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Fisheries and Wildlife Science – Wildlife Focus

Mammalogy Students
Ornithology Students
Duck Banding
Beaver Trapping
Aldo Leopold Book
Dr. Anderson helping students in lab
Greater Prairie-chicken
Students with airboat
The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degree (B.S.) with a Wildlife Focus prepares students for careers in natural resources with state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, environmental consulting, and graduate school. Graduates are qualified for federal positions with agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey and others. State agencies that graduates commonly work for include the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, North Dakota Parks and Recreation, and the North Dakota Forest Service. Non-profit conservation organizations include Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Delta Waterfowl, and The Nature Conservancy. The degree also prepares you for higher academic degrees. On average 15% of our graduates go on to earn a Master’s degree. Students majoring in the Wildlife focus meet the certification requirements of The Wildlife Society as an Associate Wildlife Biologist upon graduation.

Multiple field trips involving hands-on experience are taken in all wildlife courses. Faculty strongly encourage students to obtain summer work experience through summer internships. Internships provide students with great practical experience, and make VCSU graduates more competitive in the job market. Each summer around 50 students have an internship in some area of natural resources. VCSU faculty have a close working relationship with multiple state and Federal agencies, which enables students to get hands-on experience through field trips while also networking with professionals.
You have the choice of majoring in the Fisheries, Wildlife, or Conservation Law Enforcement. Many students do major in more than one focus.

Why VCSU?
  • Small class sizes that enable faculty to really focus on field trips and hands-on learning.
  • Field-oriented classes – a sampling of wildlife field trips includes: banding ducks, trapping, birding in ornithology, wetland delineation, plant surveys, plant collecting and ID, wildlife necropsies, wildlife telemetry, and many others.
  • All Science Faculty have their Ph.D.’s, and teach their own labs. You probably have not thought about this, but at larger Universities, graduate students often are the ones to teach the labs.
  • Outstanding facilities - Rhoades Science building is new (2013) and has excellent labs that were designed around the Fisheries and Wildlife Science major. Examples include the greenhouse, terrestrial lab, and the necropsy room.
  • Students have multiple opportunities to travel to regional and national professional meetings. Faculty annually take wildlife students to the North Dakota Chapter of The Wildlife Society meeting and the North Dakota Chapter of the Northern Great Plains Section of the Society for Range Management meeting. At larger Universities undergraduate students often do not get these opportunities.