The Wildlife and Fisheries Biology program focuses on the biology, ecology, management, and conservation of animal populations that range from species common enough to be hunted/fished to species that are threatened and endangered. Management strategies include direct manipulation of populations or indirect manipulation through alteration of habitat and other landscape conditions. Courses emphasize applied ecology and techniques for bringing populations into balance and provide hands-on experience in labs and field trips. The four-year curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary wildlife science and provides a background for many wildlife and fisheries-related positions.
All students enrolled in the Wildlife and Fisheries Biology major complete the same core of courses during the first year. As sophomores, students elect either the Wildlife Biology or the Fisheries Biology concentration.
- Fisheries Biology: 8 Semester Plan for Fisheries Biology (PDF)
- Wildlife Biology: 8 Semester Plan for Wildlife Biology (PDF)
Research and Beyond the Classroom
The curriculum includes summer field courses in ornithology and habitat and population measurements as well as extensive laboratory and field work during the regular academic year. Fisheries students participate in field labs on Lake Champlain while on board the School's research vessel, the Melosira. Students can opt to take a Spring Break travel field course in Florida or Texas, among other travel courses throughout the year.
The student-led Wildlife and Fisheries Society offers educational and social activities. Students participate in field trips, assist state biologists with deer check stations, fish marking, habitat restoration, and faunal surveys, and engage in professional meetings and workshops.
Learn more about internship, career, service-learning, research, and study abroad opportunities through our Office of Experiential Learning and from our in-house Career Counselor & Internship Coordinator.
Careers | Internships | Service-learning | Research | Travel courses & Study abroad | Spring Semester Abroad in Costa Rica
Many of our students are interested in pursuing graduate school after finishing our program. Students have entered Master of Science and Ph.D. programs in the US and abroad in a variety of fields related to fish and wildlife ecology, management, and conservation. We offer guidance, advice, and support for students interested in graduate education.
Experiential Learning: Hallmark of the Rubenstein School
- 100% of students take a service-learning course.
- 97% of faculty conduct grant-funded research with many opportunities for student involvement.
- 70% of students participate in an internship or research.
- 30% of students study abroad.
- Faculty teach more than 25 service-learning courses and close to 30 field lab courses each year.
Graduate employment rate
of Rubenstein graduates are employed or continuing their education within 6 months of graduating.
- Wildlife and fisheries management (state and federal agencies)
- Wildlife and fisheries conservation (nonprofit organizations)
- Wildlife and fisheries research (academic institutions)
- Game warden/law enforcement (state and federal government)
- Environmental consulting (private sector and nonprofits)
- Animal care specialist (zoos and aquariums)
- Conservation entrepreneur (local, national, and international)
Where alumni work
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- National Park Service
- U.S. Geological Survey
- Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
- Wildlife Conservation Society
- The Nature Conservancy
- World Wildlife Fund
- Environmental consulting firms
- Denver Zoo
- University of Vermont
- Cornell University
- Duke University
- Yale University
- University of Wisconsin
- Michigan State University
- University of Michigan
- University of Montana
- University of Wyoming
- University of Maryland
- University of Arizona