Wildlife Management

Make the Great Outdoors Your Office

Embrace an outdoor lifestyle and promote environmental stewardship with a degree in Wildlife Management. Our campus, located in the heart of the James River valley, provides access to an amazing river, lake and plains ecosystem. You’ll study wildlife habits and habitats, scientific practices to measure a variety of data and help support healthy practices to ensure a thriving and surviving wildlife population for generations to come. 

What careers will you find with a
wildlife management degree?

Wildlife biologist 

Conservation officer 

Fisheries biologist 

Game farm manager 

What’s the Difference at DWU?

  • Find internship opportunities with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, the National Parks Service, and the South Dakota Department of Health.  
  • Work on projects involving habitat management, conservation, and other research areas. 
  • Conduct advanced independent research using the biological methods you have learned through your coursework for your senior capstone project.  
  • Interested in becoming a conservation officer? Then pick up an emphasis in Wildlife Law Enforcement. 

Wildlife Management Courses

Check out the courses on the way to completing your Wildlife Management degree.

BIO 120 Principles of Biology I

4 Hours
Students will examine concepts and theories in the following areas: the philosophy and methods of science; ecology; cell structure and function; genetics; and evolution. Three lectures, one laboratory. This course is intended to primarily serve those majoring in the Biological Sciences. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 120L.

BIO 122 Principles of Biology II


BIO 301 Biostatistics

4 Hours
This course covers the basic tools for the collection, analysis and presentation of biological data. Topics include the general principles of study design, hypothesis testing, basic descriptive statistics and specific statistical tests including t-test, correlation, chi-squared, contingency analysis, data transformations, analysis of variance, regression and some non-parametric methods. Prerequisites: BIO 120 and BIO 122, and MTH 125. Individuals without a major in the Department of Biological Sciences require instructor consent.

BIO 302 Ecology

4 Hours
Students will study the principles governing the relationships of plants, animals and their environment. 3 hour of lecture, 1 hour of lab. This course includes field trips. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L, BIO301. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO302L.

BIO 311 Invertebrate Zoology

4 Hours
Students will investigate the biology of representative invertebrates, including their structure and function, phylogeny, taxonomy, behavior, and ecology. Includes one hour lecture, one hour laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 311L.

BIO 315 Genetics

4 Hours
This is an introduction to the study of genetics using classical and molecular approaches. Topics covered include transmission genetics, replication of DNA, gene expression and control, and population genetics. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 101 and BIO 102.

BIO 316 Evolutionary Biology

3 Hours
This course includes the history, genetic basis and products of evolutionary forces, including understanding the factors that affect evolutionary change, and the modes of evolutionary change. This course is designed to present the evidence for evolution and its effects on populations from the molecular to the community and ecosystem level. Prerequisite: BIO 315.

BIO 318 Botany

4 Hours
This course is a comparative study of the structure and reproduction of fungi and lower plants, with emphasis on seed plants. Students will study the principles of plant classification, identification and nomenclature, including the systematic relationships of vascular plants with an emphasis on flowering plants. Laboratories will include field trips, identification of collections and techniques used in gathering evidence for classification. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 318L

BIO 323 Mammalogy

4 Hours
Topics covered in this course include the evolution, taxonomy, distribution, adaptations, ecology and behavior of mammals. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L or consent of instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 323L

BIO 324 Ornithology

4 Hours
This course involves the study of the origin, evolution, structure, behavior, adaptations, distribution and classification of birds. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L or consent of instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 324L.

BIO 325 Principles of Wildlife Management

3 Hours
An introduction to the basic principles used in the management of wildlife and fish populations, their habitats, and human uses.The course is directed toward the presentation of general concepts that are integral to understanding the discipline. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L or consent of instructor.

BIO 344 Immunology

4 Hours
An introduction into the chemical, genetic,and biological properties of immune responses, acquired immunity and the production of antibodies. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L, and CHM 174/174L or CHM 231/231L or consent of instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 344L

BIO 346 Intro to Molecular and Cell Biology

4 Hours
Study of the structure and function of the cell and its subcellular components. Provides an understanding of membrane and cellular physiology from a molecular aspect. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisites: BIO 122/122L, and CHM 174/174L or CHM 231/231L or consent of instructor. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIO 346L.

BIO 400 Research Problems in Biology

1 Hours
This course involves advanced independent work using biological methods. Students will choose a research-type activity acceptable to the biology department. Prerequisites: BIO101, BIO102, an approved proposal and consent of the instructor.

BIO 450 Internships

1 Hours
Internships are available in allied health fields, biochemistry, wildlife management, and other biological vocations. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.

CHM 164 University Chemistry

3 Hours
A one-semester course covering the core concepts of general chemistry, maintaining the depth and relevance of a two semester sequence. Topics covered include: bonding, equilibrium, stoichiometry, chemical kinetics, and oxidation-reduction. Prerquisite: MTH 120 or equivalent is recommended.

CHM 166 University Chemistry Lab

1 Hours
An introduction to experimental chemical methods of synthesis and characterization by quantitative and qualitative procedures. Experiments will relate to topics covered in CHM 164. Prerequisite or co-requisite: CHM 164.

CHM 174 Organic and Biochemistry

4 Hours
This course is a study of the fundamentals of organic chemistry (nomenclature, functional groups, reactions) with an emphasis on compounds of biological interest (amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, enzymes, nucleic acids and the metabolic cycles). Three lectures, one two-hour laboratory. Prerequisite: CHM 164. Corequisite: CHM174L

CHM 323 Analytical Chemistry

4 Hours
Students will study quantitative analytical methods, principles, details and applications, including the statistical treatment of data. Lab exercises cover the qualitative analysis scheme in the first half of the semester and more specific analytical problems in the second half. Three lectures, one three-hour laboratory, plus extra lab hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: CHM 164/166 or CHM 174/174L. Corequisite: CHM 323L.

MTH 210 Calculus I

5 Hours
This course is an introduction to differential and integral calculus. Students will learn to calculate the rates of change of functions including trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions and how to solve initial value and optimization problems. Students will learn the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and integration techniques. Prerequisite: MTH 135 or math placement.

PHS 100 Physical Science: Physics and the Atomic Nature of Matter

3 Hours
This is a project-oriented course explaining the fundamental laws of mechanics, solids, liquids, gases, heat, electromagnetism and light, with minimal stress on mathematics.

PHS 260 University Physics I

4 Hours
This is an introductory calculus-based course in the fundamentals of physics as applied to mechanics. Topics included are kinematics, vectors, Newton’s laws, energy, momentum, rotational dynamics, gravitation, simple harmonic motion and waves. Three lectures, one laboratory. Prerequisite or Corequisite: MTH 135 or consent of instructor. Corequisite PHS 260L.

Get to Know Your Professors

Embrace learning with our skilled teachers. Our low student-to-faculty ratio offers valuable one-on-one interaction with your professors.   

Brian Patrick, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Tim Mullican, D.A.

Professor of Biology | Chairperson of the Department of Biological Sciences

Concentration in Wildlife Law Enforcement 

Our concentration in wildlife law enforcement is the only program of its kind in South Dakota. This selection of classes gives you a background in criminal justice and communication while you earn your wildlife management degree. 

As a wildlife conservation officer, you will: 

  • Protect wildlife populations 
  • Ensure fair and equitable use of natural resources 
  • Protect state property 
  • Enforce hunting and fishing laws 

Throughout your career, you will interact with thousands of sportsmen and women. You will perform fish and wildlife surveys, work with nuisance wildlife, and take classes on wildlife management, hunter education, trapping and fishing. 

You'll need to be well-versed in the laws concerning wildlife and how to communicate these laws effectively with those who use the areas you protect. 

Your law enforcement emphasis will prepare you for making arrests, executing search warrants, investigating reported violations, preparing affidavits and testifying in court. 

This emphasis will give you a working knowledge of the American legal system, including: 

  • Criminal investigation techniques 
  • Arrest procedures 
  • Communication skills needed for working with the public 

Take classes like: 

  • American Legal Systems 
  • Criminal Procedure 
  • Interpersonal Communication 

Research Opportunites

DWU faculty involve undergraduates in their own research, as well as encourage them to obtain internships beyond DWU’s campus to develop future employment opportunities. 

Our faculty members are active professionals in research and grant writing. They stay up to date in modern techniques of wildlife management and have years of hands-on experience in the field. 

Related Majors & Minors

Biology Education

Open young minds to the wonders of science! Become a biology teacher.


    Sequence DNA, or discover a new spider species.


      Love being in the lab? Develop your interest in the physical sciences with a chemistry minor at DWU.


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