Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences - BS, Vertebrate Zoology Option

Graduates are well equipped for post-baccalaureate study in many life science fields (graduate school programs and human and veterinary medicine) or for direct entry into professions such as wildlife management, fisheries management, environmental impact assessment, aquaculture, natural history museum education, zoological park collection management, public school teaching and urban wildlife management. Employers of recent graduates include state and federal resource agencies, scientific foundations, ranches, hunting and fishing clubs, fish farms, environmental consulting firms, museums and secondary schools.

Wildlife Ecology & Conservation; Fisheries, Aquaculture & Aquatic Sciences; and Vertebrate Zoology curriculum options lead to the Bachelor of Science degree. Each student will choose a course of study from among the options within the department’s curricula after consultation with the academic advisor. The chosen option is enhanced by a common departmental “core” of courses necessary for a sound education in the wildlife and fisheries conservation professions.

Students are encouraged to develop an emphasis area within their degree option. To build this emphasis area, students will choose directed electives, from related disciplines, in consultation with their academic advisor and faculty members.

Vertebrate Zoology Option

This emphasis provides the rigorous training needed for careers in the various aspects of natural resources related to the fields of ichthyology, herpetology, mammalogy and ornithology, including behavior, ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, physiology and systematics. It is a flexible program which permits the inclusion of courses specifically required by schools graduate programs as well as schools of dentistry, law, medicine and veterinary medicine.

For students interested in biological diversity and the ecological processes and population interactions that sustain it, courses in this option are designed to provide a strong foundation in basic and applied organismal biology that will prepare students for graduate studies as well as careers within governmental and nongovernmental agencies and environmental firms dealing with biological conservation.

Students who are interested in mathematical and statistical approaches to conservation of endangered species, management of exploited populations, and their habitats will be equipped in basic ecological data analysis and modeling. The demand for professionals who can integrate quantitative methods and ecological concepts is rapidly increasing among government agencies, academia, and the private sector. Possible careers include entry-level assistant positions in fisheries management, wildlife management, environmental consulting, and research at conservation agencies, hospitals, and universities. This is also suitable for students who plan to obtain a post baccalaureate degree (MS or PhD) in ecology and related fields later in order to pursue higher level positions.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
BIOL 111 Introductory Biology I 4
MATH 140 Mathematics for Business and Social Sciences 3
RENR 205 Fundamentals of Ecology 3
WFSC 101 Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries 3
Directed elective 1 2
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
BIOL 112 Introductory Biology II 4
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
MATH 142 Business Calculus 3
American history 2 3
Social and behavioral sciences 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Second Year
Fall
CHEM 120 Fundamentals of Chemistry II 4
STAT 302 Statistical Methods 3
WFSC 302 Natural History of the Vertebrates 3
American history 2 3
Language, philosophy and culture 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring
CHEM 227
CHEM 237
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
ENGL 104 Composition and Rhetoric 3
PHYS 201 College Physics 4
Government/Political science 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Third Year
Fall
CHEM 228
CHEM 238
Organic Chemistry II
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
4
Select one of the following: 4
Principles of Animal Physiology  
Biomedical Physiology I  
Natural History of the Invertebrates  
Creative arts 2 3
Government/Political science 2 3
Directed elective 1 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
BICH 303
Elements of Biological Chemistry
or Comprehensive Biochemistry I
3
COMM 203 Public Speaking 3
Biodiversity elective 3 3
Directed elective 1 4
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall
ENGL 210 Technical and Business Writing 3
GENE 301 Comprehensive Genetics 3
RENR 215 Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory 1
Select one of the following: 3
Field Studies  
Internship  
Directed Studies  
Research  
Biodiversity elective 3 3
 Semester Credit Hours13
Spring
PHYS 202 College Physics 4
WFSC 304 Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation 3
Directed elective 1 4
Directed elective 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Students are required to make a C or better in all WFSC and RENR 205/RENR 215 courses.

A total of 120 semester hours will be required for a BS degree.