Top Wildlife Biology Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Read about highly ranked schools where you can study wildlife biology at the graduate level. See what makes these schools special, and decide if one of them might be right for you. View article »

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  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 1:00 University of Minnesota
  • 2:05 University of Arizona
  • 2:53 Brigham Young University
  • 3:33 Wildlife Biology…

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Students interested in studying wildlife biology at the graduate level can choose from programs at several top institutions in the nation. Explore a few of these schools and their unique programs.

Wildlife biology applies various disciplines, such as ecology, chemistry, and mathematics, to the study of animals and other organisms in their habitats. Graduates of a master's or doctoral program in wildlife biology can work as game wardens, pest control professionals, habitat managers, endangered species specialists, soil conservationists, educators, or researchers. The three schools that follow are recognized for their graduate degree programs in biology, and they offer master's and doctoral degree programs that include wildlife biology classes. These institutions all have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities tied for #34 for its biological sciences graduate programs, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2014. At this Minneapolis-based institution, students in the natural resources science and management program can pursue a wildlife ecology and management concentration. The program includes a strong emphasis on the intersection of ecology, forestry, genetics, and natural resource policy.

Classes in the Master of Science (M.S.) in Wildlife Ecology and Management program include wildlife handling and immobilization, ornithology, herpetology, and environmental conflict management. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Wildlife Ecology and Management may appeal to those interested in pursuing research or higher education teaching careers.

All accepted graduate students at the University of Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources, Science, and Management will be considered for financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships and research fellowships.

University of Arizona

The University of Arizona in Tucson was tied for 38th among biological sciences graduate programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the National Science Foundation listed the University of Arizona at #34 for its amount of research and development expenditures in 2015. Two degrees in wildlife biology are offered by the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Coursework and research areas for the M.S. in Natural Resources with a concentration in wildlife conservation management involve biogeography, watersheds, and rangeland management. The Ph.D. in Natural Resources with a concentration in wildlife conservation and management is offered for those planning a career in wildlife biology research or education at the college level.

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Brigham Young University

Located in Provo, UT, Brigham Young University ranked #15 on the U.S. News & World Report list of best value schools in 2017. The College of Life Sciences is home to the Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation Department that offers students a master's or doctoral degree in the field. Students work closely with faculty that have various research interests, including wildlife biology, wildland ecology, and more. The master's program emphasizes the scientific method and requires a minimum of 24 coursework hours in addition to a thesis. The Ph.D. program requires 54 credit hours and a dissertation.

Wildlife Biology Graduate Programs

We'll discuss some other top wildlife biology graduate programs and what makes them stand out:

College/University Name Location Distinction
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO Home to the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Department that has more than 2,400 active alumni working in the natural resources field.
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI Allows students in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife the chance to participate in seven study abroad programs in places as diverse as Antarctica, South Africa, and Greece
Texas A & M University College Station, TX The university was ranked #21 on the best value schools list from U.S. News & World Report in 2017
University of Florida Gainesville, FL Has graduate students participate in the Wildlife Graduate Student Association.
University of Maryland College Park, MD Allows students the opportunity to work with scientists at the Smithsonian Institution, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
University of Missouri Columbia, MO Houses the School of Natural Resources that has 42 faculty members and several outreach extension facilities
University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN Offers a forestry, wildlife, and fisheries graduate degree; entrance into the program is competitive, and students need a faculty advisor to enroll

Wildlife biology degree programs are available at the master's and doctoral levels from the University of Minnesota, University Arizona, and several other high-ranking institutions. Students can distinguish these top programs by the specializations, learning opportunities, and resources that they offer students.

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