All students in the M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program take core courses that examine the changing roles of animals in society, teach students how to effectively evaluate research and policy arguments, and polish their communication skills. Students follow either a "research track" or an "applied track" and pursue their own interests by choosing from a flexible menu of electives and completing an individualized capstone project.
Applied Track students acquire a strong understanding of animal issues and the communication skills needed to implement and advocate for practices that enrich human-animal relationships and improve the health and well-being of people and animals. The capstone exercise for students in the applied track is a three-month mentored externship. Students work closely with an organization involved in animal issues, and reflect on their experience by preparing a research paper and participating in other scholarly and reflective activities.
Research Track students acquire research skills, sensitivity to the political, social, and ethical issues that drive research into human-animal relationships, and a sophisticated understanding of how policy and science interact. Autumn and spring classes in research methods and statistics prepare them for their capstone exercise, an independent research project that focuses on an area of interest shared by MAPP core faculty or faculty fellows.