Animal Cruelty InvestigationOnline Graduate Certificate

Animal Abuse: The Gateway Crime That Leads to Human Abuse

The abuse of helpless animals is well established as a precursor to other forms of antisocial behaviors and criminal violence. The data shows that animal abusers are over five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people, four times more likely to commit property crimes, and three times more likely to have a record of drug offenses. In fact, interpersonal violence co-occurs with animal abuse over 70% of the time.

Our graduate certificate in Animal Cruelty Investigation is designed for those who wish to understand the link between cruelty to animals and violence against people. This certificate program will teach you to apply the principles of investigation and forensic science to cases of animal cruelty, helping to identify perpetrators, solve related cases of violent crimes, and possibly avert future offenses.

Learn from professors who are dedicated to your success.

Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their fields, bringing both deep professional experience and academic rigor to the classroom.

Required Courses
  • This course provides an introduction to the overlap between non-human animal cruelty and interpersonal violence. It explores the link between childhood animal abuse and subsequent adult violence along with theoretical explanations for this link. Animal cruelty in the context of intimate partner violence and child maltreatment are also examined.

  • This course will provide students with the information necessary to do a complete investigation into cases of animal cruelty, focusing on the crime scene, report writing, and the investigative steps necessary to establish a strong case against the individuals responsible for committing the crime.

  • This course will provide students with a thorough survey of the use of forensic science in animal cruelty investigations, including its application in veterinary forensics. The course will cover the major types of animal cruelty and the specific uses of forensic evidence to support an investigation in each type.

  • This is a directed, independent learning experience, the topic and format of which will be agreed upon by the student and supervising faculty.

Admissions Requirements

As this is a Graduate level certificate, applicants must hold a minimum of a Bachelors degree to apply. While it is encouraged that applicants have a Bachelors degree in a scientific discipline, all disciplines will be considered.

For application – a resume, transcripts of former degree(s), and a brief statement of purpose are required. The GRE and letters of recommendation are not required.

Tuition and Fees

Click here to view our most-updated graduate tuition and fees for each academic year.

For current members of the law enforcement community and operational casework laboratory personnel (private/state/federal), there is a 30% tuition discount available pending confirmation of current employment. Click here to learn more about our discount programs.

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From career assessments, networking, and job shadowing to on-campus interviews and salary negotiation, the Career Development Center provides the skills and connections to identify a meaningful career and an opportunity to pursue your passion.

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