Ecology & Conservation Biology

Bachelor of Science
College of Arts and Sciences

Students interested in ecology are encouraged to enroll in the many courses in ecology and conservation biology at Bowling Green State University. This program offers opportunities for students to develop a solid foundation in basic biology, genetics, ecology, evolution and conservation biology. In addition, students will develop specialized quantitative, analytical and technical skills essential for professional positions or advanced study.

Career Opportunities

The multidisciplinary nature of this program promotes innovative approaches that integrate basic and applied research in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. This program’s mission addresses the unprecedented changes from human-induced impacts on the environment from the regional to global level. For this reason, students completing the program will be competitive for positions in the private or public sector in the fields of ecology and conservation biology and be prepared for additional training, if desired, in graduate school. Graduates are employed by private firms, governmental agencies in natural resource management, urban forestry, wildlife ecology, aquatic biology and agricultural research.


The Biology degree with an Ecology and Conservation Biology Specialization is designed to provide training in the major areas of biology while accommodating specific courses that focus on ecology and conservation biology. All students are required to take the biology core program consisting of a biology seminar for entering freshman, two introductory courses covering biological principles ans a course in genetics.

Students are also required to take a course each in evolution, ecology, and conservation biology. One elective course is selected that focuses on physiology and the remaining electives in biology are selected from 3 major areas: ecology and conservation biology, biodiversity, and quantitative and applied science. Numerous courses in each of these three areas allow students to design specific curriculum for individual needs and interests. The biology major requires mathematics through calculus, organic chemistry and at least one course in physics. Prospective employers and admission committees appreciate the rigor of this curriculum. Internships and independent research opportunities are encouraged and may be taken for course credit.

Special Features

Special courses offer opportunities for field experience in both terrestrial and aquatic scientific techniques. Other courses provide students with training in the latest analytical and simulation techniques (e.g., GIS, population modeling, statistical analysis). These experiences are essential because they allow students to integrate classroom concepts and principles with real-world environments, organisms and issues.

One of the goals of our program is to expose students to opportunities to actively participate in research. Students can work closely with faculty members on research projects, earning credit toward their degree while gaining invaluable experience. A 65-acre forest preserve is available for students to use in research, as well as an ecological research center. Students interested in plant sciences have access to a greenhouse complex to maintain and propagate various plants. Also available are a 20,000-specimen herbarium and collection of fossil plants. The department maintains a 3000-gallon inland marine laboratory, as well as museum collections of vertebrates and invertebrates.

A 7,200- square-foot approved animal facility with surgical, breeding, holding and treatment rooms supports laboratory research experiments. Opportunities also exist for off-campus study at affiliated biological field stations, local parks and preserves (e.g., Wood County Parks, Metro parks of the Toledo Area, TNC’s Kitty Todd Preserve, Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge) or by participation in one of the department’s field trips.

Preparation for College

Completing the requirements for high school graduation is necessary for admission to BGSU, but only finishing the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Consider taking four years of mathematics instead of the three that are required. Four years of the same foreign language is excellent preparation for college. You will also benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to or training in the visual and performing arts are excellent choices. A strong background in chemistry and physics is also important.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Ecology & Conservation Biology, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: