Zoology has almost nothing to do with zoos, so put away your ideas of lion cages and monkey houses. We’re talking about some serious science here. Zoology is the study of animals, that is, every animal you can think of, from the sponge to the elephant. It doesn’t stop there, though, because not only do zoologists study everything from the single cell to the entire organism and population of any given animal, they also take into consideration the larger environmental conditions in which animals live. From the desert to the rain forest and ocean, zoologists study the interplay between life elements. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about animals but couldn’t find on the Discovery Channel. Here you can study the genetic evolution of the chimpanzee, or the conditions necessary to sustain the cheetah in its natural environment. Prepare yourself for a lot science, because—just like biology or chemistry—Zoology is dependant upon understanding the basic nuts and bolts of how life functions. The usual science courses are all here, so when you’re all done, you will find yourself prepared to enter a number of scientific fields, from medicine to environmental science.
Frequent trips to the zoo, while fun and the source of some great trivia, probably aren’t going to help too much here. Take chemistry, biology, and advanced math courses. If your high school offers more advanced courses (like biology II and chemistry II), take these as well. Volunteer at a veterinary hospital or animal shelter, and, of course, love animals.