Wildlife Biology and Conservation

College of Natural Science and Mathematics
Department of Biology and Wildlife

BS, MS Degrees; Minor

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Minimum Requirements for Degree: 120 credits

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 BS 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 fieldwork. Thus, an unusually good opportunity is available for students to gain experience and to make job connections.

Major -- BS Degree

  1. Complete the general university requirements. (As part of the core curriculum requirements, complete COMM F141X.)
  2. Complete the BS 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 F260--Principles of Genetics--4 credits
      BIOL F310--Animal Physiology--4 credits
      BIOL F317--Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates--4 credits
      BIOL F331--Systematic Botany (4)
           or BIOL F488--Arctic Vegetation Ecology: Geobotany--3 credits
      BIOL F371--Principles of Ecology--4 credits
      ENGL F314W,O/2--Technical Writing (3)
           or ENGL F414W--Research Writing (3)--3 credits
      WLF F101--Survey of Wildlife Science--1.5 credits
      WLF F301--Design of Wildlife Studies--3 credits
      WLF F322W--Principles and Techniques of Wildlife Management--3 credits
      WLF F410--Wildlife Populations and Their Management--3 credits
      WLF F460O/2--Wildlife Nutrition--4 credits
    2. Complete at least one of the following:
      BIOL F471--Population Ecology--3 credits
      WLF F305--Wildlife Diseases--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)
           or GEOS F101X--The Dynamics of Earth (4)
           or NRM F380W--Soils and the Environment (3)--3–4 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 at least one from each of the following pairs:
      WLF F420O--Ecology and Management of Birds (3)
           or BIOL F426W,O/2 Ornithology (3)--3 credtis
      WLF F421--Ecology and Management of Large Mammals (3)
           or BIOL F425--Mammalogy (3)--3 credits
    5. Complete two of the following:*
      NRM F204--Public Lands Law and Policy--3 credits
      ECON F235--Introduction to Natural Resources Economics--3 credits
      NRM F407--Environmental Law--3 credits
      HIST F411--Environmental History--3 credits
      PS F447--Environmental Politics--3 credits
    6. Complete at least one additional course at the F300 level or higher (3 or 4 credits) in biology, wildlife biology, fisheries or natural resources management.*--3–4 credits
  4. Minimum credits required--120 credits

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

** Satisfies a core requirement.

*** Satisfies a BS degree requirement.

Note: BS 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 BS 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 (7)--4–7 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 postbaccalaureate 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 F301--Design of Wildlife Studies--3 credits
    WLF F410--Wildlife Populations and their Management--3 credits
    WLF F460O/2--Wildlife Nutrition--4 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 F371, BIOL F310, STAT F200X or F300, and WLF F322W. Depending upon a student's major, some of these prerequisites may satisfy the 6 elective credits in biology and wildlife required for this minor.