Online Conservation Degrees: Program and Course Information

Get info about online programs in conservation. Read about program requirements, course topics, and degree levels, and check out career and continuing education options.

Essential Information

Online programs related to conservation are available at the postsecondary diploma, bachelor's degree, and post-baccalaureate certificate levels. These programs are available in fully online formats that don't require any on campus visits. At the diploma level, one can complete a conservation program that may help train the student for a career as a forest and conservation worker. These programs examine forest and wildlife management, as well as the skills to conserve the environment. A bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife could lead to a career as a conservation scientist, since it further examines natural resources and ways to maintain the ecosystem. Post-baccalaureate education is not typically required for conservation workers, conservation scientists, and foresters, but graduate certificate programs are available in conservation criminology.

A high school diploma or GED is necessary for the non-graduate level programs. Students seeking a program at the graduate level need a bachelor's degree.

Conservation Career Diploma Program

This program covers concepts in conserving and preserving soil, water, forests and wildlife. Students develop skills enabling them to protect the environment from pollution and waste. There are several conservation programs available online at this level, all of which are science-intensive. A high school diploma or GED certificate is needed to enroll.

Program Information and Requirements

Diploma programs in conservation are available entirely online and take less than a year to complete. Schools supply students with log-in information, and then transmit materials through an online portal. Some programs incorporate alternative methods of distance-learning, such as physical textbooks and DVDs, but there are no in-person requirements. When they log on to the Web, students watch video lectures, interact with fellow students, participate in class discussions and complete assignments.

Common Courses

A diploma program has no general education courses; therefore, students only take conservation-related courses for a very focused overview of the field.

Problems of Human Population

Students study global human growth and analyze problems related to overpopulation. The course covers the effects of overpopulation and ways to reduce the risk through birth control and other methods.

Managing Large Wildlife

Lessons explore ways to improve wildlife habitats and manage animal populations. They also cover livestock management and maintenance techniques to provide for both predators and prey.

Forest Management

Through this class, students learn to reseed and replant the forest. They study the cause and effect of forest fires, as well as ways to prevent pests.


Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife

Online bachelor's degree programs aren't available in conservation, but they are available in related fields, such as fisheries and wildlife. Students learn to manage and maintain natural resources and ecosystems. They develop skills in conserving natural habitats and wildlife populations. Requirements for this program include a high school diploma, and potentially some prior coursework in areas such as math or science.

Program Information and Requirements

Bachelor's degree programs in fisheries and wildlife are available online. Typically, the program takes four or five years to complete. There are no on-campus requirements. Students log on to applications such as Blackboard, where they can access online libraries, chat with fellow classmates, participate in class discussions and keep in touch with professors. They also watch video lectures and complete all assignments online.

Common Courses

Students complete general education classes, major core classes and elective courses. The curriculum is completed through a self-paced program, and course order is flexible.

Wildlife Conservation

This class introduces specific ways to conserve and maintain natural resources. It covers environment management principles and conduct research in managing wildlife.

Marine Animal Conservation

Students examine the biology of whales and other marine animal life. They study migration patterns, reproductive habits, meals and conservation issues.

Ecological Policies

Through this course, students gather ecosystem management tips and assess the risk of losing various natural resources. They analyze an ecosystem's health and ways to sustain it over long periods of time.


Graduate Certificate in Conservation Criminology

The graduate certificate in conservation covers concepts pertaining to the assessment, regulation and enforcement of environmental conservation. Students develop skills enabling them to determine environmental risks based on certain factors. They establish environmental crimes, ways to prevent them and enforce laws regarding them. To be eligible for this program, students must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a scientific subject.

Only a few online programs are available in conservation at the graduate level. Individuals who complete a graduate certificate online should be able to apply their courses toward a campus-based master's degree in a conservation-related field.

Program Information and Requirements

Graduate certificates in conservation are available entirely online. They have no in-person requirements, although study abroad opportunities are available. Students use an online library for research projects. They log into an online interface to receive and submit assignments, watch video lectures and access professor's notes. In addition to a laptop or desktop computer, students must have high-speed access to the Internet. Certain software and spyware may be recommended, required or provided.

Common Courses

General education courses are not part of this program. Students can typically tailor their classes to suit a specific interest or research focus.

Environmental Crime and Risk Assessment

Students study environmental risks caused by people through overpopulation and pollution. Common environmental crimes are covered, as are governmental regulations and issues of enforcement.

Management of Natural Resources and the Environment

This course introduces management techniques designed to train students to track and manage the use of natural resources. It explains the availability of resources and how their loss could affect the environment.

Criminology, Global Risks and Conservation

This class covers how globalization affects the environment. It covers topics pertaining to endangered species, migration and criminalization that are a direct result of environmental problems.


Career Information for Graduates

Those with a diploma in conservation can pursue careers as forest and conservation workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The demand for conservation workers is expected to grow by only 4% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the median annual wage for forest and conservation workers was $26,190 (www.bls.gov).

A bachelor's degree in a conservation-related subject can lead to a career as a conservation scientist, zookeeper or a forester. According to the BLS, the demand for conservation scientists is expected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024. Conservation scientists made a median of $61,110 yearly as of May 2015.

With a graduate certificate in conservation, individuals can pursue careers as conservation scientists, foresters or science technicians. According to the BLS, all of these careers require less than a master's degree. As of May 2015, forestry and conservation technicians made a median salary of $35,430. Foresters made a median of $58,230. The demand for conservation scientists and foresters is expected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024, which is as fast as the average for all careers, according to the BLS.

Students interested in an online degree program related to conservation have several options at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs prepare students for careers as conservation workers, conservation scientists or conservation technicians.


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