Wildlife Biology

Chad Bishop, Wildlife Biology; Director

The Wildlife Biology Program combines the best features of a liberal arts curriculum with scientific preparation in wildlife conservation. The Program provides students with an extensive knowledge in ecology, population biology, conservation biology, and critical thinking and quantitative skills. Our students receive a strong academic and scientific background with an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning. The educational requirements for certification by The Wildlife Society can be met within the framework of the undergraduate program. 

While some employment opportunities exist in wildlife conservation for students with the baccalaureate degree, we encourage students to continue their education through the master's degree to qualify for most state, federal, and private positions.

Two concentrations are offered in the Wildlife Biology Program: terrestrial and aquatic. They both follow the same schedule of courses for the freshman and most of the sophomore year and then pursue different curricula for the last two years. Each leads to a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. The University is well-suited for instruction in wildlife biology because of the excellent opportunities for field instruction and research at Lubrecht Experimental Forest, Flathead Lake Biological Station, and the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial and Bandy ranches. The Montana Forest and Conservation Experiment Station, the Division of Biological Sciences, and the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit facilitate research.

The honors curriculum is designed particularly for students with strong academic records who intend to do graduate work. Entrance into this emphasis is open only to students who, at the beginning of the junior year of the wildlife biology program, have a grade-point average of 3.5 or above and who petition the faculty for entrance.

High School Preparation: In addition to general University admission requirements, the student should elect four years of mathematics and three years of science, including biology, chemistry and physics.

Honors students must complete either WILD 370, WILD 470 and WILD 494 (terrestrial option) or BIOO 340, BIOE 428 and WILD 494 (aquatic option). Honors students are encouraged to enroll also in WILD 499. The balance of the coursework for the junior and senior years will be developed in consultation with the honors student's faculty advisor and committee.

All students in the honors emphasis are required to meet with their faculty advisor prior to autumn semester registration of their junior and senior years to work out their course schedules.