Conservation Biology & Ecology

Gain skills and knowledge to engage in a central challenges the new millennium, including the conservation of species, ecosystems and the services they provide.

Conservation Biology and Ecology – B.S. in Biological Sciences, Conservation Biology and Ecology Emphasis 

The Conservation Biology and Ecology program at Montana State is an interdisciplinary program focused on understanding the structure and function of ecological communities. Combining study of ecology with history, philosophy, political science, economics and law, the degree provides a strong foundation that prepares students for graduate studies, reflecting the reality that most jobs in ecology, conservation and wildlife biology require an advanced degree.

The Biological Sciences major offers three additional Options Within the Major: Biology Teaching, Fish & Wildlife Ecology & Management and Organismal Biology.



Ecology researcher Lindsey Albertson and colleague Geoffrey Poole in the Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences won a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the complex ways in which caddisflies affect stream health.



An ilustration of a geyser mid-eruption.

University of the Yellowstone™
Montana State students make the surrounding Yellowstone ecosystem their classroom, laboratory and playground.

 An illustration of a head in profile, a light bulb illuminating the skull.

Goldwater Scholars
Montana State is the top producer in the Northwest of recipients of the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for students in math, science and engineering.

An illustration of a globe in profile.

Top of the Line
Ecology is an extremely research-active department, with one of the largest research-based graduate programs in science at Montana State. The Department conducts research for over 50 federal and state agencies and NGOs.



Career Resources

Within their first year of graduation, more than 96% of Montana State graduates are employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment, and career guidance website Zippia consistently ranks MSU as the #1 school in the state where alumni are most likely to land jobs.

Career Coaching & Professional Skills Studio

Professional career coaches help students with their career exploration, employer networking opportunities and job or internship searches. They also critique resumes and help students practice job interviews. Additionally, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success offers free workshops for students to develop the professional communication and collaboration skills that are highly sought after by employers.



Conservation Biology and Ecology students at Montana State University go into careers such as:

  • Wildlife Management
  • Wildlife and Ecology Research
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Nonprofit Conservation Advocacy and Law

To explore more career possibilities, the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success has a variety of tools available, including self-assessment and working with career coaches.