Conservation Major and Undergraduate Degree Program Information

Conservation undergraduate degree programs focus on environmental preservation. Conservation major studies often include ecology, biology, chemistry, statistics and technical writing. Learn about available programs, careers and graduate work.

Essential Information

Conservation majors are available in natural resource conservation and wildlife conservation. Most of these four-year programs allow students to get hands-on experience through internships and emphasize the development of research skills. Individuals majoring in conservation can go on to work as environmental consultants, secondary educators and park rangers.

A high school diploma or equivalent as well as SAT or ACT scores may be required for admission. Some education in math or science is encouraged for the natural resource conservation degree track.

Undergraduate Wildlife Conservation Degree Programs

Undergraduate wildlife conservation degree programs focus on earth systems and biological sciences. Specializations are typically available in administration, teaching, urban animal life and habitat management.

Wildlife and fishery preservation majors participate in internships and field exploration assignments. Students learn about aquatic, avian, mammalian and amphibious creatures. Topics consist of:

  • Wild animal population dynamics
  • Studies of wetlands
  • Animal identification
  • Wildlife physiology and evolution
  • Wild animal behaviors

Natural Resource Conservation Programs

Students majoring in natural resource conservation may be able to choose an area of specialization, such as global conservation, ecology, sustainability, water studies or natural resource policies. Programs typically offer internships as well, where students can learn about habitat management and conversation, as well as evolutionary and biological sciences. They not only gain hands-on experience but also participate in traditional classroom courses, which include studies in:

  • Technical documentation
  • Data reporting and analysis
  • Ecology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Soil analysis
  • Fundamentals of geology

Popular Career Options

Individuals who major in resources conservation may find work for government agencies and non-profit conservation organizations. Sample job titles include:

  • Ecologist
  • Soil analyst
  • Water systems specialist
  • Natural resources conservation writer
  • High school environmental science teacher

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

From 2014-2024, employment of conservationists and foresters was expected to increase 4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( In May 2015, forest and conservation workers earned an average annual salary of $29,860.

Continuing Education

Undergraduate majors may decide to continue their studies toward a conservation-related master's or doctoral degree program or pursue a graduate certificate. Those who would like to pursue conservation management roles generally need a master's degree in conservation or a related discipline. Individuals who want to work in conservation research or as university professors typically need a Ph.D. in the field.

Students with a passion for conservation can check out undergraduate degree programs in wildlife and natural resource conservation. Graduates may go on to pursue careers in ecology, water systems, teaching, and more.

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