7 Best Online Wildlife & Forestry Conservation Programs

Maintaining and preserving forestry and wildlife often falls on professionals who have specialized training in wildlife and forestry conservation.

Understanding the threats to forestry and wildlife natural environments and taking action to deter threats to those environments may protect these systems for future generations.

Wildlife and forestry conservation

Completing an online wildlife and conservation program allows students to have flexibility in their studies.

It also prepares them for a rewarding career or to expand their career opportunities.

These best online wildlife and forestry conservation programs range from career diploma programs to post-graduate studies programs.

Earn your Nationally-accredited, affordable Wildlife Forestry and Conservation career diploma online with Penn Foster in as little as 4 months!

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1 Penn Foster Career School – Career Diploma

Start a career in forestry and wildlife conservation by earning a career diploma at the Penn Foster Career School.

Students will appreciate the fact that although the average time for completing the online program is eight months, the fast-track option consists of five months of study.

There are no prior educational or work requirements.

Students need only a basic knowledge of wildlife, nature, and the environment.

Once students start familiarizing themselves with the natural world, they learn how to characterize the natural habits and behaviors of various wildlife species.

Students gain an understanding of patrolling the forest areas.

They learn the importance of enforcing the regulations related to environmental protection.

The school provides students with National Audubon Society and National Parks Field Guides to help them with their understanding of various species of animals and ecosystems.

The tuition for the accredited program is $799, as of September 2023.

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2 Unity Environmental University – Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Conservation program at Unity Environmental University provides students with the knowledge of how to protect wild animals and their natural habitats.

Students identify plant life, explore habitats in their own community, and create a management plan.

They learn how to collect data and learn how to manage different species.

The students also develop a sense of sound judgment related to modern environmental issues.

The online program prepares students to become wildlife biologists or ecologists.

They may work as managers for government agencies, organizations, or other entities where the sustainable management of a variety of wildlife species is a goal.

Unity Environmental University, which is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), features eight start dates throughout the year.

Students may enroll in the online program at these times.

Many students complete this degree and continue their studies in a graduate program, while other students choose to work in the field immediately after graduation.

Contact Information

  • Address: 70 Farm View Dr Suite 200, New Gloucester, ME 04260
  • Phone: 207-509-7100
  • Website: Visit School Website

3 Colorado State University – Graduate Certificate

Study conservation methods, goals, and outcomes.

Learn how to develop habitat management plans that are grounded in science and responsible land use.

Students who are enrolled in the Online Wildlife Conservation Actions Graduate Certificate program at Colorado State University analyze conservation policy, including the forces that influence it.

They learn how to solve complex challenges while using a holistic, multidisciplinary approach.

Students discover how to become a sustainability change agent.

Program graduates become leaders in wildlife conservation policy and natural resources management.

The 12-credit hour program can be completed in two semesters.

Tuition is $705 per credit.

Students outside the state need not worry about out-of-state tuition.

The university indicates that the same in-state tuition rate applies to all students.

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4 Oregon State University – Master's Degree

The Oregon State University Online Ecampus invites graduate students to change their lives and to change the world.

The university offers a Master’s in Natural Sciences and Conservation degree that has five concentration options.

One option is the Master of Natural Resources program.

It is an interdisciplinary 45-credit hour program.

The program is designed for natural resources professionals.

It allows students to choose an area of emphasis from the graduate certificate programs or to develop their own area of emphasis with the assistance of their advisor.

Some areas of emphasis that students choose are Forests and Climate Change, Urban Forestry, Wildlife Management, and Sustainable Natural Resources. Students complete an oral exam and a capstone project.

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5 Oregon State University – Graduate Certificate

Many undergraduate students choose to earn a graduate certificate to improve their career opportunities or to focus on a specific area of interest before they start their career in wildlife and forestry conservation.

Some students complete one of the Graduate Certificates in Natural Sciences and Conservation at Oregon State University Ecampus before they enroll in a master’s degree program.

There are 10 graduate certificate options for students to choose from, allowing them to gain knowledge and skills to excel in their area of interest.

One option is the Wildlife Management program.

Students who enroll in the 18-credit hour program give students the knowledge that they need to handle wildlife management and resources at the local, state, national, and international levels.

They learn to identify the most effective solutions to deal with the challenges of complex wildlife management issues.

Another graduate certificate option for students who want to work in wildlife and forestry conservation is the 21-credit hour Forests and Climate Change graduate certificate program.

The program, designed for working professionals, trains employees who want to master the knowledge of and gain experience in natural resources management and climate change.

The school points out that it is recognized as one of the world’s top universities for forestry.

It ranks among the top 20 universities among 3,000 universities around the world.

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6 Mississippi State University – Master of Science

The Master of Science in Conservation Management at Mississippi State University meets industry standards and accreditation standards.

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Society of American Foresters, and the Wildlife Society.

The program is designed for students who want to work in forestry and conservation, who want a career in conservation education, or who want to work in environmental specializations.

The 21-credit hour program can be completed in an online format.

Become a leader in the field of conservation management by completing courses such as Conservation Biology, Conservation Leadership, Management, and Communication, and Forest Ecology.

The university also offers a Master of Science Degree in Forestry online program.

The 30-semester hour program includes courses such as Forest Resource Economics, Forest Resource Management, Natural Resource Law, and Emerging Issues of Forest Ecosystems.

Contact Information

  • Address: 75 B. S. Hood Rd, Mississippi State, MS 39762
  • Phone: 662-325-2323
  • Website: Visit School Website

7 University of Idaho – Master’s Degree

The online Master of Natural Resources (MNR) program at the University of Idaho is designed for students who want to expand their career options or who want to enhance their education in natural resources.

The program consists of 30 semester credits, with no thesis requirement.

Students gain the skills and credentials that allow them to excel in the management of natural resources.

They choose a degree concentration from four options.

The options include Integrated Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Science and Management, Restoration Ecology and Habitat Management, and Fire Ecology and Management.

The school also features the GS-460 Forestry series.

It covers positions that require “professional knowledge and competence in forestry science.”

Examples of the work include the development and conservation of the natural resources in forests, and the planning, evaluation, and management of forest resources, including the land, water, and wildlife and fish habitats.

The online courses, combined with work experience, can help professionals meet the GS-460 OPM Qualification Standards. Students complete 24 to 30 semester hours of study.

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Schools Summary Table

Rank School
#1 Penn Foster Career School – Career Diploma
#2 Unity Environmental University – Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
#3 Colorado State University – Graduate Certificate
#4 Oregon State University – Master's Degree
#5 Oregon State University – Graduate Certificate
#6 Mississippi State University – Master of Science
#7 University of Idaho – Master’s Degree

What Courses are in an Online Wildlife and Forestry Conservation Management Program?

The required courses for students enrolled in an online wildlife and conservation program are often similar but vary somewhat, because of several factors.

The area of focus or the concentration that a student chooses while in the program helps to determine some of the course offerings.

One example is that the programs at Oregon State University feature several concentration options, while there are no listed areas of focus in the Penn Foster Career School program.

The type of degree may also determine the courses offered in a wildlife and forestry conservation management program.

Students who enroll in a master’s degree program or a post-graduate certificate program can expect to complete more detailed and advanced courses, compared to a diploma program or an undergraduate certificate program.

The courses in the wildlife and conservation management programs prepare graduates to work in entry-level positions, or to advance their career opportunities by gaining advanced knowledge and skills in their chosen profession.

Some courses may include Wildlife Conservation Ethics, Wildlife Sciences and Management, and Forest Resource Management.

Can You Earn a Wildlife & Forestry Conservation Management Certification Completely Online?

Several colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to complete a degree or certificate program in a completely online program.

The opportunity to earn certifications depends on the student’s preferences.

The Wildlife Society offers several levels of certification.

Applicants complete a series of steps to apply for first-time certification or to renew their certification as an Associate Wildlife Biologist, a Certified Wildlife Biologist, or a Qualified Airport Wildlife Biologist.

The Society of American Foresters offers the Candidate for Certified Forester Certification and the Certified Forester Certification. Applicants must complete an accredited bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a doctoral degree program.

They must also agree to abide by the Standards of Professional Practice to sit for the certification exam.

How Long Does It Take to Earn a Wildlife & Forestry Conservation Management Certification Online?

The time that it takes to earn a Wildlife & Conservation Management Certification online depends on the type of program and the certification requirements.

It takes less time to complete a certificate program or a diploma program, compared to the time that it takes to complete other programs, such as a bachelor’s degree program or a master’s degree program.

Certification bodies have their own requirements before a person can earn their certification in wildlife and conservation.

Students may have to complete a bachelor’s degree or earn a master’s degree before becoming eligible for their initial certification.

How Much Does an Online Wildlife & Forestry Conservation Management Certification Cost?

The cost of an online wildlife and forestry conservation management certification varies for several reasons.

One reason is because different schools have different tuition costs.

They also have different required credit hours for completing the program.

Certification costs vary according to the certifying body.

People who are interested in obtaining a certification in wildlife and forestry conservation management need to check with the certifying bodies that offer their preferred certification.

The cost also may vary based on whether the applicant applies for an initial certification or for a certification renewal.


The need for qualified wildlife and forestry conservation professionals is expected to grow over the next several years.

Students who have the best qualifications are likely to get the best jobs in the field of wildlife conservation management and in forestry conservation management.

People who work in wildlife and forestry conservation management may have opportunities for career advancement if they complete a degree or certificate program.

The online programs for students who are interested in wildlife and forestry conservation management allow them to focus on their area of interest.

Obtaining a certification in wildlife and conservation management demonstrates that the person meets the requirements of the certifying body as a specialist in their field.

The tuition for certificate and degree programs vary, as does the cost of a certification.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

9 Responses to 7 Best Online Wildlife & Forestry Conservation Programs

  1. Avatar
    Oliver Wise #

    I have been thinking about getting this program lately and thank you for putting this up. I will call the schools above if I can get a scholarship or something.

  2. Avatar
    Erica Ludwig #

    Good options! I am still deciding where can I study wildlife forestry online since I am working too. Hoping to get in to a program next year.

  3. Avatar
    John Warren #

    I’ve been looking for a comprehensive program to delve into wildlife conservation online.

  4. Avatar
    Lily Russell #

    These programs seem perfect for anyone passionate about preserving our natural world.

  5. Avatar
    Margaret Smithfield #

    As someone with a busy schedule, finding online options for studying conservation is a game-changer.

  6. Avatar
    Carol Wilson #

    It’s great to see more online opportunities in forestry and wildlife conservation. This list is incredibly helpful!

  7. Avatar
    Joseph Cummings #

    I’ve always wanted to contribute to conservation efforts but didn’t know where to start. These programs offer a clear path forward.

  8. Avatar
    Bobby Washington #

    Wow, I had no idea there were so many online options for studying wildlife and forestry conservation.

  9. Avatar
    Abigail O'Brien #

    I’ve been considering a career change into conservation, and these programs offer a convenient way to gain the necessary skills while working full-time.

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Earn your Nationally-accredited, affordable Wildlife Forestry and Conservation career diploma online with Penn Foster in as little as 4 months!

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