Online Wildlife Law Enforcement Degrees

Degree programs related to wildlife law enforcement are available in partially-online formats. Learn about online undergraduate degree programs in fisheries and wildlife science, criminal justice and wildlife science, as well as information on common course topics and how online programs work. Explore your career options with a degree in one of these areas. Schools offering Environmental & Social Sustainability degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Wildlife Law Enforcement Degree Online?

Wildlife law enforcement programs most commonly award students with bachelor's degrees. Online programs in the subject are extremely rare because programs often require laboratory classes and wildlife fieldwork; however, you can enroll in a select number of partially online bachelor's degree programs in wildlife science or fisheries and wildlife science. These programs may feature a specialization in wildlife law enforcement.

Additionally, you can earn an online associate's or bachelor's degree in criminal justice. These online programs are more widely available, but they often take a broader overview of law enforcement that may not include wildlife studies.

Online Availability Partially online wildlife science degrees, fully online criminal justice degrees
Online Components Online courses, hands-on experience, proctored exams
Common Courses Wildlife management, wildlife regulations and law, biology, ecology
Salary Information (2014)$53,260 median wage (for fish and game wardens)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Learn Online?

Online programs in wildlife science usually mix traditional classes with online courses. Programs often include an internship or fieldwork at a wildlife preserve, park or recreation area to gain hands-on experience. Some programs also require students to take biology laboratory classes on campus or at a local college. You can complete many assignments from home, but you may need to have your exams proctored at a local school, library or learning center.

Online criminal justice programs, on the other hand, often can be conducted entirely online. You can communicate with instructors through discussion boards, e-mail and telephone. For both wildlife science and criminal justice programs, you can learn through CD-ROM and DVD videos or participate in lectures directly through live Internet broadcasts.

What Skills Will I Develop?

During an online wildlife science or fisheries and wildlife science program, you'll study conservation methods to prevent human's overuse of natural resources. You'll usually learn how to enforce littering and pollution violations, as well as hunting and fishing regulations. Wildlife science programs emphasize biology, ecology and management skills. Common topics that you'll learn about include:

  • Biological sciences
  • Wildlife management
  • Zoology
  • Wildlife regulations and law
  • Resource management
  • Advanced ecology
  • Investigation procedures

In an online criminal justice undergraduate program, you'll learn about the constitutional rights of citizens, as well as law enforcement and crime prevention strategies. Bachelor's degree programs might end with a capstone project. Typical topics that a program might cover include:

  • U.S. court system
  • Criminal procedures
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Law enforcement leadership
  • Policing methods
  • Criminal law
  • Ethics in law enforcement

What Can I Do with My Degree?

With a degree in fisheries and wildlife science or criminal justice, you can pursue a job as a fish and game warden, an environmental conservation officer or a fish and wildlife officer. You might find work at a recreation area, a national park or a wildlife preserve. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fish and game wardens usually must hold at least two years of college experience and undergo specialized wildlife law enforcement training for up to one year (www.bls.gov).

You typically must complete basic law enforcement officer training for a job as a warden or an officer. This training is usually very similar to police officer training, and some states even require their wildlife and environmental conservation officers to have graduated from a police academy. You'll learn about firearm safety, emergency protocol and wildlife policies over the course of several weeks. Qualifications vary by state, but you are often required to undergo physical and psychological tests, hold an associate's or bachelor's degree and pass an examination.

The BLS reported that fish and game wardens made an average yearly wage of $53,260 in May 2014. Police officers and sheriff's patrol officers earned about an average $59,560 per year in May 2014, according to the BLS.

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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