Preserve species, benefit society: that’s what we do.

A wildlife and conservation biology option is for the student who is preparing to do graduate or seeking a career in national and state conservation and resource management.

What You’ll Do

The curriculum includes rigorous coursework in ecology, plant biology, and animal biology. It prepares you to work one-on-one with nature in some beautiful environments.

  • Complete coursework on management of wildlife populations and wildlife habitat, conservation biology, wildlife toxicology, and wetlands ecology and management.
  • Gain hands-on experience at the Miller Reserve Wetlands Restoration Project, the Kelso Wildlife Sanctuary, the Reis Biological Research Station, and the Diversity and Research Greenhouses.
  • Engage with faculty advisors who are both active in research programs and readily involve students in their research programs.

Hands-on Learning

You’ll gain hands-on real-world experience through required 80 hours outside the classroom, gaining experience conducting, presenting, and publishing research.

Outcomes & Careers

  • 97%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Biology report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $67k

    Wildlife Biologist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for zoologists and wildlife biologists is $67,200.

  • $67k

    Conservation Scientist

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a conservation scientist is $67,040.

  • $46k

    Conservation Technician

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for forest and conservation technician is $45,860.

What You'll Study

The wildlife and conservation biology curriculum includes coursework to prepare you to continue your education in graduate school or to start your career. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

“Critical Courses” are italicized and bolded. Data shows that students who have completed this course in the first two years and have earned the noted grade are most likely to complete this program of study.

Biology: Wildlife and Conservation Biology

Required Courses:

  • BI163 Evolution & Ecology (4)
  • BI173 Cell & Organismal Biology (4)
  • BI283 Genetics (4)
  • BI389 Career Development in Biology (2)
  • CH184 General Chemistry I Lab (1)
  • CH185 General Chemistry I (3)

Choose one math course:

  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • MA137 Precalculus (5)
  • MA139 Applied Calculus (3)
  • MA140 Analytical Geometry & Calculus I (5)

Choose one additional math course:

  • MAxxx Additional math (for which MA116 is a prerequisite) (3)
  • MA155 Statistical Reasoning (3)

Experiential Learning Requirement: 2 hours

  • BI471-473 Internships in Biology (2)
  • BI551-553 Biology Field Studies (2)
  • BI563-565 Experience in Museum Curation (1-3)
  • BI570 Development of Instructional Materials (1)
  • BI589-591 Biological Research (2)

Wildlife and Conservation Option Required Courses:

  • BI332 General Ecology (3)
  • BO310 Plant Biology (4)
  • ZO310 Zoology (4)

Choose 6 Hours From:

  • BI420 Management of Wildlife Populations (3)
  • BI430 Management of Wildlife Habitat (3)
  • BI435 Conservation Biology (3)
  • BI440 Wetland Ecology and Management (3)
  • BI469 Wildlife Toxicology (3)

Biology Electives: choose at least 6 Hours not selected above

  • Any BI, BO, ZO, BT courses, 300 level and above (6)

Non-Biology Requirements: 3 Hours

  • GO110 Physical Geology (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

Freshman Year    

Fall Semester (15-17 Hours)     

  • UI100 (1) 
  • BI163 (4) 
  • CH184/185 (4) 
  • MA116/137/139/140 (3-5) 
  • General Education (3) 

Spring Semester (16 Hours)     

  • BI173 (4)
  • EN100 (3) 
  • Additional Math (3)
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Sophomore Year    

Fall Semester (16 Hours)  

  • BI283 (4) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • Elective (3)

Spring Semester (16 Hours)    

  • BI332 (3) 
  • BO310 (4) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Junior Year    

Fall Semester (15 Hours)    

  • BI389 (2) 
  • ZO310/010 (4) 
  • Biology elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Spring Semester (15 Hours)     

  • BI420/430/435/440/469 (3)
  • GO110/010 (3) 
  • Biology elective (3) 
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

Senior Year    

Fall Semester (14 Hours)     

  • BI420/430/435/440/469 (3)
  • Experiential Learning Course (2) 
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)

Spring Semester (13 Hours)  

  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (3)
  • Elective (1)

Milestone: achieve a target cumulative GPA of 3.0

A “Milestone” signifies a significant stage for a student in the completion of a degree.


Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

How Do Students Gain Experience?

At Southeast, a biology education goes beyond the classroom. The student chapter of the Wildlife Society provides peer support, activities, and guidance for students. Our students are also gaining valuable experience to complement their classroom work with internships and field experiences at:

  • Missouri Department of Conservation
  • World Bird Sanctuary
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa
  • Whiterock Nature Preserve
  • Black Hills, South Dakota

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Wildlife and Conservation Biology (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Contact Us
Rhodes Hall 224
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701