How to Choose a Wildlife Conservation School
Wildlife conservation programs offer preparation for work in a variety of jobs with wildlife, so students will need to be sure their program has the right education level. In general, associate program graduates are qualified for entry-level jobs such as forestry worker or wildlife management technician. However, a bachelor's degree is usually required for jobs in wildlife conservation and its related fields. A master's degree is needed for those with career plans that include teaching, research, or high-level management.
In addition to degree level, students will want to keep these considerations in mind:
- Practical training is a critical component of a wildlife conservation program. Some schools offer undergraduate research opportunities, and many degree programs require students to complete internships.
- Students seeking a graduate education within their area of interest may want to apply to a school that offers undergraduate preparation as well.
- Graduates of some programs may qualify for various professional certifications, such as the optional Certified Wildlife Biologist credential offered by The Wildlife Society.
Wildlife Conservation Program Overviews
Many community and vocational colleges offer associate degree programs in wildlife conservation. These programs generally take two years to complete. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs in the wildlife field, or they may pursue additional education through a bachelor's degree program. Common courses include:
- Environmental science
- Wildlife management
- Soil sciences
Bachelor's degree programs in wildlife conservation usually take at least four years to complete. These programs prepare students for a variety of careers in the wildlife field as a wildlife conservationist, biologist or public educator. Students often have the opportunity to participate in internships, research projects or field studies through the school or with affiliated organizations. Courses that students may take include:
- Wildlife management
- Wildlife history
- Conservation law
Master's degree programs prepare students for careers in research, education or administration in the field of wildlife and environmental conservation. These programs usually take at least two years to complete and offer students specialized coursework in a particular research or career focus. Students must typically choose between the completion of a research thesis or project to graduate. Courses vary based on specific areas of study and may cover:
- Wildlife habitats
- Fishery populations
- Marine animals
- Environmental ecology
10 Schools with Wildlife Conservation Programs
|Boston University||4-year, Private|
|Colorado State University||4-year, Public|
|Cornell University||4-year, Private|
|Front Range Community College||2-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||4-year, Public|
|Montana State University||4-year, Public|
|Oregon State University||4-year, Public|
|University of California-Davis||4-year, Public|
|University of Florida||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington-Seattle||4-year, Public|