Wildlife Biology

College of Natural Science and Mathematics
Department of Biology and Wildlife

B.S., M.S. Degree

Minimum Requirements for Degree: 130 credits

Downloadable PDF

The undergraduate wildlife program provides basic education and training. This degree is designed for students whose objective is to accomplish 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 F141X.)
  2. Complete the B.S. degree requirements.
  3. Complete the following program (major) requirements:*
    1. Complete the following:
      BIOL F115X--Fundamentals of Biology I***--4 credits
      BIOL F116X--Fundamentals of Biology II***--4 credits
      BIOL F239--Introduction to Plant Biology--4 credits
      BIOL F271--Principles of Ecology--4 credits
      BIOL F310--Animal Physiology--4 credits
      BIOL F317--Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates--4 credits
      BIOL F331--Systematic Botany--4 credits
      BIOL F362--Principles of Genetics--4 credits
      BIOL F425--Mammalogy--3 credits
      BIOL F426W,O/2--Ornithology--3 credits
      ENGL F314W,O/2--Technical Writing (3)
           or ENGL F414W--Research Writing (3)--3 credits
      NRM F101--Natural Resources Conservation and Policy--3 credits
      NRM/WLF F431--Wildlife Law and Policy (3)
           or NRM F407--Environmental Law (3)--3 credits
      WLF F101--Survey of Wildlife Science--1 credit
      WLF F201--Wildlife Management Principles--3 credits
      WLF F303W--Wildlife Management Techniques--3 credits
      WLF F410--Wildlife Populations and Their Management--3 credits
      WLF F460--Wildlife Nutrition--3 credits
    2. Complete at least one of the following:
      BIOL F471--Population Ecology--3 credits
      WLF F433--Conservation Genetics--3 credits
      WLF F469O--Landscape Ecology and Wildlife Habitat--3 credits
    3. Complete the following:
      CHEM F105X--General Chemistry**--4 credits
      CHEM F106X--General Chemistry**--4 credits
      MATH F200X--Calculus (4)**
           or MATH F272X--Calculus for Life Sciences (3)**--3 - 4 credits
      PHYS F103X--College Physics--4 credits
      STAT F200X--Elementary Probability and Statistics (3)***
           or STAT F300--Statistics (3)***--3 credits
      STAT F401--Regression and Analysis of Variance***--4 credits
    4. Complete three of the following:
      BIOL F303--Principles of Metabolism and Biochemistry--4 credits
      BIOL F406--Entomology--4 credits
      BIOL F427--Ichthyology--3 credits
      BIOL F441W,O/2--Animal Behavior--3 credits
      BIOL F472--Community Ecology--3 credits
      BIOL F473W--Limnology--4 credits
      BIOL F474--Plant Ecology--4 credits
      BIOL F481--Principles of Evolution--3 credits
      NRM F312--Introduction to Range Management--3 credits
      NRM F338--Introduction to Geographic Information Systems--3 credits
      NRM F341--GIS Analysis--4 credits
      NRM F370--Introduction to Watershed Management--3 credits
      NRM F380W--Soils and the Environment--3 credits
      NRM F450--Forest Management--3 credits
      WLF F305--Wildlife Diseases--3 credits
      WLF F419O/2--Waterfowl and Wetlands Ecology and Management--4 credits
  4. Complete electives
  5. Minimum credits required--130 credits

* 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 F342--Microbiology--4 credits
    BIOL F481--Principles of Evolution--4 credits
    BIOL F303--Principles of Metabolism and Biochemistry (4) or CHEM F321 and CHEM F322--Organic Chemistry (6)--4 - 6 credits
  3. All prospective science teachers must complete the following:
    PHIL F481--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 F303W--Wildlife Management Techniques--3 credits
    WLF F410--Wildlife Populations and Their Management--3 credits
    WLF F460--Wildlife Nutrition--3 credits
    Approved BIOL and WLF electives*--6 credits
  2. Minimum credits required--15 credits

* Only biology or wildlife electives that are not required for the student's major.
Note: Prerequisites for required courses include BIOL F115X-F116X, BIOL F271, BIOL F310, STAT F200X or F300, and WLF F201. Depending upon a student's major, some of these prerequisites may satisfy the 6 elective credits in biology and wildlife required for this minor.