Online master's degree programs in wildlife management are relatively rare, but available. Entrances into these programs require a bachelor's degree and possibly work experience. In addition to fully online courses, students complete a practicum and fieldwork experience in person.
Majors in wildlife management include: wildlife and fisheries, wildlife science, and environmental science.
Master's Degree in Wildlife Management
Online master's degree programs provide students and wildlife management and natural resource professionals with advanced technical knowledge and organizational management skills. Students leverage research and data analysis to explore issues in habitat and natural resource management. Areas of study include water and soil conservation, wildlife ecology, and land use management.
Program Information and Requirements
Applicants typically hold a bachelor's degree in wildlife management or a related discipline from an accredited college or university. Some institutions may require students to have professional work experience before admission. Fully online programs are available; however, some graduate programs combine distance education with on-campus coursework. Students may also be required to participate in a field practicum. Program length varies by institution; however, most can be completed in two years.
Programs provide online classes and coursework through an easily accessible software platform. Online tutorials may be available prior to beginning. While offering flexibility, students are often expected to complete work within an established timetable. Online discussion boards allow for interaction between students and instructors.
Common Online Courses
Master's students examine the interrelationships between ecology, policy, culture, and economics, as well as their influences on wildlife management. They study the guidelines and procedures leveraged in maintaining species on public and private land.
Students examine the creation and development of forest policy in the United States. Current issues in forest and natural resource policy are reviewed, along with their relevance to modern American life.
Fire Management and Ecology in the Wildland
Students review the ecological effects of fire on plants, animals, soil, water, and air. Major topics of discussion include determining the appropriate use of fire in wildland ecosystems. The effects of fire over time and its application in restoration ecology are also explored.
Landscape Planning to Meet Animal Food Requirements
This online course emphasizes the link between the output capability of a land source and the food needs of animals. Students evaluate the nutritional characteristics of rangeland vegetations and develop life models to match the needs of free-grazing animals.
Career Information for Graduates
Graduates of an online master's degree program are eligible to pursue senior-level positions, such as supervisory natural resource specialist, ecological site inventory manager and wildlife refuge manager. According to the BLS, conservation scientists could expect job growth of four percent from 2018-2028. During the same decade, the BLS projected, conservation and forestry workers (who often work under the supervision of conservation scientists) could expect a three percent decline in employment. As of May 2018, the BLS reported, conservation scientists earned a median annual salary of $61,310 and conservation and forestry technicians earned a median salary of $37,180.
Few master's programs in wildlife management exist and students must hold a bachelor's degree to participate. Once enrolled, students learn about a wide array of topics including forest policy, fire management, and landscape planning.