Jun 23, 2024  
2023-2024 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 UMaine Undergraduate Catalog

Wildlife Ecology

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: Grade of C or better in MAT 122 or MAT 116, or a C- in MAT 126, and Grade of C- in WLE 200 and WLE 201 or SMS 300 or BIO 319 needed to progress to WLE 220.  Grade of C- or better in WLE 220 to progress to WLE 250.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: None 

​Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: Complete one of the following courses meeting general education requirements for a Capstone course: WLE 455 (Wildlife Habitat Evaluation, must be taken  concurrently to WLE 450), WLE 457 (Ecology and Management of Game Birds), or HON 499 (Honors Thesis Research).


Students may enroll in 3 credits of WLE 490 (Special Problems) with a faculty mentor and complete an independent research project. The requirements of the independent study (e.g. written paper, presentations) should be agreed upon between the student and faculty mentor, and approval from the student’s academic advisor and undergraduate coordinator should be secured during the semester prior to the capstone being completed (e.g. during fall semester for a spring graduation). With this alternative, a degree exception form will need to be completed and submitted by the student’s academic adviser.

Contact Information: Lindsay C. N. Seward, Undergraduate Coordinator, 238 Nutting Hall, (207) 581-2847, wildeco@maine.edu

The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology offers an education with an emphasis on basic sciences and principles of wildlife ecology and resource management, with the goal for students to develop responsible citizenship and a sound training as a professional wildlife biologist, a professional fisheries biologist, or a conservation biologist. A minor in Fisheries is available to non-majors interested in a fisheries career. Students are exposed to wildlife issues in a diversity of ecological systems, in national parks, wildlife refuges, state management areas, and on private land. Maine offers diverse opportunities to study wildlife in a variety of natural environments ranging from the coast with its sea birds, marine mammals and eagles, to the more mountainous Northern Boreal Forest occupied by moose, black bears, loons, red-backed salamanders, brook trout, and salmon.  Maine also has thousands of lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams.

An active Wildlife Ecology graduate program, offering both M. S. and Ph.D. degrees, enables undergraduates to interact with graduate students conducting research in wildlife and fish ecology and conservation. Students have the opportunity to work with federal wildlife and fisheries biologists who are faculty in the Department and are employed through the USGS Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

The curriculum in Wildlife Ecology is designed to train the student to adapt to the changing requirements of the Wildlife profession. The curriculum has solid science and conservation foundations, coupled with experiences in wildlife policy, human dimensions of wildlife conservation, communications, and the humanities. Students can also meet the requirements to become a Certified Wildlife Biologist or a Certified Fisheries Biologist through the professional societies associated with our discipline. The curriculum for the B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology plus a concentration in Fisheries allows students to meet certification requirements of the American Fisheries Society. The Wildlife Ecology curriculum plus a concentration in Wildlife Science and Management qualifies students to meet professional certification requirements of The Wildlife Society.

Requirements for BS in Wildlife Ecology
Graduates must complete 120 credits including:

  1. Satisfy general education requirements.
  2. Complete all courses listed in the curriculum for the B.S. in Wildlife Ecology. 
  3. Complete a Concentration or an alternative approved area of specialization (see below)

Requirements for internal transfer students to Wildlife Ecology

For internal transfer students from other academic programs at UMaine, students must have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA and demonstrated success of a “C” or better in BIO 100 and a “C” or better in MAT 122 or MAT 116, or a C- in MAT 126.

Also Recommended
Field Experience in the profession, either through a paid or volunteer position or internship.

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence for the BS in Wildlife Ecology

First Year - First Semester

First Year - Second Semester

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester


The core curriculum satisfies the General Education Social Context and Institutions and Population and the Environment requirements, however electives must be chosen to meet Concentration Requirements and the remaining General Education Requirements (Western Cultural Tradition, Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives, Artistic and Creative Expression, and Ethics).

Concentrations in Wildlife Ecology

Students majoring in Wildlife Ecology are expected to use their electives to develop an area of specialization.  Most students meet this expectation by taking one of three Concentrations defined by the department:  Fisheries, Wildlife Science and Management, or Conservation Biology. Students may complete the Honors Program or pursue a Minor in a related discipline as approved by their advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator as an alternative to a Concentration.  Students may also design an Individual Concentration according to the criteria below.

NOTE: Concentration courses may be used to meet your General Education requirements, however, courses should be complementary and additive to the core curriculum, i.e., core curriculum courses cannot be counted twice.

Individual Concentrations

Students who wish to develop an individualized Concentration must write a proposal explaining the rationale for their choice, describing how it fits with their interests and career goals, and listing the courses that they wish to take.  Please note that an Individual Concentration cannot be listed on your diploma or transcript.

Concentration in Fisheries (13 cr)

The fisheries concentration curriculum enables students to explore the scientific and applied aspects of fisheries ecology and management and gain experience in field, laboratory, and analytical methods.  Students enrolled in this concentration often are active in the University’s student chapter of the American Fisheries Society, an international organization composed of professionals and students in the aquatic sciences.  This curriculum allows students to meet the requirements for professional certification by the American Fisheries Society.  In addition to the core curriculum, students must take the following courses:

Fisheries Course

Choose one of the following courses:

Concentration in Wildlife Science and Management (12-15 cr)

The Wildlife Science and Management concentration is designed to allow students to explore the scientific and applied aspects of wildlife science and management and gain experience in field, laboratory, and analytical methods.  Students enrolled in this curriculum are often active in the University of Maine’s Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society.  This curriculum allows students to meet the requirements for professional certification by The Wildlife Society.  In addition to the core curriculum, students must take the following courses:

Concentration in Conservation Biology (15-17 cr)

The Conservation Biology concentration is designed to allow students to explore conservation as it applies to a diversity of species and ecosystems, as well as the social sciences that are critical to managing biodiversity and other natural resources.  In addition to the core curriculum, students must take the following courses:

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