Online Schools for Wildlife Ecology and Conservation: How to Choose

Those considering an online degree in wildlife ecology and conservation can find several options, depending on their desired degree level. Students will want to make note of scheduling requirements and the core area of study for their program.

How to Select an Online Wildlife Ecology and Conservation School

Students considering online wildlife ecology and conservation schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Degrees in wildlife ecology and conservation are difficult to find online. This type of degree is intended primarily for those interested in becoming government employees and contractors who work in pollution control and environment-related areas. Most degrees involving the study of wildlife require students to take in-person classes, either biology labs or internships. Students also need to weigh their own scheduling requirements.

Program Availability and Focus

Online degrees in environmental studies or environmental science are designed to prepare students for careers in education, environmental consulting firms, various government agencies, health and safety, research laboratories, or the Peace Corps. Some of these programs have courses in wildlife ecology and conservation.

Scheduling Requirements

Most degree programs are designed for working professionals and do not require students to sign into class at any particular time, and may not have any specific assignment or testing dates, only requiring all material to be turned in by the end of the course. Other programs require students to attend class via the Internet, but on a similar schedule to traditional classes, convening at certain times of the day and week. Students should be sure that a class fits their needs before enrolling.

Online Programs for Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

A bachelor's degree in environmental science is designed for those who wish to study conservation. Some programs offer a focus on wildlife and ecology. Students may be required to complete some classes in a traditional setting before enrolling in online coursework. Subjects covered include:

  • Social sciences
  • Field methods
  • Natural sciences
  • Environmental issues

Master of Arts in Environmental Studies

A master's degree in environmental studies covers many of the same subjects as a bachelor's degree in environmental science, but allows students to choose their own focus. These programs often require students to complete a research-based thesis project on a subject of their own choosing. Common course topics include:

  • Environmental law
  • Biology of water pollution
  • Environmental policy analysis
  • Risk assessment

Schools with Online Programs in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. A concentration is available in natural resources and conservation, which focuses on the remediation of natural and human hazards. Topics include climate change, sustainability, and alternative energy sources. The program is self-paced and can be finished over the course of six terms in the year.

Montana State University is home to an online Master of Science in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. The program lasts for two years, and totals 30 credits, including 3 credits that are earned from completing a professional paper. Elective courses include subjects such as insect ecology, toxicology, landscape and ecosystem ecology, and herbicide physiology.

Students interested in an online degree in wildlife ecology and conservation should decide how far they wish to take their studies. Although rare, there are programs that can be finished online without ever stepping on campus.

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