Skip Navigation Links
Contact Information:
Department of
Natural Resources Science
University of Rhode Island
105 Coastal Institute
1 Greenhouse Road
Kingston, RI 02881.
Phone: (401)874-2026.
Fax: (401)874-4561.

Wildlife and Conservation Biology

The Major

Students enrolled in the Wildlife & Conservation Biology major study a combination of the natural sciences and principles of managing wildlife populations and their habitats. This major is one of very few in the United States that fulfills the educational requirements for certification as an Associate Wildlife Biologist by The Wildlife Society, the international organization for professionals in the wildlife field. It also provides an excellent foundation for graduate school. The URI Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is heavily involved with career-related activities.


The major requires 12 credits of professional courses, which include natural resource conservation, resource economics, introductory soil science, and environmental data analysis. As part of the basic science requirements, wildlife majors must complete three to four credits in general botany, three to four credits in general zoology, three credits in introductory ecology, eight credits in introductory physics, four credits in physical geology, four credits in introductory chemistry, four credits in organic chemistry, three credits in introductory calculus, and three credits in introductory statistics. Required concentration courses (22-23 credits) include: three credits in principles of wildlife management; four credits in field botany and taxonomy; three credits in wetland wildlife or nongame and endangered species management; six credits chosen from field ornithology, biology of mammals, vertebrate biology, or animal behavior; three to four credits in introduction to forest science, wetland wildlife management, wetland ecology, living aquatic resources, or fishery science; and three credits in either wildlife biometrics or introduction to computing. Supporting electives (31-32 credits) must be selected from approved lists and include the following upper-division course work: three credits in botany; six credits in zoology; six credits in resource policy or administration, environmental law, or land use planning; and six credits in communications. An additional 10-11 credits of supporting electives must be selected from concentration electives or from other 300- or 400-level NRS courses.

Official URI course information may be found in the printed Bulletin of the University of Rhode Island. An on-line version of the Bulletin and an HTML list of courses taught by the Department of Biological Sciences is available. Undergraduate programs typically incorporate courses at the 100-, 200-, 300-, and 400-levels. The courses for Biology students are listed below. You can access the URI catalogue at
Academic Options & Experiential Learning

Students are encouraged to perform research or independent study projects with faculty in Biological Sciences and other departments in the College of the Environment and Life Sciences for academic credit, participate in internships during the academic year or the summer (e.g., via the Coastal Fellows and EPSCoR Fellows Programs, or the Graduate School of Oceanography’s REU SURFO Program), or study at other universities in national and international exchange programs arranged through URI’s Office of International Education.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this major find employment with various state or federal agencies (such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service, or Forest Service, or Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management); with consulting firms; and with organizations like the Audubon Society and the National Wildlife Federation. Wildlife researchers work on habitat requirements of individual wildlife species and analyze the effects of such factors as pesticides, hunting, predation and land use on wildlife populations and their habitats. Wildlife managers operate refuges, regulate hunting and trapping seasons, manage public lands for the benefit of wildlife, and advise private landowners regarding wildlife management. Some wildlife biologists work for consulting firms that assess the environmental impact of proposed developments; others work in regulating land use in wetlands and coastal zones; still others teach in colleges, environmental education centers, and public schools.

Visit admissions to learn more about URI and how to apply.

See More...

Experiential Learning

Internship & Research Apprenticeship Forms

Wildlife & Conservation Biology Curriculum & Worksheet:

Wildlife & Conservation Biology Advising Checksheet:

Think Big. We Do.
e-Campus | Sakai | | WebMail | Directory | Contact Us

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA 1-401-874-1000
Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Web feedback
URI is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principles of affirmative action.