Masters in Conservation Biology Graduate Programs

A Masters in Conservation Biology Graduate Program may be perfect for you if you want to deepen your understanding of the environmental problems associated with the decline of ecosystems and the loss of biological diversity. Let’s face it; worrying about climate change and the extinction of the condors won’t solve anything. The world needs conservation scientists because they study ecology, wildlife systems and conservation biology in different settings. Professionals in this field are tasked with managing, improving, and protecting the country's natural resources. Does understanding more about conservation and studying natural environments or wildlife populations appeal to you? Are you solution-focused with a concern for the environmental interactions between animals, plants, and humans? If so, take a look inside a Conservation Biology Masters Program!

Conservation Biology Masters Career Options

Masters in Conservation Biology Program Essentials

If you are considering enrolling in a Conservation Biology Masters Program, you need to have your Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. In some cases, a background in ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology is preferred. You also may need to submit official undergraduate transcripts and GRE test scores. In some cases, it may be recommended that you take the Biology Subject test and, you may also be expected to have a Statement of Academic Purpose and three letters of recommendation from academic sources.

Most Masters in Conservation Biology degree programs take at least 2 years of study to complete. Along the way, you learn about advanced topics in conservation through courses, environmental seminars and field excursions. You may also be required to write a thesis or conduct an independent research project before program completion. This is called a ‘capstone’.

FUN FACT: In 2015, there were nearly 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in forestry, urban forestry, and natural resources and ecosystem management accredited by the Society of American Foresters[i].

How to Find a Masters in Conservation Biology Grad Program

Grad Schools.com has easy to use search tools to help you find the program that aligns with your interests. You can start off with a location search; use the city, state or country to see where you might prefer to study. Then review the listings. You can also request info from each graduate school from the site, so send off a few notes and then, from there, narrow it down. Browse all Campus listings

Types Of Conservation Biology Masters Degree Programs

Students completing a master’s degree in this field typically pursue a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Conservation Biology. You likely will not find online degree programs since the Conservation Biology concentration emphasizes the importance of practical field experience and ‘getting your feet wet’. However, you might explore Masters in Environmental Science Online Programs to see what is available as a distance-learning option. Core requirements often include a mix of conceptual and practical classes, research, and practica.

Masters in Conservation Biology: Potential Curriculum

Students might expect to learn fundamental disciplines and theory of conservation biology, as well as concentration courses in conservation issues. Expect as well that you are likely to examine individual species and their interactions with the environment, as well as the way in which policy decisions can drive beneficial or harmful changes in ecosystems.

DID YOU KNOW? Scientists and foresters also typically have a background in a geographic information systems (GIS) technology, remote sensing, and other forms of computer modeling.[ii]

Since conservation biology is interdisciplinary, you may find programs that combine the natural sciences with environmental policy and law. Courses might include:

  • Evolutionary biology
  • Biometrics
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Statistical analysis
  • Biological Sciences

Potential areas of Concentration might include:

  • Wildlife Management
  • Water pollution
  • Evolution
  • Animal behavior
  • Computer cartography
  • Aquatic ecology

Potential Career Paths for Masters in Conservation Biology Graduates

If you aspire to work as a Conservation Scientist or Forester, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in forestry or a related field, such as agricultural science, rangeland management, or environmental science. Graduate work is not generally required, however, some conservation scientists and foresters get a master’s degree or Ph.D.

Furthermore, if you aspire to a postsecondary teaching career, or to conduct higher-level investigative or scientific work as a Wildlife Biologist or Zoologist, you need at least a Masters degree and possibly a PhD in Conservation Biology[iii].

Take the Next Step

If you took anything away with you, it might be that earning your Masters in Conservation Biology may give you more options and a deeper level of knowledge and the opportunity to pursue a concentration in an area that is really meaningful to you. So take the next step in your education, and explore Conservation Biology Graduate Programs on GradSchools.com today!


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htm | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/conservation-scientists.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/zoologists-and-wildlife-biologists.htm | http://www.safnet.org/

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