Fisheries Management Degree and Training Programs

A fisheries technology and management degree or certificate program may prepare you for a career working to maintain and develop hatcheries or fisheries and helping to protect aquatic wildlife. Read on to learn more about education and training programs in the field of fisheries management. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are many options and levels available for fisheries management training and degrees, ranging from a one-year certificate to a Ph.D. Since programs are fairly region-specific, it is important to choose a school and program that focuses on the type of fish and region you are interested in working with.

Degree Options Associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, PhD
Training Options Certificate training program, internships in hatcheries or government agency offices
Courses Fisheries technology, methods and safety, environmental science, biology, ecology, oceanography

What Fisheries Management Degree Programs Are There?

You may study fisheries management and technology at just about every level, from 1-year certificate programs through 7-year doctoral programs. Certificate and associate's degree options provide one to two years of training in the sciences and technical skills needed to perform entry-level jobs at fisheries and hatcheries or for state and federal wildlife agencies. Many programs require several internship hours prior to commencement.

What About Other Degree Programs?

Bachelor's degree programs in fisheries (B.S.) offer much more in-depth natural science training and can prepare you to work as a fisheries consultant or biologist, or as a manager at a fishery or hatchery. B.S. programs also prepare you for advanced academic study in a Master of Science (M.S.) or doctoral (Ph.D.) program.

M.S. and Ph.D. programs in fisheries technology and management require significant prerequisite coursework in the field, if not a full undergraduate major in fisheries. You will graduate with thorough knowledge of both the scientific and technical aspects of aquatic wildlife management. Graduate degrees in this field can prepare you for academic teaching or research careers, or for consulting or high-level government jobs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The American Fisheries Society's website offers additional career prospect information.

Can I Take a Program Online?

Online study is available through fully online certificate programs. Many traditional campus-based schools also offer online science courses, so you may be able to complete part of your degree in person and part online. The technical nature of the field precludes degree programs from being offered fully online.

What Will I Study?

Some of the courses you can expect to see in undergraduate and certificate fisheries programs may be in tandem with internships that place you in a hatchery or fishery or in a government agency office. Bachelor's degree programs generally offer a larger number of upper-level science courses. You may have to complete an undergraduate thesis project focused on your primary area of interest. Consider some of these topics for your undergraduate program:

  • Fisheries technology
  • Methods and safety
  • Environmental science
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Oceanography
  • Physics
  • Land use principles
  • Ornithology
  • Salt and freshwater management
  • Soil studies

What Will I Study in a Graduate Program?

M.S. programs in fisheries management may focus on specific research or comprehensive general knowledge of science related to fisheries. Entrance to Ph.D. programs in the field typically require you to have already completed a master's degree in fisheries management or a closely related field. Doctoral programs are centered around the completion of a dissertation, for which you must complete many credit hours of research. You might be covering some of the following course topics in your graduate program:

  • Fisheries socioeconomics and management
  • Biometrics in marine science
  • Marine population assessment
  • Fisheries ecosystems
  • Advanced biology of marine invertebrates
  • Coastal law and policy
  • Coastal zone management
  • Computer simulation systems
  • Diseases of marine organisms
  • Environmental law

How Should I Choose A School?

Many fisheries programs specialize in the types of aquatic wildlife native to the region of the school. Programs in Alaska tend to emphasize Salmon hatcheries, while programs in southern Louisiana focus on the types of fish that are critical to the environment and livelihood of that area. You may select a school based on the type of aquatic wildlife you are most interested in studying and eventually working with.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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