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Natural Resources: Conservation Biology Emphasis

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Natural Resources: Conservation Biology Emphasis

Bachelor of Science

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Students in the Conservation Biology Option study conservation across taxa (invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, microbes) and across scientific disciplines (ecology, genetics, evolution), supported by courses in policy, planning, and economics. Graduates of the program will be equipped to pursue careers in education, law, policy, and other non-scientific approaches to conservation,.  Most will have the knowledge, skills, and experiences for careers as conservation biologists, conservation planners, ecologists, environmental educators, researchers, or resource managers, and could become qualified for Civil Service positions under the titles Ecologist, Fish and Wildlife Biologists, and Botanist with suitable course selection.All programs in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment tend to emphasize applications of ecological principles for conservation and management of plant, animal, and water resources at local and global scales, and solutions to negative impacts of human activity. Students complete courses that provide a foundation in natural resource science, conservation, and management, and elective courses that allow students to explore areas of interest.

Major Details

College: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Admissions Requirements:

No Additional Requirements

Math Required:


    The M-strand is for students who require mathematical facility at the level of at least MATH 110 (Collegiate Algebra). This strand involves reasonable facility with algebra and algebraic functions, graphs, and simple modeling. Students who choose the M-strand are prepared for further mathematical work. This work may include LING 178 (The Mathematics of Language and Linguistics), MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics), MATH 113 (Elements of Calculus), or a statistics class from outside the Mathematics Department, such as ISTA 116 (Statistical Foundations for the Information Age) or SBS 200 (Statistics for the Social Sciences).
Second Language Required:

2 Semesters

  • Scoring the equivalent of second-semester skill level on an entrance or placement examination administered by The University of Arizona.
  • Completion with a C or better of a second semester course at the post-secondary level.
  • An AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate) or CLEP (College Level Entrance Program) language score determined by the individual language department.
  • In the College of Engineering by a method determined within the College; however, all students in the college must also take a language placement examination on entrance to the University.
2 Semesters
Fees: No
Pre-Major: No
Available at:
  • Main Campus

Four-Year Plan

Archived plans are available on Degree Search 2011-2016 for many degree plans. These are sample plans. Please work with your academic advisor for more specific and up-to-date requirements.

Select a year:

UA Course Requirements Units
1st Semester
CHEM 151 General Chemistry I 4
ENGL 101 or 109 (Freshman Composition) 3
RNR 230R Field Botany 2
RNR 230L Field Botany Laboratory 1
Tier I General Education 3
RNR 195A Careers in Conservation: Wildlife, Plants, & Water 1
2nd Semester
CHEM 152 General Chemistry II 4
ENGL 102 (Freshman Composition) 3
ECOL 182R Introductory Biology II 4
ECOL 182L Introductory Biology II Lab 4
MATH 113 Elements of Calculus, MATH 124, 125, or MATH 122 A & B 3
MATH 122B 4
Tier I General Education 3
3rd Semester
Tier I General Education 3
Tier II General Education 3
Statistics 3
RNR 200 Foundations in History & Policy 3
MCB 181R Introductory Biology I 4
MCB 181L Introductory Biology Laboratory I 4
4th Semester
ECON 200 Basic Economic Issues or ECON 201A Principles of Economics - Tier II General Education Ind & Soc 3
Tier I General Education 3
Environment course 3
RNR 321 Natural Resources Measurements 3
Pre-Major Writing Requirement 3
5th Semester
RNR 316 Natural Resources Ecology 3
ECOL 406R Conservation Biology 3
ECOL 406L: Conservation Biology 1
Organismal Biology course (see advisement report) 4
Natural Resources Management course 4
6th Semester
RNR 384 Natural Resources Management Practices 3
Genetics 4
Organismal Biology course 4
Skills Course 3
Tier II General Education 3
7th Semester
Social Dimensions course 3
Technical Electives 3
Technical Electives 3
Free Electives 3
Free Electives 4
8th Semester
RNR 480 Natural Resources Policy and Law 3
Capstone 3
Skills course 3
Technical Electives 3
Technical Electives 3

AZ Transfer Pathways

This page is designed for in-state transfer students who plan to attend the University of Arizona. The information presented lists the most accurate course equivalencies and may not include all possible requirements. Transfer students are strongly encouraged to use this site for reference only and not for self-advising.

Transfer students should work with their community colleges and UA advisors to develop an individualized plan for transfer, and visit

  • All posted Pathways (except for Bachelor of Applied Science Pathways) fulfill an AGEC and most also fulfill an Associate Degree
  • Following a Pathway does not guarantee admission to the UA nor admission to a college/major/program at the UA
  • Use Pathways in consultation with advisors from your community college and the UA
  • Pathways are subject to change at any time

Which college/university do you attend?

Career Planning

The knowledge gained from a Natural Resources major in the Conservation Biology concentration of organismal biology, chemistry, microbiology, ecology, economics, and policy, forms a strong career foundation. Graduates will be prepared to work as conservation researchers, planners, educators, or managers for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and recreation services. This concentration is also excellent preparation for law school or graduate studies in biology, environmental science, geography, environmental education, public policy, or landscape architecture. Some of the job titles listed below may require an advanced degree or certificate.

Potential Career Areas

  • Conservation research
  • Conservation planning
  • Policy
  • Environmental education
  • Resource management
  • Environmental law

Sample Employers

  • Government agencies
  • Land trust agencies
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Outdoor schools
  • Environmental law firms
  • Research institutes
  • Wilderness and park services

Sample Job Titles and National Salary Range

Job Title Salary Range
Ecologist $38,980 - $59,750
Botanist $34,120 - $61,500
Conservation Officer $28,000 - $70,000
Park Naturalist $20,000 - $49,000
Fish and Wildlife Officer $30,000 - $80,000
Wildlife Scientist $31,258 - $81,200
Environmental Specialist, Government $35,000 - $80,000
Field Education Coordinator $30,000 - $50,000
Science Teacher (Secondary) $36,930 - $55,050
Research Technician $20,000 - $69,000
Public Information Officer $30,000 - $60,000