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 four universities, as well as a list of other schools that provide training for wildlife biologists.

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Students interested in studying wildlife biology can find undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the field at several top-ranking schools. Explore a few of these top schools and learn about their distinct programs and departments.

Wildlife biology programs 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. The following four schools are top-ranking universities and/or offer top-ranking biology programs.

University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND

The University of North Dakota (UND) is a research university that made the U.S. News & World Report top public school list for 2017, ranking 110th. 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.

It's interesting to note that UND'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.

University of Montana in Missoula, MT

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. or a Ph.D. in Wildlife Biology. The 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.

Additionally, the program features several faculty research laboratories, including the Avian Science Center, the Fish and Wildlife Genetics Lab, and the Human Dimensions Lab.

Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS

Kansas State University (KSU) is a public university that U.S. News & World Report ranked in the top 75 public schools in 2017. 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.

The biology department is also home to several interdisciplinary research initiatives, such as the Arthropod Genetics Center, the Ecological Genomics Institute, and the Institute for Grassland Studies.

Brigham Young University in Provo, UT

Founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Brigham Young University is a private school that ranked 68th on the U.S. News & World Report list of national universities in 2017. The College of Life Sciences offers bachelor's degrees in biodiversity and conservation through the Biology Department or wildlife and wildlands conservation through the Plant and Wildlife Science Department.

Additional Schools

Now, let's discuss additional top-ranking schools and their distinguishing characteristics:

School Name Location Distinction
Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ Has several satellite campuses throughout Arizona
Prescott College Prescott, AZ Home of the Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies and the Natural History Institute
Texas State University, San Marcos San Marcos, TX Provides an ecologically diverse setting for research in wildlife biology
Colorado State University Fort Collins, CO Offers three concentrations for fish, wildlife, and conservation biology majors
University of Michigan - Flint Flint, MI Home to a large international student body
University of Vermont Burlington, VT Offers courses in wildlife and fisheries biology that focus on applied ecology

Many top-ranking schools, like the University of North Dakota and the University of Montana, offer degree programs in wildlife biology. A variety of concentrations and facilities set each school apart.

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