The Top 15 Best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US in 2022

If you are the kind of person who likes to see animals, cycle up mountain paths or you are an outdoor animal lover, then this is the course for you. We’ve made available a list of the top 15 best wildlife biology schools in the US to ease your search.

wildlife biologists play a vital role in the welfare of forest animals preventing them from being extinct and caring for their injuries. In addition, wildlife biology is a fun course to study for it deals majorly with on-field experience.

However, we know you might have some questions like, who is a wildlife biologist? What is the importance of a wildlife biologist? how do I become a wildlife biologist in the US? Why attend wildlife biology schools in the US? and many more are what prompted us to put together this article to ease your mind of those questions.

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The Top 15 Best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US

Who is a Wildlife Biologist?

A wildlife biologist is a specialist who studies animals and their behavior along with the role each animal plays in its biological habitat. The responsibilities of a wildlife biologist can include: developing and performing experiments/studies on animals in their biological habitats, studying the characteristics of animals such as their relations with different species, the dynamic within a population, their movement and reproductive patterns, and the transmission of diseases.

In addition, Wildlife biologists play important roles in monitoring and managing population dynamics to preserve certain species and environments. Also, they perceive how animals interact with one another as well as how they interact with humans. Some wildlife biologists study the effects of human interference on an ecosystem. Wildlife biologists can advocate for the preservation of wildlife, work with endangered species, resolve issues about wildlife, and handle animal populations.

How To Become a Wildlife Biologist in the US

If you want to become a wildlife biologist, you’ll need to get at least a bachelor of science degree either in wildlife biology schools in the US or elsewhere then obtain a major in wildlife conservation, wildlife management, or a related life sciences degree. These majors are offered only at certain colleges and universities across the country.

However, as an undergraduate, you’ll study subjects like animal anatomy and physiology, writing, mathematics, statistics, and wildlife management. Also, If you choose to seek a master’s degree or higher, you’ll execute your thesis research under the direction of a professor, and you’ll be required to publish the results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

In addition, most people pay the bill for their undergraduate degrees. You can pay for this with scholarships, out of pocket, or with student loans. Try to avoid taking any student loans if you can, because the payments you’ll need to make once you graduate may be more than you can pay based on your salary.

Once you get a master’s degree or higher, though it’s common to get a tuition waiver and a basic living allowance as a teaching assistant or research assistant. This way, you don’t have to spend for your graduate degree.

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Top 15 Best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US

#1. Colorado State University (Fort Collins Co)

At first glance, Colorado State University features many of the same things found in other wildlife biology schools in the US on this list. 

Yes, they have access to all kinds of wildlife, especially those in mountain regions. They have crucial research projects. And also the school’s cooperations with institutions across the globe allow students to assess all the wildlife the world has to offer. 

Furthermore, like most of Colorado, Fort Collins is home to idyllic natural scenery, sweeping mountainscapes, and even the Horsetooth Reservoir, making it an ideal location for aspiring wildlife biologists.

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 70.7%

Tuition Fee: Local tuition $11,814, Domestic tuition $30,535

#2. Brigham Young University (Provo, UT)

Utah may not strike some as one of the ideal wildlife biology schools in the US to study in, but they haven’t looked at the offerings of the Brigham Young University programs. 

Thanks to the school’s recently built Life Sciences Building, students can study in cutting-edge facilities and work with new vehicles. These resources help students reach isolated areas and to assess their findings in a controlled environment.

In addition, these resources are all part of the school’s dedication to training students for careers in natural resource management. With core coursework focused on biology principles and ecology and numerous elective opportunities, students can let their curiosities drive their education.  

For those whose interests take them beyond the US, BYU has numerous study abroad opportunities. Also, students can bring their interest in nature across the globe, to Africa, Western Europe, Australia, and more.

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Acceptance Rate: 69%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Tuition Fee: $13,000

#3. Texas State University (San Marcos, TX)

Texas State University knows that the actions of humans affect the natural world. With that in mind, their wildlife undergraduate and graduate programs seek to help people find unique ways of enjoying the outdoors while also protecting the populations already there. 

The school’s classes involve many of the recreational activities enjoyed by lovers of the outdoors, birdwatching, including fishing, and picnicking. And it teaches them the lessons that emphasize the facts of ecological life. These courses teach students about wildlife management and natural history.

In addition, this practical approach does not distract but supports the department’s research agenda. TSU features several programs designed to help students in their research and carry them on long-term faculty projects. 

Also, the best sign of the school’s devotion to caring for the environment might be its active Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society. The passion for protecting and enjoying the outdoors drives every aspect of the department.

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 54%

Tuition Fee: $15,000

#4. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

The Environmental Science and Forestry program at SUNY College pursues to balance the needs of wildlife and the needs of people.

The school creates a curriculum around applied ecology, teaching students to manage all types of wildlife, including endangered overabundant populations and species. From this perspective, future scientists work with all kinds of wildlife, including invertebrates and plants.

In addition, students gain experience working on one of the program’s many field stations. With about 15,000 acres, the Adirondack Ecological Center makes vital contributions to place-based research on an international ranking. Located in the middle of the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, the Ecological Center drives one of the world’s most valuable conservation and sustainability experiments.

Acceptance Rate: 60%

Graduation Rate: 79%

Tuition Fee: $20,000

#5. University of Vermont (Burlington, VT)

As part of the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources and Environment, the wildlife and fishery program at the University of Vermont is devoted to the study of ecological diversity.

To that end, the program features a curriculum focused on the biology, ecology and conservation of animal populations. Students learn about the natural history and conservation needs of everything from hunted and endangered species to overpopulated species. 

Also, by attending the University of Vermont, students in the fishery and wildlife program have access to the state’s many natural resources. In addition, Fields, Lakes, mountains, and fields are all within driving distance from the main campus. Also, the school usually offers intensive field study courses, enabling students to get their hands dirty and learn. 

Furthermore, partnerships with schools abroad allow students to study in other regions, including South Texas, Florida, and Costa Rica. 

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 75%

Tuition Fee: $19,000

#6. Utah State University (Logan, Ut)

Although another Utah-based institution already appeared on this list of Best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US, only Utah State University has a College committed to studying natural resources. Furthermore, UST’s unique wildlife biology major gives students resources to study the management of human-wildlife conflict. 

The interdisciplinary Center for Integrated BioSystems takes a progressive procedure to agricultural and life sciences. 

Also, the administrative Ecology Center also organizes research and ecology science by encouraging networking and collaboration across departments and schools. 

The Utah Agricultural Experiment Station provides researchers in all of the nation’s land-grant universities space to meet and study. 

With all of these supports, it’s easy to see why UST stands out on this list of best wildlife biology schools.

Acceptance Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 48%

Tuition Fee: $14,000

#7. University of Maine (Orono, ME)

Founded in 1935, the Department of Wildlife, Fishery, and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine lets learning be driven by students’ exploration interests. Also, due to the partnerships within the College of Natural Sciences, students can study everything from natural resource management to aquatic wildlife.

In addition, students can practice their trade in the school’s abundant natural resource areas. The university owns and protects about 15,000 acres of woodland, complete with biking and hiking trails, as well as cross-country skiing opportunities. 

The nearby Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge provides students access to moose, bears, deer, beavers, bobcats, and other species. In addition to the Maine coastline, the university campus is near the Acadia National Park.

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As these examples demonstrate, the University of Maine’s program encourages students to dim the lines between recreation and work. They believe that caring for the environment should be fun and fulfilling.

Acceptance Rate: 92%

Graduation Rate: 57%

Tuition Fee: $18,000

#8. University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH)

Located near New Hampshire’s Atlantic Coastline and only about an hour from the White Mountains, the University of New Hampshire provides students access to a wide range of ecological populations. In addition to field training in those areas, students at the University of New Hampshire also study their findings in the school’s state-of-the-art lab. 

The school’s programs ready students for careers in several wildlife industries, including big game management, conservation biology, conservation genetics, and population ecology.

As part of a tier-one research institution, UNH’s wildlife and conservation biology program is a major contributor to the school’s $110 million research endowment. 

However, even undergraduate students have the chance to work in cutting-edge projects such as the EcoQuest Study Abroad Program in New Zealand, in which they attain practical experience in ecology, environmental policy and resource management.

At the Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, students also receive resources and financial support to follow their projects. Past projects include examining the effects of the European monetary union and investigating moose habitat.

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 78%

Tuition Fee: $24,000

#9. Auburn University (Auburn, AL)

Auburn University’s School of Wildlife & Forestry Sciences offers several unique programs. Taking advantage of its position in the American south, Auburn has access to human needs and wildlife populations special to its region. Because of these qualities, the school can feature programs that others cannot.  

Furthermore, one such programs is the school’s wildlife enterprise management degree, one out of only two in the country. Graduates with this degree provide fishing and hunting adventures within the private service sector. Students learn how to care for the wildlife environment in which they work, and also the business requirements for being an entrepreneur.

Integrating ethical concerns with practical realities, the program readies students to become facility directors at hunting/shooting ranges, outdoor adventure promoters, or managers at fishing resorts.

Acceptance Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 77%

Tuition Fee: $24,000

#10. South Dakota State University (Brookings, SD)

The degrees in fishery and wildlife sciences at South Dakota State University tailor themselves for those who prefer to be stewards of our natural resources. Also, the program readies students for fulfilling careers as state or federal park naturalists, biologists, hatchery managers, or more. 

In addition, students take courses to enable them to understand the organisms in natural populations, also their relationship to human users. Additionally, students learn vital soft skills, including leadership, teamwork, and ethics, as well as overwhelming skills in statistics and technology.

SDSU’s faculty provides years of experience and expertise to assist students. That includes Dr. Charles Fenster, whose study has earned him numerous large awards and grants to continue studying green infrastructure. 

Acceptance Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 55%

Tuition Fee: $19,000

#11. University of Michigan, Flint MI

The Wildlife Biology School Program at the University of Michigan is deemed a “signature” degree.

The program consists of a mix of essential theoretical courses, wildlife management methods, and field experience. Also, the required coursework includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, communication, and humanities.

There are unique courses in Biology, such as Forest Vegetation identification, Plant-Animal Interactions, and Forest Ecology offered at the university.

Furthermore, fieldwork opportunities are available to students in the wider Michigan region and Great Lakes. Also, the utmost goal of the program is to prepare the students for entry-level positions at federal and state agencies devoted to wildlife study and management.

Finally, the faculty collaborates with several universities, Busch garden, Native American Tribes, and Detroit Zoo.

Acceptance Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 49%

Tuition Fee: $13,000

#12. Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University offers both online and On-Campus courses in Fishery and Wildlife Science. The students are prepared to study freshwater, marine, and terrestrial species.

The program offers an internship and specialization curriculum that is organized together with the student’s advisor. Also, the specializations include aquatic management, marine conservation, and conservation, Mammalian Biology and Ecology, and Riparian ecology or Stream.

The degree also requires an exploratory or an intensive internship for completion.

Also, Hatfield Marine Science Center offers specialized courses in Aquatic species conservation, Marine Science, and management.

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Acceptance Rate: 82%

Graduation Rate: 64%

Tuition Fee: $20,000

#13. The University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

The Wildlife and Fishery Biology and Management program is focused on wildlife and fishery resources management, with an emphasis on ecology and evolution.

The program combines basic core subjects ( General Biology, Physics, Genetics, and Chemistry) with intensive training in fishery/wildlife management.

Also, their degree includes science journalism, management, renewable resources optional specialized courses in wildlife law.

During the Senior and junior years, the students would be able to choose a specialization in either aquatic or terrestrial species.

The degree is compatible with professional requirements for the American Fishery Society and the American Wildlife Society.

Acceptance Rate: 94%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Tuition Fee: $12,000

#14. Lees MacRae college, Banner Elk, NC

The accreditation of the Lees MacRae College was done by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission. Also, the institution is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains is ideally courses in studying Biology. Also, there are forests and reserves within reach. Besides the standard curriculum, there are other outstanding options offered in this program like:

Courses in Wildlife veterinary and rehabilitation science are available at the college. There are various long-term research projects that students can partake in.

In addition, the college is affiliated with the Elk Valley Preserve and Field Station where students can attain experience in caring for wildlife, as well as studying invertebrate and vertebrate terrestrial and aquatic species.

During the senior year, students are expected to conduct their own research project.

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Graduation Rate: 32%

Tuition Fee: $21,000

#15. Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD

Frostburg State University is the only institution that offers a 4-year major in wildlife Biology in Maryland.

The program enables students to obtain several optional specializations, such as management of the fishery, game management, and wildlife research and conservation.

The students have an opportunity to conduct field studies in the Allegheny Mountains.

In the course of the study, it would be possible to partake in cave and stream surveys to analyze the population dynamics of endangered species. The university also offers internships in wildlife state services and parks.

It is possible to add minors in animal behavior, sustainability, ethnobotany, geography, or sustainability.

Also, there is a local fish museum where the pupils can get some theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

There are also multiple labs (microbiology and genetics) that students can use for research and studies.

The program allows certification for the Wildlife Society and Fishery Society.

Acceptance Rate: 74%

Graduation Rate: 49%

Tuition Fee: $17,000


After going through this list of best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US you should have been able to select the one that best suits you.

Nonetheless, we are always here to assist you in the best possible way can if need be.

FAQs On Top 15 Best Wildlife Biology Schools in the US

Where do wildlife biologists work?

Wildlife biologists can spend a lot of time outside the field studying animals and collecting samples which they will often take to a lab for analysis. Most wildlife biologists specialise in certain types of animals or habitats and will work in areas where those are most prevalent.

What specialty can wildlife biologists choose?

Wildlife biologists can choose their specialty by the environment, becoming a marine wildlife expert for example, or focusing on swamps and wetlands. Also, they can also specialize by project type, choosing to work specifically to protect endangered species or in animal relocation.

Who employs wildlife biologists?

A number of government departments have wildlife biologists on staff, including the Fish and Wildlife service, and planning departments will often consult with wildlife biologists when considering applications. Wildlife biologists can also work in zoos, educational establishments, and research facilities.

What skills do you need to be a wildlife biologist?

Wildlife biologists need to be able to communicate clearly and present the data they collect in a way that policymakers, the public, and other interested parties will understand. Also, they need to have good problem-solving and critical thinking skills to help them find solutions to help endangered animals.

What hours do wildlife biologists work?

Wildlife biologists need to be able to communicate clearly and present the data they collect in a way that policymakers, the public, and other interested parties will understand. They also need to have good problem-solving and critical thinking skills to help them find solutions to help endangered animals.

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