Distance learning training programs in wildlife science typically lead to students earning a bachelor's or master's degree. These online programs are most commonly found at traditional four-year universities and colleges. Some programs may be in a blended format with in-person requirements, such as lab work, internships or field assignments. The curriculum allows students to explore and gain experience with eco-system restoration, as well as develop conservation plans to help protect wildlife habitats. While bachelor's programs provide a foundation in the field, master's programs are usually designed for those with related experience who want advanced knowledge.
Learning & Degree Options
Students participate in classes online using a variety of distance learning formats. Using a computer and high-speed Internet connection, students can view video lectures, participate in online forums, and interact with instructors. While most coursework can be completed online, some programs may require students to spend some time on campus for lab work. Internships or field assignments might also be part of the degree requirements.
Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science
This 4-year online degree program develops the student's understanding of the connection between the environment, animals, and humans. Some of these programs combine the study of wildlife with fisheries to develop a more complete view of the challenges faced by all living creatures sharing the same eco-system. Topics covered in this program include management of game, fisheries and exotic animals, as well as wildlife behavior, wildlife regulations and ecological systems. Examples of common online courses include the following:
- Biology with a focus on vertebrate animals
- Field Studies
- Animal Conservation
- Global Changes
Master of Science in Wildlife Science
Developed for professionals already working in the natural resources field, this program typically focuses on the human impact on ecology through economics and policy. A bachelor's degree is required for admittance into this program and some topic-related undergraduate credits may be applied towards this degree.
Coursework is determined between the student and faculty advisers depending on where the student chooses to place their educational focus within the wildlife science field. Areas of focus include ecology, regulatory policies, economics and cultures. Upon completion of the program a final exam will be held and the student will hand in a professional paper before the degree may be earned. Online classes could include the following:
- Wildlife behavior
- Natural resource management
- Environmental law
- Land use
After completing an online degree program in wildlife science, graduates have a number of career options available to them. They may work as conservationists, educators, scientists, researchers or wildlife managers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), zoologists and wildlife biologists earned a median salary of $63,420 as of May 2018. These professionals were projected to experience a growth of 5% between 2018-2028. Possible places of employment include the following:
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Local and state government agencies
- Conservation organizations
- Universities and colleges
- Scientific research agencies or consulting firms
Online degree programs in wildlife science are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Students in these programs study conservation, wildlife behavior, environmental law and more to prepare for careers as conservationists or wildlife managers.