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Wildlife Conservation Actions Graduate Certificate

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Course Overview Open Accordion
Natural Resources Certificate Online

Earn your wildlife conservation certificate online

To solve today's complex conservation issues, professionals need a broad understanding of key elements affecting environments and the relationships between lands, wildlife, and people.

This online natural resources certificate prepares you with the tools, methods, theories, and action steps that help identify conservation problems and the means to develop, implement, and evaluate proposed solutions. Upon completion, you will be able to critically identify root issues that cause problems and the stakeholders involved, and then recommend desired outcomes.

You will study environmental management topics such as:

  • Biodiversity evaluations
  • Policy analysis
  • Systematic planning
  • Administrative procedures
  • Strategic communications
  • Land, animal, and human management
  • Leadership with internal and external publics
  • Individual and institutional sustainability
  • Record keeping and reporting

Create action plans to solve conservation issues

The program focuses on taking action to impact real-world issues. Through conservation coursework assignments, students create action plans such as:

  • Human, wildlife, and land management plans
  • Sustainability recommendations
  • Critical reviews of biodiversity
  • Legislative bills
  • Strategic communications and leadership

Readings, assignments, and outside research engages students in realistic and relevant problem-based learning. You will be prepared to apply practical and action-oriented methodologies to your conservation work, while accounting for all stakeholder groups and adopting systems-thinking approaches. This strategy trains participants to, not only identify the holistic components of problems, but to solve them.

What is conservation?

The program focuses on conservation, or wise use, not preservation. Conservation takes action within dynamic systems to help with adaptive management of land, animals, and people rather than trying to keep something the way it is (preservation).

Take a cross-disciplinary approach

The many considerations involved in solving natural resource challenges require a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach. Learn to account for, and integrate, all of the elements affecting decisions and actions when developing action-oriented conservation solutions, including:

  • Physical and biological processes
  • Economics
  • Money and trade
  • Psychology of individuals and personal beliefs
  • Social norms
  • Cultures
  • Meaningful logistics
  • Skills
  • Technology
  • Legal and political systems

During your online coursework, you will learn theories and practices in natural resources management to develop your understanding of the many viewpoints that impact public debate and decisions in this important field.

Gain the skills to make a bigger impact in your conservation career

Prepare to become a knowledgeable leader in natural resources management and environmental science with this four-course online certificate program. The curriculum offers you both a philosophical and functional view that is applicable to a wide range of careers. These careers range from land management, to public affairs, to wildlife biology.

This online natural resources certificate is designed for individuals interested in working for, or who are currently working for, public and private agencies such as:

  • City, county, and state natural resources departments, open space departments, land trusts, and fish and wildlife management agencies
  • Federal agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Non-government organizations such as the National Wildlife Federation, Izaak Walton League, Pheasants and Quail Forever, Ducks Unlimited, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, and other federations and conservation organizations
  • Extension programs associated with land grant universities
  • Private consultant or contractor firms that work with managing public and private lands
  • The Wildlife Society, Society for Conservation Biology, and others working with practical, on the ground conservation actions

This flexible and customizable online wildlife and land management certificate gives you the option to choose four courses from a total of six, so you can study the topics most relevant to your career and goals. Review the curriculum for more information.

Limited certificate credits are shared with a master's degree program

This online graduate certificate includes two courses in its curriculum that are also part of the online Master of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology (M.F.W.C.B.) program. If a student with credits for these courses is admitted to the M.F.W.C.B. program (which has different admission criteria than this certificate), those credits can transfer into the master's program (with a grade of B or better) and can be applied toward the degree after formal admission per University transfer policies. Successful completion of the courses or certificate does not guarantee admission to the M.F.W.C.B. degree program.

Curriculum Open Accordion

Choose courses that best meet your learning objectives to complete the certificate with at least 12 credits (more than the required number of courses may be taken).

Courses (select four)

This certificate may have courses in common with other graduate certificates. A student may earn more than one certificate, but a given course may be counted only in one certificate.

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Fall semester July 15
Spring semester December 15

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

This graduate certificate requires that students have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Wildlife Conservation Actions (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

3 Submit Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Morgan Parsley
Wildlife Conservation Actions Graduate Certificate
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

12 credits
$705 per credit
Degree Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Wildlife Conservation Actions
Time Frame
Can be completed in 2 semesters
Admission Reqs.
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution.

Application Dates

Fall semester
July 15
Spring semester
December 15

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