Wildlife Studies Degree Programs and Courses

Rooted in biology, wildlife studies programs can prepare you for a career in wildlife management or conservation. Find out about degree options as well as common courses offered in these programs. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Wildlife studies degree programs are available with a variety of emphases. Coursework will often include classes in life sciences and chemistry. There are also several certification programs available for program graduates.

Degrees Bachelor's, master's, doctorate
Courses Animal behavior, biology, wildlife law, geographic information systems
Certification Optional certification through the Wildlife Society

What Types of Wildlife Studies Undergraduate Programs Are Available?

Wildlife studies at the undergraduate level are available through associate's and bachelor's degree programs. A Wildlife Management Assistant Certificate may also be available. An Associate of Science in Wildlife Science might be offered in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. Courses might cover these areas of study:

  • Principles of biology
  • Chemistry
  • Principles of botany
  • Soil information systems
  • Forest biology
  • Forest ecology
  • Principles of genetics
  • Vertebrate biology
  • Wetland wildlife biology

What About Graduate Programs?

Various graduate programs are available awarding master's and doctoral degrees. Students might enroll in a Master of Science in Wildlife Fisheries and Biology program. The program might have a thesis or a non-thesis option. A Master of Science in Fish, Wildlife and Conversation Biology might be available in addition to a Doctor of Philosophy option.

What Courses Will I Take?

The wildlife courses you take will vary somewhat, depending on the degree level you're pursuing. Associate's degree and undergraduate certificate programs include courses on environmental law, field research, zoology and organic chemistry. Bachelor's degree programs cover wildlife conservation, wildlife management and prairie ecology. Other possible undergraduate topics of study include these:

  • Animal behavior
  • Entomology
  • Geographic information systems
  • Ornithology
  • Mammalian biology
  • Wildlife law enforcement

Master's degree programs are heavily research-oriented, and some programs even allow you to design your own curriculum under the eye of an academic advisor. Graduate-level studies incorporate research and statistics along with advanced courses in such wildlife science areas as toxicology, conservation biology and fisheries science. Some programs at this level are meant for those with a number of years' experience in the field.

How Can I Choose a School?

Look for programs that offer hands-on learning opportunities. These might include field research, internships, teaching assistantships, cooperative study programs or opportunities for independent study. If you pursue a graduate degree, look for schools with research specializations that match your interests. Because ecology and natural resources knowledge are localized, you might want to choose a school near the environment where you intend to work.

What About Certification?

You can pursue a number of credentials related to wildlife management, including the Certified Wildlife Biologist, Associate Wildlife Biologist and Certified Wildlife Technician. The Wildlife Society (http://joomla.wildlife.org) in conjunction with the North American Wildlife Technology Association (www.nawta.org) oversees these certifications.

The CWB credential is meant for those who hold bachelor's degrees or higher and have taken a designated number of courses in wildlife management, wildlife biology, zoology, botany and ecology. This certification also requires five years' experience working in the field. The AWB credential is meant for those who've met the educational requirements but don't have the experience needed for the CWB certification.

What Careers Would a Program Prepare Me For?

As a graduate of a wildlife studies program, you'll be able to work for government agencies, conservation organizations or private landowners. Certificate and associate's degree programs will prepare you for entry-level jobs, such as wildlife management assistant and wildlife technician. Bachelor's and master's degrees open the door to such positions as wildlife biologist, consultant, researcher, natural resources manager or natural resources educator.

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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