Husson Experience and Building Professional Skills (3 credits)
EH 105 College Writing (3 credits)
PY 111 General Psychology (3 credits)
PY 141 Human Growth and Development (3 credits)
AB 491 Animal Care and Behavior Capstone (3 credits)
Bridge Course with Sustainability Tag (3 credits)
Philosophical Elective (3 credits)
Math 1 Elective (3-4 credits)
Math 2 Elective (3 credits)
Lab Science Elective (SC/SL 191 recommended) (3-4 credits)
Historical Elective (3 credits)
Literature Elective (3 credits)
Fine Arts Elective (3 credits)
Humanities Elective (3 credits)
Foreign Culture or Conversation Elective (3 credits)
Perspectives Elective (3 credits)

AB 221 Animal Comparative Anatomy (3 credits)
AB 234 Animal Health and Nutrition (3 credits)
AB 333 Animal Disease (3 credits)
AB 334 Animal Breeding and Genetics (3 credits)
AB 341 Animal Care and Wellness (3 credits)
AB 401 Animal Training (3 credits)
PY 113 Ethics and Professional Conduct (3 credits)
PY 242 Research Methods (3 credits)
PY 447 Trauma and Resiliency (3 credits)
PY 450 Intro to Counseling and Psychotherapy (3 credits)

Student must complete 30 credits of open elective courses to graduate.

Why Husson Online

Start When You're Ready

Multiple start dates and no set class times or locations


Experiential Learning

Gain even more real-world experience


Personalized Academic Support

Reach your goals with our online support services


Accredited Programs

All of our programs meet standards for quality


Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be about 1,500 new job openings for recreational therapists each year from 2021 to 2031.

According to ZipRecruiter, the national median salary for a licensed therapist is $81,204.


The career opportunities for those in the animal-assisted therapy field can depend on one's level of education and range from occupational therapy and physical therapy to speech therapy and psychology.

Emily Kieson standing next to a horse.

Faculty Spotlight

Emily Kieson, Ph.D, MS, PgDip

Emily Kieson, Ph.D, MS, PgDip, serves as research director and educator at MiMer Centre, a Swedish-based nonprofit focused on education and research in equine-human interactions and horse welfare. Kieson's research focuses on equine behavioral psychology, equine welfare and horse-human interactions as they apply to both horse owners and equine-assisted activities and learning programs. She holds a doctorate degree in comparative psychology, master's degree in psychology, graduate degree in equine science and also holds multiple certifications in various models of equine-assisted activities. She currently serves as chair of the Equine Welfare Committee with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH). Her current research involves looking at equine affiliative behaviors to study how horses create and maintain social bonds and how those can overlap with human affiliative behaviors for application in management, horse ownership and equine-assisted activities. She also has a passion for supporting sustainable systems of horse management and husbandry that promote physical and psychological welfare of the horse while simultaneously supporting sustainable ecosystem practices on small and large scales (for both feral and domestic equids).

Your Career Begins Here

How to Apply

The admissions process breakdown



An affordable education to help you increase your earnings potential


Financial Aid

Explore ways to help cover the cost of your degree


Transfer Credit

Earn up to 90 credits toward your undergraduate degree


What is animal-assisted therapy?

Animal-assisted therapy is a specialized form of mental health care in which animals are used as part of the patient's individual treatment plan. Once considered a more holistic and alternative approach to health care, animal-assisted therapy is becoming more commonplace as practitioners and patients are beginning to see the astounding results of this type of treatment.


What do you learn in an animal-assisted therapy degree program?

In an animal-assisted therapy degree program, you will learn more about the unique relationship that exists between humans and animals. By studying the psychology of these interactions and uncovering the unique nature of the relationships between people and domestic animals, you will begin to understand how animals can play an integral role in any wellness program. Your coursework will cover a wide variety of topics, such as animal psychology and physiology, human psychology, animal behavior and more.


How do you become an animal-assisted therapist?

The best way to set yourself apart in this growing and competitive industry is to earn a bachelor's degree in animal-assisted therapy. This program is not available at every college and university, meaning that your degree from Husson University will stand out. In addition, you can customize your program by working toward a certificate or specialization, such as the Certificate in Animal Training.


Why is animal-assisted therapy important?

Animal-assisted therapy is poised to play an integral role in mental health care and wellness programs moving forward. Research continues to highlight the important role that animals can play in helping those seeking treatment for mental health disorders and physical conditions.


Is pet therapy the same as animal-assisted therapy?

Pet therapy is another phrase that is commonly used for animal-assisted therapy. Both pet therapy and animal-assisted therapy are treatment programs that incorporate animals into individual sessions to help patients achieve their goals. Pet therapy and animal-assisted therapy programs are structured treatment plans that outline specific milestones that patients should reach.

For more information

Phone and Email Address
Online Enrollment Counselor Online Enrollment Counselor

Peabody Hall
1 College Circle
Bangor, Maine 04401