BSFW in Fisheries and Wildlife

Degree Program Description

Fisheries and Wildlife balances the needs of wildlife with the needs of people. That’s what conservation and wildlife management are all about. Through research that might require netting fish, banding birds or trapping mammals, skilled professionals find the best way to strike that balance. This degree combines interests in conserving wildlife habitat, protecting endangered species, and learning to manage wild fish and animal populations. Some fisheries and wildlife careers include Fisheries biologists, wildlife biologists, environmental consultants and environmental educators.  Fisheries biologists and wildlife biologists often are employed by state and federal agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or the National Park Service. They are responsible for managing wildlife habitat in conservation areas, fisheries, wildlife preserves, and state and national forests. Environmental consultants work for some of the nation’s largest and most respected private companies. Their job is to ensure fish and wildlife needs are accounted for when habitat decisions are made. Environmental consultants also work for private conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation, providing them with the expertise they need to fulfill their respective conservation missions. Environmental educators foster an appreciation for wildlife and natural resources among the public, and teach the importance of conservation and habitat preservation to future conservationists.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to courses that satisfy General Education requirements, students earning a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences must complete required F&W courses and elective options to reach 125 credits. Students must earn C- or better in all courses applied to degree.

Major core requirements
Science core:
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
Earth Science (select one)4-5
Principles of Geology with Laboratory
Introduction to Soils
and Soil Science Laboratory
Physics (select one)3-4
College Physics I
Introductory Meteorology
General Biology5
BIO_SC 1200General Botany with Laboratory5
F_W 1100Introductory Zoology with Laboratory5
or BIO_SC 1500 Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory
BIO_SC 3650General Ecology5
Animal Form/Function course (select one)4-5
Elements of Physiology
Physiology of Domestic Animals
and Physiology of Domestic Animals Laboratory
Introduction to Cell Biology
Genetics (select one)3-4
Introduction to Genetics and Evolution for Conservation
General Genetics
Genetics of Agricultural Plants and Animals
Math Sequence
MATH 1100College Algebra3
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3
STAT 2530Statistical Methods in Natural Resources3
Professional Core
NAT_R 1070Ecology and Renewable Resource Management3
Public Speaking (select one)3
AG_ED_LD 2220Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources3
COMMUN 1200Public Speaking3
Principles of Interpretive Outdoor Recreation
Plant Taxonomy (select one)4
Plant Systematics
NAT_R 4353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3
NAT_R 3110Natural Resource Biometrics3
F_W 3600Introduction to Conservation Biology3
F_W 4500Animal Population Dynamics and Management3
Professional Track
Course (select 8 courses, minimum 27 hours, with at least three courses from A. and three from B.24
A. Science and Natural History
F_W 2700Ichthyology4
Not more than one from this group:
Invertebrate Zoology
Introductory Entomology
and Insect Diversity
B. Management and Applications
Principles of Wildlife Management
F_W 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
F_W 3900Ecology of Fishes3
Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
F_W 4300Fisheries Management3
Ecosystem Management
F_W 4400Techniques for Fisheries Management and Conservation4
Wildlife Management Planning
F_W 4880Waterfowl Ecology and Management3
Disciplinary Electives
can be used as seventh Professional Track course. Choose from a list of approved courses.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
ATM_SC 10503HIST 11003
NAT_R 10703ENGLSH 10003
BIO_SC 12005CL_HUM 10603
MATH 11003F_W 11005
 14 14
Second Year
CHEM 13204F_W 25003
Humanities Elective3STAT 25303
MATH 14003AG_EC 10413
SOIL 21062Professional Course4
SOIL 21003Social Science Elective3
 15 16
Third Year
NAT_R 31103F_W 36003
BIO_SC 36505Humanities Elective3
Professional Course4NAT_R 43533
AG_ED_LD 22203BIO_SC 32104
 Professional Course4
 15 17
Fourth Year
Humanities Elective3F_W 45003
Professional Course4Capstone Course4
Professional Course4Professional Course4
MPP 32025Professional Course3
 Other Elective3
 16 17
Total Credits: 124

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students who have attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by logging in to myZou and navigating to Self Service, then Student Center, and clicking on “Request Degree Audit.” The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.

MU students who have NOT attended since August 2007 can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

For newly admitted or prospective students, MU degree audits can be created at Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success Center.  No appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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