Bachelor of Science, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences - Ecampus

Can you really get a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences online, through Oregon State University's Ecampus? For the answer to that question, ask Stephen Szabo, who completed his degree while working full time in California. 

If you are looking for a flexible opportunity to complete your first or second (post baccalaureate) BS degree, without sacrificing experiential learning, the Ecampus Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) Sciences degree may be a perfect fit for you. The Extended Campus degree program is similar to the Corvallis campus program and allows you the opportunity to earn your degree from anywhere you can access the internet. 

You'll also get to experience the active learning that Oregon State is famous for. From self-directed studies assessing animals, plants, and habitats, to working with landowners to develop conservation plans, you will be required to get outside.


The Ecampus degree is essentially the same one offered to Corvallis students with minor differences in course availability:

The undergraduate curriculum is composed of a Baccalaureate Core, FW Core including two internships, and a specialization. The specialization is a 24 credit plan of study which you design along with your advisor according to your interests and career goals. In our degree program you'll get outside, take field courses, gain work experience, and in some cases, conduct independent research projects.

Students planning to transfer to the program should read the information on the How to Apply page for Transferring Students.

Students wanting to earn their second Bachelor's degree (post baccalaureate) should reference the Post Baccalaureate Students information including the Biology, Chemistry and Math Requirements prior to admission.

Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Undergraduate Major Requirements

Degree Planning


With a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, there are many paths to careers that conserve fish, wildlife, and habitat. Some are field or research-based. Others involve public education, animal husbandry, or law enforcement. Depending on your interests, you can find a path that will match your strengths and passions.

  • Do like doing practical, hands-on activities outdoors, and solving problems? Then being a field wildlife or fisheries biologist might be for you.
  • Do you want to understand how living systems work or why animals behave the way they do? Then being a research biologist might be for you.
  • Are you concerned with the welfare of animals and want to take care of them? Then maybe a keeper, trainer or aquarist career is for you.
  • Do you like teaching adults or kids, interested in conservation and like being in a camp, nature center or park? Then maybe a naturalist path is a good fit for you.
  • Are you interested in protecting and conserving fish and wildlife through law enforcement? Then maybe a game warden or federal law enforcement position is for you.
  • Are you interested in raising fish or shellfish for commercial use or conservation? Then maybe a career in hatchery management or aquaculture is for you.

Who Employs Us? 

This graph is derived from a survey of 250 students (undergraduate and graduate) who graduated between 2009-2011; 51 of our undergraduates responded, 48 were employed. Our Ecampus degree was first offered online in 2009, many Ecampus students had not graduated when we conducted the survey. The next survey results we anticipate will include more Ecampus graduates. For more information about the success of our students after graduation, please review our survey of graduates

Wage Information

Explore the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics website under Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations for information on wages. Please note that the salary information on the mean hourly wage shown is for people with full time work and who have a master’s degree or PhD or more than five years of work experience. When you first start out after obtaining your bachelor’s degree, you are more likely to make what those in the 10% percentile as zoologists and wildlife biologists make or the lower percentiles of hourly wages that Life, Physical and Social Science technicians make.

You can also find employment statistics for all other related positions such as education and law enforcement on the Bureau of Labor Statistics site. For more information about the success of our students after graduation, please review our survey of graduates

Math and Science Not Your Strength?

If you are interested in animals but don't wish to pursue a science degree, there are many jobs in zoos, educational organizations, environmental non-profits and other organizations that don't involve animals at all, but let you be around them, or support their conservation as educators, writers, fundraisers, managers, event coordinators, and artists.

Find the right career for you!

Want to know more about various career paths related to your interests in fisheries and/or wildlife? Check out these career profiles from EcoCanada. This site offers a comprehensive overview of career paths even though some information, such as salary, is specific to working in Canada.

Graduating and looking for a Job? 

Students looking for a job can peruse our Job Board list, check our FW Job Board and sign up for our OSU FW job listserv that is distributed as a weekly digest to subscribers. 

lacy snyder, fw undergraduate holding up a blue lingcod while working for odfw marine resources program as an intern

Want to know about career paths with federal agencies?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Careers in Conservation
U.S. Forest Service - Jobs
U.S. Bureau of Land Management - Careers in Demand
National Park Service - Work with Us
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association - NOAA Careers
National Resources Conservation Service - My NRCS Careers


Hatfield Marine Science Center Programs

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife offers a variety of courses relating to coastal ecology and the management of natural resources. Our program is designed to provide a diverse array of hands-on educational experiences as well as traditional classroom instruction.

The Fall program includes a field-oriented course in Coastal Ecology and Resource Management (CERM) FW 426/526. This five-credit course is taught by a team of faculty and agency scientists and is based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, on the coast in Newport, Oregon.  The class consists of a one-week intensive field lab and lecture series, followed by weekly seminars, discussions, and field trips for the term. Students learn basic biological, chemical, and physical processes of coastal habitats, and some of the issues associated with human use of coastal resources. The course is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students from any department but is of particular interest to those majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife, Biology, Zoology, Environmental Science, or Natural Resources. 

Courses offered for Summer 2017 include:

  • FW 301: Field Techniques in Marine Mammal Conservation
  • FW 302: Biology and Conservation of Marine Mammals
  • FW 331: Ecology of Marine and Estuarine Birds
  • FW 401: Research - Marine and Estuarine Research
  • FW 421/521: Aquatic Biological Invasions
  • FW 493: Field Methods for Marine Research
  • FW 498/598 Aquaculture Laboratory

Fall 2017 course offerings:

  • FW 407/507: HMSC Seminar
  • FW 419/519: The Natural History of Whales and Whaling
  • FW 426/526: Coastal Ecology and Resource Management (CERM)
  • FW 434/534: Estuarine Ecology
  • FW 464/564: Marine Conservation Biology 
  • FW 465/565: Marine Fisheries
  • FW 469/569: Behavior and Physiology of Marine Megafauna

Frequently Asked Questions About the HMSC Fall Program

Who should attend the fall program?

Advanced undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in coastal ecology, marine fish ecology, and the management of natural resources can participate in the Fall program.

Most of the courses in our program are currently offered as 400/500-level splits (undergrad/grad), with additional laboratory or primary literature discussions for graduate students. Many courses have pre-requisites - please check the schedule and contact us if you have questions. Registration for OSU students is identical to registration for classes on campus. Students from other institutions are also encouraged to apply. Many schools have tuition and credit transfer agreements with OSU, and special admissions arrangements can be made.

What is Hatfield Marine Science Center?

In addition to being Oregon State University's primary marine laboratory, the Hatfield Marine Science Center is also home to a number of federal and state natural resource agencies.  Agencies include NOAA'S Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Science Centers, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.  

Many scientists at these agencies actively participate in classes and provide internship opportunities, creating an educational opportunity well beyond that which is usually offered in an academic setting. This also presents potential employment prospects for our students.

When does it start?

Fall term begins September 21, 2016. The week prior to fall term is dedicated to the all-day, intensive lecture and field course, Coastal Ecology and Resource Management (FW426/526). It is recommended that all students attending classes in the program register for this core course. 

What does it cost?

Tuition and fees are through Oregon State University and are dependent on the number of credit hours enrolled, residency, term, and campus location. During the summer term, Corvallis based courses are billed at the in-state tuition and fee rate for all students. Hatfield Marine Science Center based courses are charged the same tuition and fee rate as Corvallis courses. We are also requesting a $80 lab fee from each student enrolled in Coastal Ecology and Resource Management (FW426/526). This will help cover some of the costs for field trips and equipment.

Ecampus (same price for Oregon residents, out-of-state residents, and international residents)
Corvallis/HMSC Campus
Summer Session (all tuition is in-state)

See the Tuition Comparison Chart to compare Ecampus and Corvallis Campus rates. Students taking a mixture of courses pay separate tuition and fees for each campus and those are added together. This can end up being quite expensive so students should talk to an advisor if they are unsure what to do. 

What about housing?

Inexpensive housing is available from dormitory apartments at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.  One- and two-bedroom apartments are available on the HMSC campus. Rates depend on the number of students sharing an apartment. For details, please reference HMSC's Housing webpage.

Learn More

For additional information please contact: Itchung Cheung (541) 867-0380 at the Hatfield Marine Science Center or Nancy Allen (541) 737-1941 or at

International Experiences

Undergraduate Karla Garcia, with Kham Koon the elephant in Thailand

International experiences can help you learn more about global ecosystem interconnections and the species they support. Some of the potential benefits of going abroad include:

  • Gaining experience with different ecosystems, fish and wildlife communities and endangered species
  • Understanding human impacts and connectivity to global environmental issues
  • Learning about international perspectives in biodiversity conservation
  • Gaining science-based professional skills in fish and wildlife monitoring, management and recovery
  • Improving your language skills
  • Expanding your cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Preparing you for work in an increasingly diverse and international workplace, and increase your sensitivity to environmental issues across the globe

Conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats is an international concern. As human impacts on ecosystems increase, more and more species are declining around the world. Undergraduates majoring in Fisheries and Wildlife Science are strongly supported in pursuing and completing international experiences.

OSU has many opportunities for international study. A complete list of all of OSU’s education abroad offerings can be found by visiting the Office of Global Opportunities or learn more about going abroad with Fisheries and Wildlife.

Spend Winter in the Southern Hemisphere - Suspended Winter 2017

It's summer in Chillan, Chile! Chillan is located in the central valley region of Chile and is one hour from the ocean and volcanic mountains. Trout fishing and outdoor adventure are near by

Students take four classes taught by OSU professors. The first three classes will be taught in English, the fourth in Spanish. Students must have a Spanish language background, see the International Programs website below for requirements.

Want to know more? Watch the 2016 Winter Chile Study Abroad Info Session and for more information see OSU: Agricultural and Natural Resources in Chile.

International Internships 

External providers that have international programs approved by OSU are listed below.  Students participating in these programs are guaranteed to earn OSU resident credit and are able to use OSU financial aid.

Academic Programs International (API)

American Intercontinental University (AIU)

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

Global Education Oregon (GEO)

IE3 Global Internships

INTO Chinese Language Summer Program

Institute for Study Abroad- Butler University (IFSA)

School for Field Studies (SFS)

School for International Training (SIT)

Semester at Sea

SEA Semester

Learn More

Want to learn more? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our program or Get Connected to see what our current students are doing. "Like" us on Facebook!

If you are a prospective Ecampus student we recommend that you speak to an Ecampus Enrolllment Services Specialist. You can contact them at or 1-800-667-1465.