Bachelor in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences


Program Description

Bachelors Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

Our 14,000-acre lakeside campus and devoted faculty provide unique, hands-on opportunities to survey fish and wildlife populations. From their first semester, our students engage in activities such as small mammal trapping, fish sampling and identification, bird capture and banding, wildlife habitat assessments and amphibian ecology studies. Students will develop their ecological acumen as well as cognitive, social and scientific skills to identify, objectively analyze and problem solve management issues in the wildlife and fisheries disciplines. Coursework is designed to meet the biologist certification requirements of the American Fisheries Society or The Wildlife Society. Additional skills and opportunities include:

  • Developing technical knowledge and skills such as species identification, calculating population size, live trapping and tagging.
  • Focusing on longstanding and emerging issues such as invasive species, habitat fragmentation and degradation, climate change and more.
  • Working directly with faculty on professionally relevant fisheries and wildlife research.
  • Minoring in Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.).
  • Collaborating with the Adirondack Watershed Institute on research, citizen outreach and hands-on stewardship to preserve water quality and combat invasive species.
  • Participating in the Smitty Creek Watershed long-term monitoring and research project.
  • Graduating ready to operate within real-world conditions.

With their friendly demeanor, diverse backgrounds and desire for student success, our faculty understand that this degree is a stepping stone to your career. As such, they are diligent in assisting students to receive an extracurricular education through summer field experiences and in-semester experiences, often through the student chapters of The American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society (T.W.S.). Students actively participate alongside wildlife professionals in TWS conclaves and meetings, venturing to places throughout North America. The degree is offered within a standard eight-semester sequence, providing flexibility for summer employment, internships and study abroad. Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences is a challenging program requiring students to be proficient in science and math as a foundation for conducting research.

Key Facts

  • B.S. degree

Pairs well with the following minors:

  • GIS
  • Chemistry
  • Forestry
  • Environmental Communications

Career Options

  • Fisheries technician, biologist or manager
  • Wildlife technician, biologist or manager
  • Conservation biologist
  • Ecologist
  • Public educator and outreach specialist
  • Wildlife law enforcement officer
  • Game warden
  • Wildlife consultant
  • Wildlife policy analyst
  • Graduate School
  • Research Scientist

Required Courses

Program Core Requirements

  • Intro to Fisheries and Wildlife Management
  • Natural History of North American Vertebrates
  • Biology I
  • Biology II
  • General Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Chemistry I
  • Chemistry II
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Precalculus
  • Senior Capstone

Fisheries Science Concentration (core)

  • Aquatic Invertebrates
  • Ichthyology
  • Watershed Management
  • Stream Ecology Management
  • Limnology
  • Forest Soils
  • Fisheries Biology and Management
  • Fisheries Techniques
  • Physics
  • Biological Science Electives
  • Human Dimension Electives

Wildlife Science Concentration (core)

  • Plant Biology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Zoology Electives (Ornithology, Mammalogy, Herpetology)
  • Botany Electives
  • Techniques in Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife Management
  • Ecology Electives
  • Physical Science Electives
  • Policy, Administration Law Electives
  • Wildlife Biology Electives
Last updated Oct 2018

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About the School

When it comes to cookie-cutter colleges, Paul Smith’s is anything but. In fact, we’re the only 4-year college inside the boundaries of the world-famous “forever wild” Adirondacks. Students at Paul Smi ... Read More

When it comes to cookie-cutter colleges, Paul Smith’s is anything but. In fact, we’re the only 4-year college inside the boundaries of the world-famous “forever wild” Adirondacks. Students at Paul Smith’s College experience a hands-on education that combines proven career training with a meaningful exploration of self, society and the earth: Read less