Wildlife Biology

College of Natural Science and Mathematics
Department of Biology and Wildlife
(907) 474-7671

B.S., M.S. Degrees

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 130 credits

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The undergraduate wildlife program provides basic education and training. This degree is designed for students whose objective is to do the research needed to provide additional information on wild animal populations, their habitat and habitat-animal relationships. This degree is also for students whose primary interests involve interpreting, applying or disseminating research findings, rather than their acquisition. A wildlife B.S. degree is appropriate for students contemplating careers in wildlife agency administration, in developing and implementing wildlife management plans and in public information and education. The curriculum provides a solid foundation for graduate study and meets requirement for certification by The Wildlife Society.

The geographic location of the university is particularly advantageous for the study of wildlife biology. Spruce forest, aspen-birch forest, alpine tundra, bogs and several types of aquatic habitats are within easy reach. Studies can be made in many other habitats ranging from the dense forests of southeastern Alaska to arctic tundra.

Adequate study collections of plants and animals are available, and a 2,000-acre study area is near the campus. Wildlife biology students have ample opportunity for close association with the personnel of the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Institute of Arctic Biology and several local offices of the federal and state conservation agencies. These agencies often provide support for graduate student projects, and program faculty usually hire a number of students for summer field work. Thus, an unusually good opportunity is available for students to gain experience and to make job connections.

Major--B.S. Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements. (As part of the core curriculum requirements, complete: COMM 141X.)
  2. Complete the B.S. degree requirements.
  3. Complete the following program (major) requirements:*
    1. Complete the following:
      BIOL 105X--Fundamentals of Biology I*** 4 credits
      BIOL 106X--Fundamentals of Biology II*** 4 credits
      BIOL 239--Introduction to Plant Biology 4 credits
      BIOL 271--Principles of Ecology 4 credits
      BIOL 310--Animal Physiology 4 credits
      BIOL 317--Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates 4 credits
      BIOL 331--Systematic Botany 4 credits
      BIOL 362--Principles of Genetics 4 credits
      BIOL 425--Mammalogy 3 credits
      BIOL 426W,O/2--Ornithology 3 credits
      BIOL 471--Population Ecology 3 credits
      ENGL 314W,O/2--Technical Writing (3)
      or ENGL 414W--Research Writing (3) 3 credits
      NRM 101--Natural Resources Conservation and Policy 3 credits
      NRM/WLF 431--Wildlife Law and Policy (3)
      or NRM 407--Environmental Law (3) 3 credits
      WLF 101--Survey of Wildlife Science 1 credit
      WLF 201--Wildlife Management Principles 3 credits
      WLF 303W--Wildlife Management Techniques 3 credits
      WLF 410--Wildlife Populations and Their Management 3 credits
      WLF 460--Nutrition and Physiological Ecology of Wildlife 3 credits
    2. Complete the following:
      CHEM 105X--General Chemistry** 4 credits
      CHEM 106X--General Chemistry** 4 credits
      MATH 200X--Calculus (4)**
      or MATH 272X--Calculus for Life Sciences (3)** 3-4
      PHYS 103X--College Physics 4 credits
      STAT 200--Elementary Probability and Statistics (3)***
      or STAT 300--Statistics (3)*** 3 credits
      STAT 401--Regression and Analysis of Variance*** 4 credits
    3. Complete 3 of the following:
      BIOL 303--Principles of Metabolism and Biochemistry 4 credits
      BIOL 406--Entomology 4 credits
      BIOL 407--Aquatic Entomology 3 credits
      BIOL 427--Ichthyology 3 credits
      BIOL 441W,O/2--Animal Behavior 3 credits
      BIOL 444--Reproductive Biology 3 credits
      BIOL 472--Community Ecology 3 credits
      BIOL 473W--Limnology 4 credits
      BIOL 474--Plant Ecology 4 credits
      BIOL 480--Water Pollution Biology 3 credits
      BIOL 481--Principles of Evolution 3 credits
      NRM 312--Introduction to Range Management 3 credits
      NRM 338--Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 credits
      NRM 341--GIS Analysis 4 credits
      NRM 370--Introduction to Watershed Management 3 credits
      NRM 380W--Soils and the Environment 3 credits
      NRM 450--Forest Management 3 credits
      WLF 305--Wildlife Diseases 3 credits
      WLF 419O/2--Waterfowl and Wetlands Ecology and Management 4 credits
  4. Complete electives
  5. Minimum credits required 130

    * Student must earn a C grade or better in each course.

    ** Satisfies a core requirement.

    *** Satisfies a B.S. degree requirement.

    Note: B.S. degree candidates are strongly urged to obtain work experience in wildlife-related positions with public resource agencies or private firms. Faculty members can help students contact potential employers.

Requirements for biology teachers (grades 7-12):*

  1. Complete all the requirements of the wildlife biology B.S. degree.
  2. All prospective biology teachers must complete the following:
    BIOL 342--Microbiology 4 credits
    BIOL 481--Principles of Evolution 4 credits
    BIOL 303--Principles of Metabolism and Biochemistry (4)
    or CHEM 321 and CHEM 322--Organic Chemistry (6) 4-6
  3. All prospective science teachers must complete one of the following:
    PHIL 380--Conceptual Foundations of Science (3)
    or PHIL 382--Science and Technological limits (3)
    or PHIL 481--Philosophy of Science (3) 3 credits

    *We strongly recommend that prospective secondary science teachers seek advising from the UAF School of Education early in your undergraduate degree program, so that you can be appropriately advised of the state of Alaska requirements for teacher licensure. You will apply for admission to the UAF School of Education's post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program, a one-year intensive program, during your senior year. Above requirements apply to all candidates who apply to the UAF School of Education Spring 2006 or later, for licensure in biology.


  1. Complete the following:
    WLF 303W--Wildlife Management Techniques 3 credits
    WLF 410--Wildlife Populations and Their Management 3 credits
    WLF 460--Nutrition and Physiological Ecology of Wildlife 3 credits
    Approved BIOL and WLF electives* 6 credits
  2. Minimum credits required 15

    * Only biology or wildlife electives that are not required for the student's major.

    Note: Prerequisites for required courses include BIOL 105X-106X, BIOL 271, BIOL 310, STAT 200 or STAT 300, and WLF 20Depending upon a student's major, some of these prerequisites may satisfy the 6 elective credits in biology and wildlife required for this minor.