MA in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling | Admissions, TISS


Tata Institute of Social Sciences

PG Programmes

Programme Details

MA in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling

Location: Mumbai

School: School of Human Ecology

Intake: 20


The M.A. Applied Psychology (Clinical and Counselling Practice) program offered by the School of Human (SHE) focuses on building skills in counselling adults and children in clinical and non-clinical settings. Non-human interventions have not been the focus of the teaching programs offered by SHE, though the awareness about Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) has been there, and students have been placed for fieldwork and internship with AAT agencies. There is a growing interest in AAT with several private organizations in India running short term certification courses on AAT. So far, in India, there is no University approved program in AAT, even though multiple organizations without any university accreditations provide certifications in AAT. Needless to say, there exists no standards in curriculum, practice, ethics and delivery in most of these courses even though it involves critical handling of the clinical population of humans along with animals.


The present curriculum for the ‘One year M.A in Animal Assisted Therapy’ offered by SHE and Canines Can Care, Mumbai, is based on the needs of practitioners across the country, aligned with the National Education Policy 2020. The program has been designed with professionals in mind, offered in a hybrid mode to develop knowledge and skills, along with practice through supervised field work and case presentations, while continuing to meet individual life and work demands.

Course Duration:

1 year (2 semesters) 

Start Date:

June, 2023

Delivery Format: Blended (online and offline), offered across two semesters. The number of contact hours for field work and some other components of the program are compulsorily offline.


Program Objectives:

  • To develop a cadre of mental health professionals qualified as Animal Assisted Therapists grounded in a non-anthropocentric and balanced ecological relationship with animals.
  • To develop critical trauma-informed skills in animal assisted therapy in counselling
  • To enable learners to devise specific quality interventions for different settings and special populations
  • To acquire skills for basic obedience training of therapy animals
  • To develop skills for selection, rearing, training and ethical handling of service animals
  • To develop ethical standards of clinical practice in working with humans across the lifespan, with animals as co-therapists
  • To learn ways of caring for the AAT clinician and the service animal.
  • To conduct research in the field of AAT in counselling
  • To promote documentation of informed, ethical, evidence-based practices in AAT to enhance the knowledge base of AAT in counselling.

Distribution of Credit Hours:

Number of Credits: 43

Semesterwise Courses:


    MA in Animal Assisted Therapy in Counseling
 Semester  Sr No  Course Name  No of Credits


(Total Credits =23)


1  Foundations of Mental Health & Counseling 2
2 Foundations of AAT in Counseling (AAT-C) 2
3 Human development across lifespan 3
4 Animal welfare and ethical issues 2
5 Understanding Animal Psychology 2
6 Introduction to Microskills (Part I) 4
7 Basic skills for training animals 2
8 Aptitude training for therapy animals 2
9 Therapeutic frameworks for AAT-C Part I 2
10 Research Methodology  


(Total Credits =20)


11 Therapeutic Frameworks for AAT-C Part II 2
12 Advanced Microskills/ Part II 2
13 Ethical Issues in AAT-C 2
14 Self Care for the Therapists 2
15 Field Work 10
16 Research Project 2

Fee Structure:

Fee Structure: This is a self-financing program

Components AAT
Fees Sem I Sem II
FEE Tuition Fee 76,200 76,200
Examination Fee 1,000 1,000

Field Education / Internship / Experiential Learning Charges 55,000 75,000
IT Charges 2,000 2,000
Library Charges 1,000 1,000
Other Charges( ID Card, Convocation & Misc.) * 2,500 0
FUNDS Students' Competency Fund 0 0
Lab / Studio Fund 0 0
Development Fund 8,000 0
Students' Union Fund * 500 500
Alumni Fund * 0 500
Health Care Fund* 2,000 0
DEPOSITS Caution Deposits (Refundable at the time of exit from programme on submission of No Dues Certificate) 5,000 0
  Semester wise Course Fee 1,53,200 1,56,200
  Yearly Fees 3,09,400
  Total Course Fee 3,09,400
Institute reserves the right to revise the Fee Structure of programmes if necessary.
Expenses related to Practicum / Study tour / Rural field work / Urban field work/Winter Institute, if any, will have to be met by the students themselves at the time of the activity.
No fee concession is available for self-finanaced programmes.