Many schools offer degree programs in wildlife conservation, sometimes called natural resources conservation. A bachelor's degree is usually required for jobs in wildlife conservation, and a master's degree is needed for those with career plans that include teaching, research, or high-level management.
Schools with Wildlife Conservation Programs
Wildlife conservation programs are offered at a number of institutions, including those listed here.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2015-2016)|
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins, CO||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $10,558; Out-of-state Undergraduate $27,267; In-state Graduate $9,348; Out-of-state Graduate $22,916|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate $49,116; Graduate $29,500|
|Front Range Community College||Westminster, CO||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state Undergraduate $3,527; Out-of-state Undergraduate $13,244|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $13,560; Out-of-state Undergraduate $36,360; In-state Graduate $16,122; Out-of-state Graduate $31,674|
|Montana State University||Bozeman, MT||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $12,150; Out-of-state Undergraduate $20,952; In-state Graduate $4,797; Out-of-state Graduate $16,042|
|Oregon State University||Bend, OR||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||In-state Graduate $12,150; Out-of-state Graduate $20,952|
|University of California-Davis||Davis, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state Undergraduate $13,951; Out-of-state Undergraduate $38,659|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $6,381; Out-of-state Undergraduate $28,659; In-state Graduate $10,770; Out-of-state Graduate $27,335|
|University of Washington-Seattle||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state Undergraduate $11,839; Out-of-state Undergraduate $34,143; In-state Graduate $15,207; Out-of-state Graduate $27,255|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
There are several factors to consider when choosing a program in this field.
- Practical training is a critical component of a wildlife conservation program. Some schools offer undergraduate research opportunities, and many degree programs require students to complete internships.
- Students seeking a graduate education within their area of interest may want to apply to a school that offers undergraduate preparation as well.
- Graduates of some programs may qualify for various professional certifications, such as the optional Certified Wildlife Biologist credential offered by The Wildlife Society.
- Wildlife conservation programs offer preparation for work in a variety of jobs with wildlife, so students will need to be sure their program has the right education level.
Many community and vocational colleges offer associate degree programs in wildlife conservation. These programs generally take two years to complete. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs in the wildlife field, or they may pursue additional education through a bachelor's degree program.
Bachelor's degree programs in wildlife conservation usually take at least four years to complete. These programs prepare students for a variety of careers in the wildlife field as a wildlife conservationist, biologist or public educator. Students often have the opportunity to participate in internships, research projects or field studies through the school or with affiliated organizations.
Master's degree programs prepare students for careers in research, education or administration in the field of wildlife and environmental conservation. These programs usually take at least two years to complete and offer students specialized coursework in a particular research or career focus. Students must typically choose between the completion of a research thesis or project to graduate.
Wildlife conservation programs can be pursued at the certificate, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree levels. These programs are offered at many institutions across the United States and can prepare individuals to pursue many types of careers in wildlife conservation.