Herpetology Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

Herpetology is a branch of zoology having to do with amphibians and reptiles and their relationship to the environment. Students interested in studying in this field will find relevant coursework in bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in zoology, environmental studies and related fields.

Graduate and undergraduate programs in zoology and environmental studies at colleges and universities across the U.S. offer the opportunity to study herpetology. Learn about some of the schools that offer these programs, as well as some considerations for choosing a school to attend.

Schools with Herpetology Programs

The following 4-year universities offer degree programs that include herpetology or herpetology laboratories/facilities:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered In-State Tuition (2015-2016)*
North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $8,581 (Undergraduate) $10,224 (Graduate)
University of Wisconsin Madison Madison, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $10,415 (Undergraduate) $11,870 (Graduate)
University of Florida Gainesville, FL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $6,381 (Undergraduate) $12,737 (Graduate)
University of Georgia Athens, GA 4-year, Public Master's, Doctorate $10,750
Marshall University Huntington, WV 4-year, Public Master's $7,068
Ohio University Athens, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,548
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate $13,137 (Undergraduate) $14,002 (Graduate)

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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College Selection Criteria

Consider the following when looking for herpetology schools:

  • When deciding between degree programs, students should consider their research goals and their interests - such as a particular species - to find a program that most closely aligns.
  • Individuals seeking employment as herpetology researchers often benefit from gaining field experience while earning their degree. Look for programs with internships or other hands-on experiences.
  • Students may want to consider schools with faculty members who are interested in similar research topics or specializations.
  • Students who need to consider financial aid and scholarships may want to search for schools that offer these opportunities, especially if choosing between a public or private institution.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Aspiring herpetologists can benefit from undergraduate studies in zoology, environmental studies and related fields. Some zoology programs offer interdisciplinary options with environmental studies. Students enrolled in an environmental studies degree program study public policy and environmental law in addition to science-based classes.

Master's Degree Programs

Both zoology and environmental studies are offered at the master's degree level. Both programs typically require students to complete an original research project for their thesis, which allow aspiring herpetologists to focus on a particular species or problem. Environmental studies students might develop plans for resource management and study economic and societal impacts on the ecosystem and the response of reptiles and amphibians to those changes.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Many herpetology-related doctoral degree programs require students to develop a dissertation based on original research with an amphibian or reptile species, have teaching experience and, in some cases, pass an oral exam. When selecting a program, students should consider the specializations offered, such as a focus on environmental impacts or field-based research.

Students can find undergraduate and graduate degree programs from 4-year schools that offer study in the area of herpetology. As they choose a school to attend, students should consider their research goals and the opportunity for hands-on learning or fieldwork.

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