Master’s Degree

The University of Florida’s online Master of Science in Wildlife Forensic Sciences and Conservation is open to qualified local, national, and international professionals who work in the fields of ecology, wildlife management, conservation biology, forensic science, veterinary medicine, and related disciplines.

This program is offered through UF’s Maples Center for Forensic Science in partnership with the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Students are prepared for real-world situations in wildlife forensics such as poaching and illegal trade and courses are taught by faculty members who have years of experience in the field working with law enforcement and wildlife organizations.

The MS in Wildlife Forensic Sciences and Conservation is comprised of four 3-credit core requirements plus 21 elective credits. Complete courses from the comfort of your home, on your own time. The degree is non-thesis, but does require the completion of a final cumulative exam that consists of a written and an oral component.

Note: Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program

Master’s Degree Benefits

  • Completely online, interactive courses
  • Flexible for working professionals
  • Earn a degree in as little as two years
  • Build core skills in historical and contemporary laws and legislation, crime scene processing, and conservation medicine.

Why Wildlife Forensic Sciences & Conservation?

Fish and wildlife officers, conservationists, and park rangers are just a few professionals who will benefit from the online wildlife forensic sciences and conservation graduate program. Adding graduate-level coursework to your resume can provide potential earning increases and job advancements, as well as boost your knowledge in an area of interest.

What will you learn?

Students can expect to cover a wide variety of topics that dive into historical and contemporary laws and legislation, crime scene processing, and conservation medicine. Topics will include:

  • Overview of crime scene procedures and protocols
  • Various types of evidence unique to wildlife forensics
  • Evidence recognition and handling
  • Crime scene test methods and techniques
  • Conservation and ecology issues in wildlife crime
  • Current trends in wildlife and biodiversity threats
  • Legalities in domestic and international wildlife issues

Courses Required for the Master’s Degree

(33 total credit hours required)

Core Courses – 12 Credit Hours Required (Updated 7/23/2020)

Course # Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
WIS 6561 Wildlife Crime Scene Processing 3 X    
WIS 6557 International Wildlife Conservation Law, Policy & Ethics – OR –  3     X
WIS 6558 U.S. Wildlife Law, Policy & Ethics 3 X    
WIS 6559 Forensic Science in Conservation Biology 3   X  
SUR 6934 GIS Fundamentals  – OR –  3     X
STA 6093 Introduction to Applied Statistics for Agricultural and Life Sciences 3     X
(Students must take EITHER WIS 6557 OR WIS 6558)

(Students must take EITHER SUR 6934 OR STA 6093)

Electives – 21 Credit Hours Required

Course #   Course Title Credits Spring Summer Fall
WIS 5562   Conservation Medicine 3 X    
VME 6053   Skeletal Trauma Analysis in Animals 3   X  
WIS 6934   Working Dogs in Conservation and Forensic Sciences 3 X    
WIS 6934   Wildlife Tracks and Sign 3     X
VME 6574   Aquatic Animal Pathology and Forensic Science (Description: TBD) 3 X    
VME 6573   Applications of DNA for Companion Animal and Wildlife Cases 3     X
VME 6616   Veterinary Products and the Environment 3     X
VME 6617   Risk Assessment and Mitigation for the Use and Management of Veterinary Agents 3 X    
WIS 6306   Applied Wildlife Forensic Genetics (prerequisite: VME 6573) 3 X    
WIS 6576   Human-Wildlife Conflict 3   X  
WIS 6421   Wildlife Toxicology: The Ecohealth Perspective 3     X
WIS 6563   Wildlife Forensic Pathology 3 X    
WIS 6425   Carrion Ecology & Evolution 3   X  
VME 6580   Cybercrime in Wildlife Investigations 3     X
WIS 6050   Professional Communication in Wildlife Forensic Science 3     X
WIS 6905   Botswana Field Course/Study Abroad (Special Topics) 6   X  
WIS 6905   Supervised Research (Special Topics) 1-5 TBD TBD TBD
WIS 6946   Wildlife Forensics Internship 1-6 X X X

Students may take any electives from UF’s online Veterinary Forensic Sciences program to satisfy any elective requirements for the online Wildlife Forensic Sciences and Conservation program.

View additional elective courses here.