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Master’s Degree Program in Wildlife Biology Overview

Majors Overview April 29, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in wildlife biology and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Degree Programs in Wildlife Biology

An interdisciplinary wildlife biology program combines the study of chemistry, anatomy, biology, and environmental science. Many universities and colleges readily offer master’s degree programs in this field.

Participants may take courses in evolution, ornithology, genetics, fire ecology, biogeography, mammalogy, and botany. Students learn through seminars and classroom instruction, in addition to data collection in the field, observation, and laboratory analysis.

Schools may require students to create a thesis or research dissertation supervised by a faculty mentor. Armed with a master’s-level wildlife biology degree, students can seek jobs in academic research, government, and agriculture.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, in addition to submitting high grades and scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). An interview with a faculty advisor or admissions counselor may be a requirement for students applying to a few selective programs.

Coursework

Coursework in a master’s degree program in wildlife biology includes science-based subjects such as biometry, plant taxonomy, and parasitology. Students can choose a specific concentration in their areas of interest, including ornithology, herpetology, and ichthyology. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Fire ecology
•Biogeography
•Wildlife management
•Natural history of insects
•Recreation and wildlife

Career Choices

Those who complete a master’s degree program in wildlife biology can seek occupations as general researchers, park rangers, and educators. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Research ecologist
•Teacher
•Botanist
•Game warden
•Program director

Continuing Education Choices

Those who graduate out of a master’s degree program in wildlife biology may seek continuing education by earning a doctoral degree in a related field, such as virology, marine biology, or zoology. This education would give them additional opportunities for executive positions with universities, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

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