Animal Behavior Institute's Animal Assisted Therapy Certificate Program
Animal Assisted Therapy

ABI 117  R

Working with People and Animals

ABI 211  R

Animal Assisted Interventions

ABI 232  R

The Human-Animal Bond

ABI 233  R

Animal Training

ABI 238  E

Therapy Dog Training

ABI 251  E

Behavior & Training of Marine Mammals

ABI 261  E

Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies

ABI 271  E

Canine Behavior & Enrichment

ABI 272  E

Feline Behavior & Enrichment

ABI 331  E

Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach

R = required    E = elective

Animal Assisted Therapy

Certificate Program (15 credits)

Do you want to share your love of animals with others, bringing the unique benefits of human-animal interaction into the lives of those that need it most? Do you want an education that spans the breadth of animal assisted therapy, education and activities (AAT/E/A)? Our comprehensive program will give you the skills you need to participate in an existing program or to get started building your own. Our Certificate in Animal Assisted Therapy will help you to:

  • Work with animals in an educational or therapeutic setting
  • Correctly interpret human and animal body language
  • Train dogs and other animals to work safely in the AAT environment
  • Understand animal cognition and emotions
  • Build safe & effective programs
  • Anticipate and resolve potential problems
  • Understand the legal and ethical issues
  • Work with a variety of personality types
  • Create animal enrichment programs
  • And much, much more!

The Animal Assisted Therapy certificate requires the completion of five online courses (15 academic credits) and a field requirement consisting of 40 hours of hands-on experience as an employee, intern or volunteer at an approved institution of your choice. The required courses for this certificate program are:

  1. ABI 117  Working with People and Animals
  2. ABI 211  Animal Assisted Interventions
  3. ABI 232  The Human-Animal Bond
  4. ABI 233  Animal Training 

You will also select one elective from the following:

  1. ABI 238  Therapy Dog Training
  2. ABI 251  Behavior & Training of Marine Mammals
  3. ABI 261  Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies
  4. ABI 271  Canine Behavior & Enrichment
  5. ABI 272  Feline Behavior & Enrichment
  6. ABI 331  Animal Behavior: An Evolutionary Approach

Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CAATP, Certified Animal Assisted Therapy Professional. Many of our graduates start their own programs after completing their certificate, working as independent contractors. Others may incorporate their training into positions as therapists, counselors, teachers, social workers, special education instructors, nurses, nurses’ aides, program managers and more. The outlook for professionals employing Animal Assisted Therapy is extremely positive. Therapy and therapy assistant positions are projected to grow much faster than average for the next decade, by over 27%.* Opportunities in Animal Assisted Therapy & Activities have never been greater!

Our program in Animal Assisted Therapy is unlike any other distance education program. Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. Students receive feedback each week, working on collaborative projects while training their own animals. This allows them to achieve a deeper level of understanding than they would develop on their own. This collaboration, coupled with the mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that they receive a very personal education.

Tuition is $1,320 per course. The cost of the certificate program is $6,600 (this does not include the cost of textbooks, purchased separately). Tuition assistance is available via interest-free financing.  If you have questions on the program, or need help getting started, please contact us at (866) 755-0448 or via email at [email protected].

*U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

Learn more about Careers in Animal Assisted Therapy, Education and Activities.

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