Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Due to the upcoming end of the partnership with the Oregon Zoo next year, the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals degree program at Portland Community College has been officially suspended. We will continue to offer the classes needed to complete degrees for our currently enrolled students through June of 2017. Please contact Joyce Kaplan or Laura Harris for recommended regional educational options in the field of animal management.

Program Admission

Thank you for your interest in the PCC Biology and Management of Zoo Animals program. The advising guide and application packet contains the information and forms you will need to complete the application for admission to the program. 

Program Eligibility

woman feeding baby cougar

All applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for program application and selection:

  1. Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate (required by June if all other prerequisites met for dual-enrolled students).
  2. Complete the prerequisites listed in the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals Program Advising Guide before the application deadline.
Experience Requirement

In addition to course prerequisites, applicants are expected to spend significant time investigating this career field prior to applying and interviewing for selection to the program. This includes documentation using the Animal Care Experience Form in the application packet of a minimum of 20 hours of direct animal care experience in a professional environment (eg. volunteer or paid animal care in an animal shelter, kennel, stables, clinic, research center, wildlife rehabilitation center, or zoo) to qualify for admissions consideration. Additional hours and experiences beyond the minimum to apply should be documented for discretionary admission points in the scoring process. Animal care experience hours must be verified by the applicant’s supervisor or a manager or HR representative. Only hours completed by the date the form was signed will be considered. All animal care experience forms must be submitted with the application materials by the application deadline for the applicant to receive points.

Criminal Background Check

Applicants are advised that if selected into the Biology and Management of Zoo Animals Program, they must successfully pass two criminal background checks (for the zoo and the primate center) prior to final admission. More information concerning this process is available by individual contact with the program's office, Building 7 Room 202, Rock Creek campus.


For the 2015-2017 PCC Biology and Management of Zoo Animals Program application, first-time applicants to the program must submit official, sealed transcripts (other than PCC transcripts) with their program application to the BMZA Office, even if previously submitted to PCC. Transcripts submitted to the BMZA Office separate from the application will not be accepted. Application materials submitted or postmarked after April 15, 2015 at 5pm will not be considered and will render your application ineligible. Other PCC departments, including Student Records, will not be able accept BMZA application transcripts. Students only need to submit transcripts from institutions where a prerequisite course, previous degree, or other coursework pertaining to the application, was completed.

When applying, please submit the following items:

  • PCC admissions application directly to the PCC admissions office
  • Official, sealed transcripts from every college attended other than PCC directly to the PCC Student Records Office, and complete the online Transcript Evaluation process
  • Biology and Management of Zoo Animals application form along with:
    1. Animal Care Documentation Form(s)
    2. Copies of all official transcripts
    3. One page, single spaced, typed essay responses to the supplemental essay questions
    4. Letter of recommendation from an animal care manager (optional)

Submit to:

BMZA Admissions – RC 7/202
Portland Community College
17705 NW Springville Road
Portland, OR 97229

Important Notice for all Potential BMZA Applicants

After initial review of science prerequisite grades, overall GPA, previous college experience, direct animal care experience in professional environments, applicant essays, and letters of recommendation, the top students will be invited to the interview portion of the selection process.

Students selected to interview will be notified and have a date and time set up for their interview (special arrangements are made for Skype interviews for out-of-state applicants) in May, 2015. Final selection takes place by the end of May and admission status letters are generally mailed during the first week of June.

If you have questions regarding the selection process, please download a copy of the Advising Guide.