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Bachelor's Degree Programs in Wildlife Conservation

A degree program in wildlife conservation trains you to analyze disappearing wetlands and the ecosystems of plant or animal species. Below is some information about bachelor's degrees in wildlife conservation, including sample classes and admissions requirements.

What Kind of Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Conservation Can I Earn?

Many schools offer a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology and conservation or wildlife ecology and management. Others offer a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in wildlife conservation. Online bachelor's degree programs in wildlife conservation are extremely rare; those programs that are available still require that extensive biology lab coursework be completed in person at a nearby site.

Degree Fields Wildlife ecology and conservation, wildlife management
Prerequisites Extensive background in science and mathematics
Common Courses Agriculture, biology, forestry, animal behavior, chemistry
Possible Careers Ecologist, forester, biologist, conservation policy advisor, land use planner
Median Salary (2020)$64,010 (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)
Job Outlook (2019-2029)5% growth (Conservation Scientists and Foresters)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Most programs suggest that you take at least three years of science, including biology and chemistry, in high school. It is also recommended that you take four years of math, including calculus. Some schools may grant you equivalency credit for high school calculus. You should also take several English or writing classes. You will be writing many reports and will be expected to communicate your findings clearly.

What Will I Study?

A number of courses will focus on biology, chemistry and agriculture. Topics may include soil, forestry, plant disease or animal behavior. You can also expect to take classes that explore wildlife management and conservation theories. These can examine topics like wetland and rangeland ecology and resource management. You may also learn how to deal with invasive plant and animal species.

There also will be opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Many school require you to complete some type of field work. You may spend several weeks to an entire semester working in a conservation management setting, wildlife sanctuary or research setting. Most schools also offer internships, though you may not be required to complete one. Some schools also have a study abroad program that allows you to work and study in nature preserves and animal reservations across the globe.

What Kinds of Careers Can I Pursue?

Many people with bachelor's degrees in wildlife conservation pursue work with federal, state and local government agencies. This can include employment as a forester, biologist or ecologist. Others work for private agencies. For example, you could work as a land use planner who consults with developers about how to best use land with minimal disruption to natural habitats. You might work in a hatchery for endangered species, helping ensure the species survives.

You can also pursue an advanced degree in wildlife and conservation or a related field like biology. Some graduates go on to veterinary medicine school. Others pursue law degrees for careers in environmental law or as conservation policy advisors.