Wildlife Biology Major: Information and Requirements

Wildlife biologists study the behavior, health, and life histories of animals. Bachelor's programs are generally science and math intensive. Entry-level wildlife biologists may work with government fish and wildlife agencies, environmental consultancies, or conservation organizations.

Essential Information

Most programs require students to maintain a grade of C or better in all biology coursework. Wildlife biology majors can expect experiential learning in the lab, as well as hands-on training in the field. Additionally, they may have the opportunity to assist in research and summer fieldwork through their school. This type of experience may help with scholarship funding and employment after graduation.

Wildlife Biology Major

Wildlife biology majors typically have the option of focusing their studies on either land or aquatic animals. Students take classes in physics, chemistry, calculus and statistics, as well as a variety of biology subjects. Major courses include:

  • Population biology
  • Cell biology and genetics
  • Biometry
  • Fisheries or wildlife management
  • Animal behavior
  • Wildlife conservation

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology may begin a career with state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, environmental consulting agencies and conservation organizations in entry-level positions such as:

  • Game warden
  • Conservation educator
  • Field biologist
  • Wildlife manager

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Wildlife biologists held 21,300 positions in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Jobs in this field are expected to grow by 4 percent, slower than average, between 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary for the profession in 2015 was $59,680.

Continuing Education Information

Although not required for entry-level positions, graduate degrees are very common for wildlife biologists. Individuals interested in specializing in certain species, including endangered ones, or areas such as aquaculture and conservation biology may want to consider a graduate program. Both master's and doctoral programs in wildlife biology are available, and completing the latter is essential for independent research and teaching positions at colleges and universities.

Wildlife biology degrees are math and science heavy with courses such as physics, chemistry, calculus and statistics, as well as a variety of biology subjects. A grade of C or above is also often expected in major courses. Wildlife biology majors also complete lab and fieldwork. Wildlife biology positions above entry-level generally require at least a Master's degree.

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