MS in Animals and Public Policy

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For more information visit the Graduate Admissions page.

The MS in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) is an intensive, 12-to-16-month graduate degree program that focuses on human-animal relationships and their implications for policy and community action. While students enter the program with different interests, skills, philosophies, and aspirations, all share a passion for understanding human-animal relationships and promoting the status of animals in society.

In the Master of Science in Animal and Public Policy program, students will:

  • Gain exposure to a wide range of views on animals and their relationships with humans.
  • Learn to critically evaluate diverse expressions of policy views and empirical and theoretical research in:
    • Animal health and welfare
    • Human-animal relationships
    • Human-animal studies
    • Animal policy
  • Enhance communication skills needed to implement and advocate for effective policy.
  • Pursue individual interests through electives, externships, and research projects.
  • Choose between a research track and an applied track.

Making a Difference for Animals and the People Who Care About Them

Listen to faculty and alumni describe the unique experiences and opportunities in the MS in Animals and Public Policy program. Learn about how students have used their degree to change the world we live in.


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.


Core courses that examine the changing roles of animals in society, teach students how to effectively evaluate research and policy arguments, and polish communication skills.


Meet our M.S. in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidates


Meet our faculty and learn about their areas of expertise.


Read our alumni profiles to find out about the variety of options in our program.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of the MS in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program are well-positioned to advance careers in animal-related fields by continuing with graduate or professional education or securing jobs right after graduation. Entering MAPP students may be recent college graduates committed to a career helping animals, or established professionals who seek to open new career paths by deepening their understanding of human-animal relationships. MAPP graduates

  • Hold leadership positions in animal shelters and animal protection, conservation, and environmental advocacy organizations
  • Practice as clinical veterinarians, applied animal behaviorists, and animal law attorneys
  • Serve in government and as animal research compliance officers
  • Conduct research and educate students and the public about human-animal relationships

Center for Animals in Public Policy at Tufts

Center for Animals & Public Policy

The Center’s mission is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society.

Center for Animals and Public Policy


Students in the MS in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program develop research, analytical, and communication skills that empower them to promote the status and welfare of animals and deepen public understanding of the role of animals in society.

The program seeks students of diverse academic, career, and professional experiences who share an interest in human-animal relationships. Enrolling students may be looking to begin a career related to animals, chart a new direction or deepen their knowledge in their current careers, or pursue another advanced degree, such as the DVM, Law, or PhD.

Applicants must meet all application requirements and submit an online application for admission. Based on the recommendations of the MAPP admissions committee, applicants who show the most promise of excelling in the program are admitted.

Request More Information  Tuition & Fees


  • You must complete and submit the online application for admission and all required supporting documents by the required deadline. We encourage you to meet with our program director to find out more about the MAPP program and to help you determine whether the program is right for you. The MAPP program is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis until the class is full. Please contact the Admissions Office if you have any questions about the application process.

  • All applicants are required to take one year (two semesters) of college level biology. Applicants should contact the Office of Admissions if they have any questions about course work or meeting this prerequisite.

  • As of 2020, it is optional to submit GRE scores.

  • Typically eleven to sixteen students enroll in the MAPP Program each year.

  • Diversity is the hallmark of MAPP students. They come from a wide variety of educational, professional and life experiences. They have worked or volunteered in an array of venues including animal shelters, veterinary clinics, research laboratories, farms, marine parks, and non-profit environmental and animal welfare organizations. Some enter the program directly out of college, while others are returning to graduate school after years in the work force. Each of our students brings to the program personal and professional experiences that enrich us all.

  • Classes are generally scheduled Monday through Friday during the Fall and Spring semesters. Weekends typically are reserved for research and study, but special events (such as colloquiums and field trips) are occasionally held on those days as well.

  • The Center for Animals and Public Policy is located at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, Ma. Just an hour from Boston, the Cummings School's hospitals, barns, and research and teaching facilities sit on a 594-acre campus that comprises a lovely mosaic of crop fields, pastures and woods. The campus has easy access to the Massachusetts Turnpike, local highways and commuter rail. This makes getting to the center, as well as in and out of Boston, very convenient. The  Agnes Varis Campus Center is a welcome enhancement to student life.

  • Cummings School maintains a list of student housing options for current and incoming Tufts students. A username and password for searching the house listings can be obtained by emailing the summer housing coordinator at You can also check the online listings at the Worcester Telegram  or the Boston Globe.

  • Work study can be an excellent option for some. Work-study arrangements can be made by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

  • The orientation for MAPP students usually occurs during the last week of August. The orientation offers an opportunity to meet classmates, faculty and staff, and deals with important matters such as security ids, parking permits, library services and computer network configuration. Attendance is mandatory for all incoming students.



For additional information or questions about the MS in Animals and Public Policy program, please contact:

Center for Animals and Public Policy
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Phone: 508-839-7991

Office of Admissions
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
200 Westboro Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Phone: 508-839-7920