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Top Colleges for Fish & Game Wardens

by Laura Leddy Turner

Fish and game wardens manage and help conserve wildlife and its habitats, primarily by enforcing laws designed to protect natural resources. The job can be dangerous, but rewarding. Requirements to be a fish and game warden vary by state, but job candidates typically have completed college coursework in areas such as mammalogy, ornithology and wildlife ecology. A degree in a field such as wildlife management from a top college or university provides a competitive edge in securing employment.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University in Corvallis offers as Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife sciences. Students complete a baccalaureate core, a fisheries and wildlife core, two internships and a specialization designed to focus on the student's career goals. A specialization in fisheries and wildlife law enforcement is offered. The school also offers the bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife sciences completely online through its e-campus. In its 2013 college rankings, "U.S. News & World Report" lists Oregon State University No. 73 among public universities nationwide and named its biology program among the top 100 in the country.

SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology

The State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology in Cobleskill was ranked No. 11 among public universities in the nation by "U.S. News & World Report." The natural resources and conservation major is the school's second most popular program. Within the program, students interested in pursuing a career as a fish and game warden can earn a Bachelor of Technology degree in wildlife management. During their course of study, students complete the requirements necessary to become a certified wildlife biologist by the Wildlife Society. Undergraduates also spend 15 weeks interning with organizations such as federal and state wildlife agencies, zoos and nature centers.

Montana State University

Montana State University in Bozeman is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and 90 miles from Yellowstone National Park. The school's fish and wildlife program is one of the oldest in the nation and offers a Bachelor of Science in biological science with fish and wildlife management and ecology as an option. The program emphasizes applied work and most of the program's research work is conducted close to campus. "U.S. News & World Report" named the school's biological sciences program among the top 100 in the nation.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University in East Lansing offers a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife with several specializations available. The specialization in conservation and environmental law enforcement is designed to combine natural resource expertise with law enforcement skills. The specialization also is available to students enrolled in other degree programs at the school such as criminal justice and parks, recreation and tourism resources. Michigan State was ranked No. 73 among all national universities by "U.S. News & World Report" and No. 29 among all public universities nationwide.

About the Author

Laura Leddy Turner began her writing career in 1976. She has worked in the newspaper industry as an illustrator, columnist, staff writer and copy editor, including with Gannett and the Asbury Park Press. Turner holds a B.A. in literature and English from Ramapo College of New Jersey, with postgraduate coursework in business law.

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