Fisheries and Wildlife Biology

Fisheries and Wildlife Biology Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree

About Fisheries and Wildlife Biology

Be ready to meet the growing need for fisheries and wildlife management professionals.

You have always been passionate about the outdoors and the work to serve and preserve the natural world. You can fulfill your dream of a meaningful career with the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology at California University of Pennsylvania.

This bachelor's degree program at Cal U offers a broad core of courses focused on the biology and ecology of fish and wildlife, supplemented with courses in chemistry, physics, geography/geology and mathematics.

The fisheries and wildlife biology curriculum provides essential field opportunities through internships and undergraduate research projects. Its core content is enhanced by the breadth of the University's general education requirements. 

Learn, specialize and prepare for professional certification.

The fisheries and wildlife biology degree program at Cal U provides a broad-based curriculum that introduces you to the various techniques and philosophies of fisheries and wildlife management. Almost all courses include a laboratory portion where you'll study the practical application of scientific theories and learn how to apply the scientific method with inquiry-based investigations.  

Our undergraduate curriculum includes those courses identified by the Wildlife Society and the American Fisheries Society as critical to becoming certified by either society upon graduation. This undergraduate program also incorporates many applied education experiences, so students can network with future employers and develop professional contacts. Many of our graduates continue their studies in graduate school, while others enter the workforce.


Professionals in demand: Cal U's challenging program fosters your expertise in fisheries and wildlife management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more zoologists and wildlife biologists will be needed to study the impact that human population growth and development has on wildlife and its natural habitats. Americans’ increasing demand for outdoor recreation and open space, as well as fish for the table, has resulted in a steady increase in the need for qualified aquatic ecologists and fisheries scientists. As energy demands intensify, fisheries and wildlife biologists will be needed to better manage the nation's renewable natural resources.

Solid foundationThe bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife biology applies knowledge from many fields to the study and management of the environment. The curriculum focuses on developing an understanding of physical, chemical and geological sciences, along with a working knowledge of mathematics and statistics. You will study such topics as ecology, biodiversity, pollution, energy and sustainability. You'll be equipped to design, analyze and interpret environmental information and data.

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The median annual wage for zoologists and wildlife biologists was $62,290 in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
of biology graduates (classes of 2010-2015) who responded to a Cal U survey reported they are working or pursuing further education.  


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Degree Benefits

The bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife biology offers you the flexibility to focus on a specific content area leading to certification by the American Fisheries Society or the Wildlife Society, if desired.  The objectives for this degree program include:

  • Develop knowledge of biological processes and structures occurring in fisheries and wildlife
  • Provide laboratory and field experiences that promote scientific inquiry and application of experimental methods.
  • Create opportunities for student research projects.
  • Set the necessary foundation for continued professional growth in graduate school.
  • Teach skills required for entry-level career positions with industry and governmental organizations.
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Graduate Outcomes

A steady demand exists for wildlife and fishery biologists among private industry (e.g., consulting firms) and by state (e.g., the Pennsylvania Game and Fish commissions) and federal organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Some students also choose to go on for master's or doctoral degrees. Devin DeMario ’07, for example, worked as a biologist aide for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission after graduation, then earned a master’s degree at Penn State. Today she advocates for science-based fish and wildlife conservation policies as a government affairs associate for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C.



Fisheries and Wildlife Biology (B.S.)


Cal U professor takes students outside for field work in environmental studies.

Vital Resources

Students take classes in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, which is housed in a building equipped with a computer lab, , animal rooms, greenhouse, herbarium and vertebrate teaching museum. Cal U students also benefit from various academic societies and clubs: Beta Beta Beta is the national honor society for biological sciences. The student chapter of the Wildlife Society connects students with the professional community to study, manage and conserve wildlife and their habitats worldwide. The American Fisheries Society promotes scientific research and works to strengthen the fisheries profession. The Sustainability Club provides training workshops to students and the public, and promotes sustainable living strategies.  The Bass Fishing Club provides recreational and competitive opportunities to its members and promotes the value and importance of outdoor recreation.  Open to all interested students, the Biology Club explores career opportunities, offers behind-the-scenes tours of zoos and museums

A student studies plant in environmental studies lab.

Professional Connections

Cal U graduates in fisheries and wildlife biology hold positions with a wide range of employers, including Greene County (Pa.) Soil and Water Conservation District, National Park Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, JRJ Energy Services, Pittsburgh City Parks, Murray American Energy and U.S. Forest Service. Program alumni also are engaged in graduate studies at locations such as the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in California and Ohio University.

Statewide Cooperative

Based at Cal U, Partners for Fish and Wildlife is a cooperative effort among many agencies throughout Pennsylvania. The program works to restore habitat for wildlife on agricultural and other lands by constructing stream bank fencing, stream crossings, wetlands, grasslands and border-edge cuts. The program also works to enhance forest habitats for early successional species by strategically removing tree canopy, controlling invasive plant species, and planting native vegetation.  Partners for Fish and Wildlife works with landowners to improve water quality and wildlife habitats, providing hands-on management and research opportunities for our students.


B.S., Fisheries and Wildlife Biology

Through your curriculum, you'll develop intellectual and analytical skills essential for fisheries and wildlife management professionals.


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 14
BIO 120  General Zoology 4
ENG 101  English Composition I 3
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar 1
General Education Courses 6
Second Semester 16 or 17
BIO 125  General Botany 4
ENG 102  English Composition II 3
MAT 181  College Algebra  OR  MAT 273  Applied Calculus  OR  MAT 281  Calculus I 3
General Education Courses 6 or 7
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 17
BIO 215  Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology 4
CHE 101  General Chemistry I
Free Elective 3
General Education Course 3
General Education EMA 3
Fourth Semester 15
BIO 218  Genetics 4
BIO 248  General Ecology   4
CHE 102  General Chemistry II 4
MAT 215  Statistics 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 14
ENS 399  Conservation Biology  OR  ENS 420  Principles of Wildlife Biology  OR  ENS 425  Principles of Aquaculture 3
ENS 495  Design and Analysis 4
GIS 311  Geographic Information Systems 3
Advanced Botany Course 4
Sixth Semester 15
ENS 399 Conservation Biology  OR  ENS 420  Principles of Wildlife Biology  OR  ENS 425  Principles of Aquaculture 3
Biology-related Elective 4
Free Electives 8
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 14
ENS 423  Wildlife Management Techniques  OR  ENS 424  Fisheries Management 
Biology-related Elective 4
Law/Planning/Policy Elective 3
Free Elective 3
Eighth Semester 14 or 15
ENS 492  Animal Population Dynamics 4
General Education Courses 3
Free Elective 7 or 8
Total 120

Related Electives

  • Pick two of the following (8 credits): BIO 337, BIO 400, BIO 407, BIO 433, BIO 435, BIO 441, BIO 445, BIO 446, BIO 488
  • Pick one of the following (6 credits): ENS 435, GIS 413, REC 362, REC 365

B.S., Fisheries and Wildlife Biology

Related programs
  • Environmental Studies (Minor)


Environmental Studies Faculty

Dr. David G. Argent

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Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson
Associate Professor

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Dr. Carol Bocetti

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Dr. Paula Caffrey
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Jesse Eiben
Assistant Professor

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Dr. Chadwick Hanna
Associate Professor

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Dr. Sarah Meiss
Associate Professor

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Dr. Louise Nicholson
Associate Professor

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Dr. Brian Paulson

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Dr. Mark Tebbitt

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Dr. Robert S. Whyte

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