List of the Best Wildlife Biology Schools and Programs

Read about the country's best wildlife biology schools and programs, through which students can learn about wildlife populations in their native habitats. Find brief overviews of the programs offered by three universities, as well as a list of other schools that provide training for wildlife biologists.

School Information

Wildlife biology programs, such as those offered by the three schools highlighted below, prepare students for careers as wildlife managers or recreation planners. A wildlife program might include the study of fish ecology and physiology and lead to a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in wildlife biology or fisheries and wildlife biology.

1. University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND

School Highlight: The program's Biology Graduate Student Association initiated a mentoring program that guides new graduate students into the program and fosters networking between students in different biological fields.

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a research university that made The Princeton Review's list of the 'Best 376 Colleges' in the nation for 2015. UND's College of Arts and Sciences offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology program that prepares students for careers in federal and private fisheries and wildlife organizations. Students take courses in evolution, animal behavior, botany and mammalogy. Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a specialization in wildlife biology are also offered for students interested in teaching and research positions.

2. University of Montana in Missoula, MT

School Highlight: The wildlife biology program at the University of Montana features several faculty research laboratories, including the Avian Science Center, the Fish and Wildlife Genetics Lab, and the Human Dimensions Lab.

The University of Montana (UM) is a public university that ranked 115th on the U.S. News & World Report list of best graduate schools for biological sciences in 2014. At UM, students can earn an M.S. in Wildlife Biology or a Ph.D. in Fish and Wildlife Biology. The 36-credit master's degree program offers a thesis or non-thesis option and includes a graduate seminar in wildlife biology. The graduate seminar and a dissertation are required for the Ph.D. program.

3. Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS

School Highlight: The biology department at Kansas State is home to several interdisciplinary research initiatives, such as the Arthropod Genetics Center, the Ecological Genomics Institute, and the Institute for Grassland Studies.

Kansas State University (KSU) is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranked in the top 75 public schools in 2015. KSU offers a Bachelor of Arts or a B.S. in Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology through the College of Arts and Sciences. Students take courses in physics, ecology and chemistry, as well as 11 credits of electives, such as mammalogy and entomology.

Top Wildlife Biology Programs

School NameDistinctionLocation
Brigham Young UniversityFounded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsProvo, UT
Northern Arizona UniversityHas several satellite campuses throughout ArizonaFlagstaff, AZ
Prescott CollegeHome of the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies and the Natural History Institute Prescott, AZ
Texas State University, San MarcosProvides an ecologically diverse setting for research in wildlife biologySan Marcos, TX
Colorado State UniversityOffers three concentrations for fish, wildlife and conservation biology majorsFort Collins, CO
University of Michigan - FlintLarge international student bodyFlint, MI
University of VermontCourses in wildlife and fisheries biology program focus on applied ecologyBurlington, VT

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