Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences
The Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences degree program and class schedule is specifically designed to allow students to participate in classes with minimal disruption to their employment and home life.
The mission of the Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences degree program is to advance the competencies and expand the vision of post-baccalaureate canine professionals and enthusiasts with the expectation that, as graduates, they will further evolve and develop human and canine businesses, enjoy expanded job opportunities, and mentor the relationship between humans, canines, and each other.
The program is designed to fuel students' thirst for more development in the theoretical and applied studies of human-canine relationships, expand their awareness of issues and concepts, enhance problem-solving abilities, and promote appreciation for the subject matter from a more knowledgeable context. The program focuses on the dog's usage and abilities to assist humans in differing capacities with the expectation that graduates will further evolve and develop this field. Students also study the human-dog relationship from legal, historical, and developmental points of view.
Visionary, futuristic, discovery-based canine scholarship is juxtaposed against cutting-edge science-based academic educational offerings preparing the student to help shepherd in the dog's future as they develop critical thinking skills, moral and ethical awareness, managerial competence, an international perspective and a momentum that will inspire them to contribute to the next rung in the human-canine evolutionary ladder. The unique relationship between human and dog has exploded into a billion dollar business. The partnership of individuals with disabilities and assistance dogs has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Each requires the expertise, the leadership abilities, the decision-making and problem-solving skills of these graduates to help guide it.
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The Master of Science in Human-Canine Life Sciences degree program is designed to accommodate the time constraints of the working professional while simultaneously providing an in-depth comprehensive graduate program. Students are expected to attend a two-week onsite session each semester where the semester credit hours of the three-unit courses (37.5 hours) and the semester credit hours of the one-unit courses (12.5 hours) are fulfilled.
Students may only enter the master’s program in the fall semester. The master’s program is comprised of 36 credits scheduled over four semesters. The semesters are comprised of 16 weeks each, with the summer semester comprised of 15 weeks. Students are not required to be on campus during the entire semester; instead they attend a two-week Master’s Session held onsite at Bergin College during each semester that fulfills each semester credit hour requirements and complete out of class work at home. Instructors provide immediate feedback while leading the onsite courses and will provide feedback regarding assignments and grades at the end of the semester via email and the College database. Assignment due dates and format are listed in the appropriate syllabus.
During the onsite sessions, students are required to participate in lectures and discussions with faculty who are prominent in the fields of canine research and the human-canine relationship. Students will receive reading assignments at the beginning of each semester to prepare them for the lectures, participate in remote classes, attend the two-week on campus session, then return home and continue their studies by completing assigned readings, research, and projects, as well as practicing the skills acquired in applied sessions. While at home, students are encouraged, and at times required, to communicate with instructors and each other and/or attend remote evening classes via Google G Suite, phone or email.
To provide qualified individuals the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the canine and its relationship to people beyond the norm, such that career opportunities are available in a multitude of endeavors: major corporate store management like PETCO or PetSmart; canine publishing like the AKC Gazette; authoring of books or short stories; development of new dog products; expansion of the use of dogs in canine recreation (agility, flyball); development of a canine scent detection program (diabetic alert dogs, agricultural pest detection); or enhancement of the quality of current professional roles. This program merges human and canine studies so that graduates can incorporate dogs into careers such as teaching, psychology, social work, nursing, etc. Research has shown that adding dogs in these types of fields increases positive outcomes. Due to the in-depth understanding of dog psychology, emotionality and sociology, and the easy transference of this knowledge from canine to human, graduates are able to better understand human personalities and responses making them better suited for current or prospective careers working with people;
To expand the theoretical and practical applications of human and canine learning theories, development, and behavior beyond that learned in undergraduate studies to explore human-canine recreation and working activities and service, guide, hearing, and other assistance dog roles;
To encourage the use, design, and implementation of research into human-canine relationships and activities and assistance dog potentials.
Master students train Bergin College dogs during each two-week onsite session. Students do not bring their own dogs to the on-site Master’s Sessions. When a student returns home after the session, a student must have access to a dog in order to continue dog training at home each semester. The dog the student trains at home may be the student’s dog or a dog from another source. The College does not provide dogs for students to take home with them.
This Master's degree requires 30 Master's credits (500 level courses).
LIF 505 The Emotional Lives of Dogs and Other Animals (3 credits)
LIF 510A, B, C Introduction to Scholarly Inquiry and Research Methodology (1 credit per trimester = total 3 credits)
LIF 515 Human-Canine Cognition and Communication Compared (3 credits)
LIF 520 Ethical, Moral and Legal Perspectives of Canine Training, Use and Ownership (3 credits)
LIF 535 Evolution and Innovations of Dog-Human Partnerships (3 credits)
LIF 540A Application of Psychology to Theories of Canine and Human Learning (1 credit: .5 lec, .5 lab)
LIF 540B Application of Psychology to Theories of Canine and Human Learning (1 credit: .5 lec, .5 lab)
LIF 540C Application of Psychology to Theories of Canine and Human Learning (3 credits)
LIF 540D Application of Psychology to Theories of Canine and Human Learning (1 credit: .5 lec, .5 lab)
LIF 567 Genetics (3 credits)
LIF 570A, B, C Advances in Canine Health and Well-Being (1 credit per session = total 3 credits)
LIF 575 Opportunity, Analysis and Innovation in Business (3 credits)
LIF 580 Canine Behavioral Problems: Symptoms and Treatments (3 credits)
LIF 592A Canine Life Sciences Capstone (1 credit)
LIF 592B Canine Life Sciences Capstone (2 credits)
Note: The LIF 510, LIF 540, and LIF 570 course curricula are sequenced over the three trimesters in one-credit increments.
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The career paths available to graduates earning a Master of Science in Canine Life Science include:
...a student could not have asked for a better lineup of professors to teach the classes required for a degree. ~Jeremy R
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