Degree type(s): Pre-Professional Concentration
Degree field(s): Biology
Location(s): Bismarck, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

Pre-Professional Concentration in Wildlife and Conservation Biology

The concentration in Wildlife and Conservation Biology will encourage global stewardship by promoting an appreciation for the natural environment and by training students to be good stewards of the environment. This program will also emphasize the ethical considerations related to the discipline of Wildlife and Conservation Biology. The coursework will also encourage critical thinking and communication skills. Students with this degree will be eligible for entry level biologist and biological technician positions with government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private companies, such as consulting firms. Additionally, students will be well prepared to pursue further study in graduate programs in wildlife biology, conservation, ecology, and related fields. Further, with a criminal justice minor, students will be qualified to obtain positions as game wardens or conservation officers.

Pre-Professional Concentration Highlights

The University of Mary possesses some distinct advantages that would distinguish our Wildlife and Conservation program from those at other schools. The first of these is our geographical location. Besides the abundant access to natural resources in the area, Bismarck is home to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, and several other agencies, NGOs, and environmental consultants. The program at the University of Mary utilizes the valuable resources to prepare students for careers in the field. Further, the importance of University of Mary’s philosophy and mission in shaping wildlife graduates should not be understated. One of the main shortcomings applicants for wildlife jobs have is a lack of leadership skills (Unger 2007). The emphasis on servant -leadership at the University of Mary distinguishes our graduates from those in other institutions. Our focus on Benedictine values, particularly global stewardship, produces students who are uniquely prepared to take on the role as stewards of our natural resources.

Unger, K. 2007. The graying of the green generation. The Wildlife Professional 1:18-22.


The continued need for wildfire prevention and suppression services, as well as consumer desire for wood pellets, will help drive demand for conservation scientists and foresters.

In recent years, preventing and suppressing wildfires has become the primary concern for government agencies managing forests and rangelands. The development of previously unused lands, in addition to changing weather conditions, has contributed to increasingly devastating and costly fires.

In addition, efforts to discover new and improved ways to clean up and preserve the environment will continue to add to job growth. More biological scientists will be needed to determine the environmental impact of industry and government actions and to prevent or correct environmental problems, such as the negative effects of pesticide use. Some biological scientists will find opportunities in environmental regulatory agencies, while others will use their expertise to advise lawmakers on legislation to save environmentally sensitive areas.

The median annual wage for conservation scientists was $62,660 in 2019, and the median annual wage for foresters was $61,790.

+ Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

For a list of courses for the Loading..., please visit the catalog.

We are committed to making a world-class education accessible and affordable for all student. In addition to the many scholarships and financial aid opportunities offered at Mary, students interested in Wildlife Conservation may qualify for the EcoWeb Scholarship program. Go to for more info.

Even as one of the most affordable private universities in the nation, the University of Mary does offer a variety of scholarships. In fact, 99% of main campus undergraduate students receive some form of scholarship! 

Some scholarships are available for specific academic programs, such as nursing, while other scholarships are available for certain student populations, such as military and veteran students

We strongly encourage you to contact your personal admissions representative to discover all of the options that might be available to you. In many cases, a program specific scholarship is just one component of a complete financial aid package. 

Our admissions professionals will work together with our Office of Financial Assistance to ensure that you get the best financial aid package possible to finance your education. 

Acceptance at the University of Mary does not automatically qualify you to pursue a program in one of the academic programs of study. Application requirements are specific to each major or academic program.

We recommend consulting your advisor for details. Applications are reviewed by the faculty members of the program. You will be notified that you have been admitted, admitted provisionally, or denied admission to the program.