Top Colleges for Wildlife Biology

Find some of the best schools in the country that offer a degree in wildlife biology. Check out the details of these programs and research what coursework is involved. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Wildlife biology programs often combine classroom learning and lab work with hands-on instruction in the field working with wildlife. Students learn about ecology, wildlife habitats and the effects of human behavior on wildlife. Career paths include conservation, wildlife management, research biology and more. Some of the schools in this article offer ideal landscapes for outdoor learning and one is the recipient of a top award.

What's the Most Common Degree for Wildlife Biology?

A bachelor's degree is the most common degree for aspiring wildlife biologists. There are associate's degrees in the field, but getting a bachelor's degree is typical and offers the most career opportunities. An associate degree program can also be used as an introduction to the field before pursuing a bachelor's. Would-be wildlife biologists can go a step further by pursuing a graduate program in wildlife biology that offers advanced classes and fieldwork.

Which Schools Offer Undergraduate Degrees in Wildlife Biology?

Because wildlife biology students spend so much time studying outdoors, many programs exist in areas with ready access to ecological areas like wetlands, forests or great bodies of water. Associate of science (A.S.), associate of arts (A.A.) and bachelor of science (B.S.) degrees are all available at the undergraduate level. Below are several schools in the country with such programs:

  • Casper College offers an A.S.. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and Management
  • Colby Community College offers an A.S. in Wildlife Biology
  • Keystone College offers an A.A in Wildlife Biology and a B.S. in Natural Science with a concentration in Wildlife Biology
  • The University of Montana has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology
  • At Liberty University, you can get a B.S. in Zoo and Wildlife Biology

Where Can I Get a Graduate Degree in Wildlife Biology?

Graduate degrees are available in this field as well from a master of science (M.S.) to doctorate degree programs (PhD). The University of Montana considers itself one of the best locations to study wildlife biology because of its natural surroundings.

  • The University of Montana has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology
  • Utah State University offers both an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology
  • The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers an M.S. in Wildlife Biology and Conservation

Do Any Schools Offer Wildlife Biology Degrees Online?

Wildlife biology programs are typically more hands-on than others, so online programs aren't as common. Many schools allow you to take some of the required coursework online and the rest in person. However, there are a few that offer fully online degrees and are ideal for people working at environmental consulting firms, government agency personnel and others looking to further their careers in biology. Oregon State University was ranked third in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report for 'Best Online Bachelor's Program' in 2019.

  • Oregon State University has an online B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
  • Colorado State University Online has a Master of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (M.F.W.C.B.) degree
  • Clemson University offers an online Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology degree

What is the Coursework Like for Wildlife Biology?

As an aspiring wildlife biologist, your goal will be to learn management techniques for wild animals and their habitats, understand how species interact with one another and master research skills that you'll use in the field. To do this, you may take a wide range of courses. Ecology is fairly standard as is biology. Other courses might include genetics, sustainability, evolution and behavioral ecology. And, to give you a well-balanced understanding of different species, universities typically offer courses like:

  • Plant taxonomy
  • Mammology
  • Ichthyology
  • Aquatic entomology
  • Ornithology

What Can I Do With a Degree in Wildlife Biology?

There are a number of careers you can pursue with a degree in wildlife biology. For those with an associate's degree, you may find work at consulting firms or state and federal agencies. If you have a bachelor's, you could become an environmental consultant for companies or non-profits, work in the conservation field to save species from extinction or help manage wildlife on public lands. Those who study wildlife biology at a higher level (a Ph.D., for instance) often choose to become faculty members at a university.

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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