Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration Major Guide for 2011-2012

What is Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

Wildlife and fisheries science is the application of ecological knowledge to populations of vertebrate animals and their plant and animal associates in a manner that strikes a balance between the needs of populations and the needs of people. Thus, students majoring in wildlife and fisheries science at the University of Tennessee develop a broad understanding of biology, ecology, physical sciences (e.g., soils) and applied natural resource management. Students also develop strong quantitative skills through courses in statistics, mathematics, and forest measurements. In addi¬tion, courses in human dimensions and natural resource policy provide students with the ability to understand the motivations of, and communicate with, diverse public on natural resource issues.

Career Opportunities in Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

Students with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Wildlife and Fisheries Science are employed by an array of private, state, and federal entities.  Private consulting firms, forest product companies, conservation organizations, and other industries that manage or impact natural resources employ wildlife and fisheries biologists.  Among state agencies, wildlife and fisheries biologists are hired by agencies responsible for management of wildlife and fish, as well as those responsible for enforcing environmental regulations. At the federal level, wildlife and fisheries biologists are hired by many agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. National Park Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others.
The Master of Science (MS) in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Natural Resources degrees are offered through the graduate program in the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. Students receiving a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences are hired by similar agencies as those with a BS; however, the opportunities for advancement and salary levels tend to be greater than for those with only a BS degree. Students receiving a PhD in Natural Resources are generally interested in teaching and/or research at universities or other institutions or in serving in a variety of positions with conservation organizations and agencies.

Salary Trends in Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

Beginning, annual salaries for wildlife and fisheries science graduates range from $22,000 to $30,000, with an average around $25,000. Salaries vary depending upon location, the candidate’s skills, and previous job-related experience.

High School Preparation

Students interested in wildlife and fisheries science as a major should develop a high school program emphasizing the sciences. All freshman applicants are considered within a competitive admissions process. The primary criteria for admission are the completion of the applicant’s high school preparation program, performance in that program as indicated by class rank and/or grade point average, and performance on the ACT.

How to Major in Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

A wildlife and fisheries science faculty member is assigned to assist students in program planning and is available for academic advising.

Requirements for Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

The wildlife and fisheries science curriculum requires students to take general science preparatory coursework during the first two years. During the junior and senior years the students take a structured core of technical and professional courses including a block of field-oriented courses during the spring of their junior year.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The WFS internship program is de¬signed to give students practical, hands-on wildlife and/or fisheries experience working with a state, federal, or private organization. Internships help students identify career goals, provide them with valuable job experience, and facilitate the development of professional con¬tacts for full-time employment following graduation.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Science internship program allows students who have completed their junior year to receive up to six hours of credit for approved internship experiences. In past years, students have secured internships from Alaska to the southern Rockies and from the Great Plains to the east coast. Students must submit an approved work plan, weekly, mid-term, and final re¬ports, and make a presentation to class¬mates on their project. Students identify internships with the assistance of faculty or through personal contacts and job searches.

Highlights of Wildlife and Fisheries Science – Management Concentration

During the spring of the junior year, students are exposed to a semester of intensive, field-oriented courses in the Wildlife and Fisheries Spring Camp. Spring Camp was designed to provide students with extensive, applied field experience and provide them with the opportunity to interact closely with wildlife and fisheries professionals in a variety of settings. Students enroll in 17 hours of wildlife and fisheries courses; no other courses are taken. This provides the flexibility for extended field trips. Extensive travel is required and a lab fee is charged to defray mileage costs. Surveys of past students indicate that Spring Camp is an overwhelmingly positive learning experience, and this approach has been featured at various teaching conferences.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students are encouraged to participate in faculty-led study abroad programs sponsored by CASNR, which include Thailand and Jamaica. Other UT faculty-led and semester abroad programs are offered through the Center for International Education. CASNR does offer some scholarships for CASNR students participating in study abroad programs. Students, faculty and staff participate in the annual Unity through Diversity Dinner held each fall. Some students select a minor in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature.

Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
Conservation 3
English Composition Sequence 6
Chemistry Sequence 8
Biology Sequence 8
Arts & Humanities Elective 3
Cultures & Civilizations Elective 3
Critical Courses: English 101-102, Biology 101-102 or 130-140  
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Dendrology/Silvics 3
Math and Statistics 6
Computer Applications 3
Soil Science 4
Animal Science or Wildlife Nutrition 3-4
Economics 4
Speech 3
Ecology 4
Cultures & Civilizations Elective 3
TOTAL 33-34
Critical Courses: FWF 212, ESS 201, Biology 250 or FOR 215  
Junior Year Credit Hours
Silviculture 3
Forest Measurements 2
Wetlands and Aquatic Ecology 5
Wildlife/Fisheries Techniques 6
Principles Wildlife/Fisheries Mgmt 3
Communications and Human Dimensions 1
Prescribed Fire Management 2
Animal Damage Management 2
Law Enforcement and Public Relations 3
Arts & Humanities Elective 3
Critical Courses: FWF 317, Math 125  
Senior Year Credit Hours
Wildlife/Fisheries Management 9
Field Botany or Plant Ecology 3
Planning/Mgmt For/Wildl/Fisheries Resources 3
Ichthyology 4
Natural Resource Social Science Elective 3
Science Elective 6
General Elective 3

For More Information

Dr. Keith Belli
Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries
427 Plant Biotech Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4563
(865) 974-7126


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.