Wildlife Biology Degree: What to expect?

A Wildlife Biologist studies wildlife and their habitats. With your wildlife biology degree, you can get a job as a Biologist in wildlife or fisheries, or you can work in zoology, animal psychology, or even wildlife law enforcement or wildlife conservation. You may spend your time in a lab, researching and running tests, or out in the field, observing nature and documenting your findings.


Wildlife biology programs at universities will teach you the essentials of animal biology. You’ll spend your college life in lecture halls, studying chemistry, physics, and math, but you’ll also spend a significant amount of time in a lab, reviewing data. Fieldwork—where you’ll study ecology and conservation, among other important observational practices—is another important aspect of your education.

Next Step

If you want to go into wildlife management or a specialty in wildlife research, you’ll need to get a master’s degree in wildlife biology. A Ph.D. in wildlife biology is also required for higher positions, such as that of independent researcher for academic writings and journals. A master’s in wildlife biology will revolve around conservation, management duties, research practices, and population measurements.

With a Ph.D. course of study, you’ll go a step further and spend the bulk of your time outdoors, observing nature. You’ll work closely with another Wildlife Biologist, perhaps one of your Professors, who will act as your mentor. You may even work with a committee of Biologists. You’ll study genetics, habitats, statistics, and more, and your research will culminate in a dissertation and final exam.


Some of the courses you take will be in preparation for a certification exam from the Wildlife Society or the American Fisheries Society. Certification will allow you to earn some credibility, and make applying for jobs a bit easier, too.

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