Biological Sciences (Conservation Biology and Ecology), BS


At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus, or online
  • Additional Program Fee: No
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • Math Intensity: Moderate program math intensity moderate
  • Initial Math Course: MAT 251 - Calculus for Life Sciences

Required Courses (Major Map)

Major Map Online Major Map

Major Map on-campus archive

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Are you concerned about environmental challenges such as climate change and habitat destruction? Are you curious about how organisms interact with one another and their physical surroundings? Dive in and apply a biological approach combined with human perspective to develop a deep understanding of the complex problems threatening our world.

Program Description

In the BS program in biological sciences with a concentration in conservation biology and ecology, students will discover how to conserve biological diversity and restore degraded ecosystems and will examine the way organisms interact with each other and their physical environment.

Arizona State University is committed to a more sustainable world and sharing knowledge of conservation biology and ecology. Students gain hands-on experience with world-renowned conservation biologists to investigate the impact of humans on Earth's biodiversity, prevent the extinction of species, promote the sustainable use of biological resources and reestablish desired conditions in a variety of ecosystems.

This program is available as an accelerated degree program.

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit The College's website for more information and requirements.

A new approach to teaching biology

As a biology student at Arizona State University, you are part of a new movement to reinvent science learning, designed to prioritize your needs and empower you to not only succeed but be transformed into a future leader and problem solver.

ASU’s adaptive and flexible teaching model levels the playing field for all learners, allowing anyone to understand complex concepts and gain the confidence to take on scientific challenges in a growing field. 

Here, you will apply biological models through immersive exploration and hands-on discovery. Explore a 24,000-square-foot Natural History Collection, the only insectary of its kind in Arizona and several research opportunities for online students, which set our programs apart from other institutions across the globe. Together, we’ll learn how to visualize and build a better world.

Degree details for on-campus students

Major core 

Once you start a General BIO sequence, you must complete the full sequence (BIO 181 & 182 OR BIO 281 & 282)

  • BIO 181 General Biology I (4) or BIO 281 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors I (4)
  • BIO 182 General Biology II (4) or BIO 282 Conceptual Approaches to Biology for Majors II (4)
  • BIO 340 General Genetics (4) 
  • BIO 345 Evolution (3)

Concentration core 

  • BIO 320 Fundamentals of Ecology (3)
  • BIO 322 Conservation of Biodiversity (3)

Human dimensions of conservation and ecology

  • BIO 304/ENV 302 Plants and Civilization (3)
  • BIO 324/PHI 310 Environmental Ethics (3)
  • BIO 412 Conservation in Practice (3)
  • BIO 434 People and Nature: Ecosystem Services (3)
  • BIO/MIC/MBB 495 Undergraduate Research - (maximum of 6 credits can be used toward major)

Conservation biology and ecology field methods

  • BIO 405 Sonoran Desert Field Botany (3)
  • BIO 407 Novel Ecosystems (3)
  • BIO 410 Techniques in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3)
  • BIO 484 Internship (1-6) (must receive faculty approval to use as major credit)
  • BIO 494 Discovering Biodiversity: Field to Database (3)

Advanced ecology

  • BIO/SOS 421 Landscape Ecology (3)
  • BIO 422 Ecosystem Ecology (3)
  • BIO 423 Population & Community Ecology (3)

Advanced ecology, biodiversity, field or research

  • ABS 376 Wildlife Ecology (3) 
  • ABS 380 Restoration and Wildlife Plants (3) 
  • ABS 470 Life History of Mammals (3)
  • ABS 476 Big Game Habitat Management  (3)
  • ABS 481 Riparian and Wetland Restoration (3)
  • ASM 443 Primatology (3) 
  • BIO 303 Plant Diversity and Evolution (4) 
  • BIO 325 Oceanography (3)
  • BIO 331 Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • BIO 385 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • BIO 386 General Entomology (4) 
  • BIO 410 Techniques in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3) 
  • BIO 419 Physiological Plant Ecology (3) 
  • BIO 421 Landscape Ecology (3)
  • BIO 461 Comparative Animal Physiology (3) 
  • BIO/MIC/MBB 484 Internship (1-6) (must receive faculty approval to use as major credit)
  • BIO/MIC/MBB 492 Honors Directed Study
  • BIO/MIC/MBB 495 Undergraduate Research (maximum of 6 credits can be applied to major)

Advanced human dimensions of conservation and ecology

  • BIO 304/ENV 302 Plants and Civilization (3) 
  • BIO 324/PHI 310 Environmental Ethics (3) 
  • BIO 434 People and Nature: Ecosystem Services (3) 
  • JUS/FIS 444 Environment and Justice (3) 
  • REL/SOS/JST 349 Nature, Sustainability and Religion
  • SOS 310 Equity, Justice and Sustainability (3) 
  • SOS 321 Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems (3) 
  • SOS 325 The Economics of Sustainability (3) 

Requirements in related fields

General Chemistry (Both Required)
  • CHM 113 General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116 General Chemistry II (4)
Physical Science Course (Complete one of the following)
  • CHM 231 + CHM 235 Organic Chemistry and Lab (4)
  • GIS 205 Geographic Info Science I (3)
  • GIS 211 Geographic Info Science II (4)
  • GLG 101 + GLG 103 Introduction to Geology and Lab (4)
  • GPH 111 Introduction to Physical Geography (3)
  • PHY 101 Introduction to Physics (4)
  • PHY 111 + PHY 113 General Physics I and Lab (4)
  • PHY 112 + PHY 114 General Physics II and Lab (4)
Quantitative and spatial analysis (complete one of the following)
  • BIO 411 Quantitative Methods in Conservation and Ecology (4)
  • BIO 415 Statistical Models for Biology  (4) 
  • GIS 311 Geographic Information Science III (4)
  • GIS 470 Advanced Statistics for Geography and Planning (3)  
  • GIS 471 Spatial Statistics for Gepgraphy and Planning (3) 
  • SOS 212 Systems, Dynamics and Sustainability (3)
Math (complete one of the following)
  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)
Statistics (complete one of the following)
  • STP 231 Statistics for Biosciences (3) 
  • STP 226 Elementary Statistics (3)

Please see an advisor if any of the above courses are not offered in the term you wish to take them

For more information on requirements and recommendations specific to this degree please see our Did you know for on-campus degrees page.

Degree details for online students

Major Core 

  • BIO 181 General Biology I (4) 
  • BIO 182 General Biology II (4) 
  • BIO 340 General Genetics (4) 
  • BIO 345 Evolution (3)

Concentration Core 

  • BIO 320 Fundamentals of Ecology (3)
  • BIO 322 Conservation of Biodiversity (3)

Human Dimensions of Conservation and Ecology (complete one of the following)

  • BIO 304/ENV 302 Plants and Civilization (3)
  • BIO 324/PHI 310 Environmental Ethics (3)
  • BIO 412 Conservation in Practice (3)
  • BIO 434 People and Nature: Ecosystem Services (3)
  • BIO 495 Undergraduate Research (maximum of 6 credits can be applied to major)

Conservation Biology and Ecology Field Methods (Complete one of the following)

  • BIO 405 Sonoran Desert Field Botany (3)
  • BIO 407 Novel Ecosystems (3)
  • BIO 410 Techniques in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3)
  • BIO 484 Internship (1-6) (must receive faculty approval to use as major credit)
  • BIO 494 Discovering Biodiversity: Field to Database (3)

Advanced Ecology (Complete one of the following)

  • BIO/SOS 421 Landscape Ecology (3)
  • BIO 422 Ecosystem Ecology (3)
  • BIO 423 Population & Community Ecology (3)

Advanced Ecology, Biodiversity, Field or Research (Complete one of the following)

  • ASM 443 Primatology (3) 
  • BIO 303 Plant Diversity and Evolution (4) 
  • BIO 325 Oceanography (3)
  • BIO 331 Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 370 Vertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • BIO 385 Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (4) 
  • BIO 386 General Entomology (4) 
  • BIO 410 Techniques in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3) 
  • BIO 419 Physiological Plant Ecology (3) 
  • BIO 421 Landscape Ecology (3)
  • BIO 461 Comparative Animal Physiology (3) 
  • BIO 484 Internship (1-6) ((maximum of 6 credits can be applied to major)
  • BIO 495 Undergraduate Research (maximum of 6 credits can be applied to major)


Advanced Human Dimensions of Conservation and Ecology (Complete one of the following)

  • BIO 304/ENV 302 Plants and Civilization (3) 
  • BIO 324/PHI 310 Environmental Ethics (3) 
  • BIO 434 People and Nature: Ecosystem Services (3) 
  • JUS/FIS 444 Environment and Justice (3) 
  • REL/SOS/JST 349 Nature, Sustainability and Religion
  • SOS 310 Equity, Justice and Sustainability (3) 
  • SOS 321 Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems (3) 
  • SOS 325 The Economics of Sustainability (3) 

Please see an advisor if any of the above courses are not offered in the term you wish to take them

Requirements in related fields

General Chemistry (Both Required)
  • CHM 113 General Chemistry I (4)
  • CHM 116 General Chemistry II (4)
Physical Science Course (Complete one of the following)
  • CHM 231 + CHM 235 Organic Chemistry and Lab (4)
  • GIS 205 Geographic Info Science I (3)
  • GIS 211 Geographic Info Science II (4)
  • GLG 101 + GLG 103 Introduction to Geology and Lab (4)
  • GPH 111 Introduction to Physical Geography (3)
  • PHY 101 Introduction to Physics (4)
  • PHY 111 + PHY 113 General Physics I and Lab (4)
  • PHY 112 + PHY 114 General Physics II and Lab (4)
Quantitative and Spatial Analysis. (Complete one of the following)
  • BIO 411 Quantitative Methods in Conservation and Ecology (4)
  • BIO 415 Statistical Models for Biology  (4) 
  • GIS 311 Geographic Information Science III (4)
  • GIS 470 Advanced Statistics for Geography and Planning (3)  
  • GIS 471 Spatial Statistics for Gepgraphy and Planning (3) 
  • SOS 212 Systems, Dynamics and Sustainability (3)
Math Proficiency (Complete one of the following)
  • MAT 251 Calculus for Life Sciences (3)
  • MAT 210 Brief Calculus (3)
Statistics (Complete one of the following)
  • STP 231 Statistics for Biosciences (3) 
  • STP 226 Elementary Statistics (3)

For more information or to review recommendations from advising visit our advising recommendations page




Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission


Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site: https://admission.asu.edu/transfer/pathway-programs.


Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to https://changingmajors.asu.edu for information about how to change a major to this program.


Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Biology

Deepen your knowledge about the life sciences and build strong conceptual foundations in frontier areas of modern biology.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Microbiology

When you become an expert in microbes, you will be able to contribute to the greater good. Join us to learn how microbes impact human health and the environment, and receive theoretical and practical training in your chosen area of interest.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Computational Life Sciences

Join in the transformation that new types and amounts of data are bringing to the life sciences. You can learn computational methods that complement traditional bench-based approaches, allowing you to arrive at novel insights, and you'll gain the knowledge and skills you'll need when applying computational techniques in life sciences research.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

Global Management

Gain hands-on experience and learn from the diverse perspectives of a global cohort of classmates. This program offers applied learning opportunities, 17 concentration options, and internships in real-world global settings.

Website | Locations: DTPHX,ONLNE

Biology (Biology and Society)

Do you need more than a foundation in biology? Do you want to take your training into society and bring about change? Within this multidisciplinary program, you can develop knowledge and skills for tangible action and prepare for employment, a PhD or other professional studies.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Do you want to understand the fundamental molecular events at the core of all life? Choose from a diverse range of research and training opportunities, gain skills in contemporary techniques and enjoy the opportunity to tailor the program around your research and career interests.

Website | Locations: TEMPE


Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

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Career Outlook

The conservation biology and ecology concentration within the biological sciences major provides students with an individualized and skill-based foundation that will enable them to pursue advanced research and graduate study in biological sciences, environmental law and economics, physiology, ecology and conservation.

The Bachelor of Science degree program also prepares students with training in specific skills they need for direct entry into their choice of career in a wide variety of fields and positions, including education, environmental resources, animal and plant physiology and identification, behavior ecology, population biology, conservation of endangered species and restoration of degraded ecosystems.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary


  • Growth: 8.6%
  • Median Salary*: 81650
  Bright Outlook

Climate Change Policy Analysts


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Conservation Scientists


  • Growth: 4.1%
  • Median Salary*: 64460

Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health


  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: 76480
  Bright Outlook

Fish and Game Wardens


  • Growth: -6.3%
  • Median Salary*: 59500

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists


  • Growth: 3%
  • Median Salary*: 67430

Geographic Information Systems Technologists and Technicians


  • Growth: 9.7%
  • Median Salary*: 98740
  Bright Outlook

Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education


  • Growth: 1%
  • Median Salary*: 62360

Water Resource Specialists


  • Growth: 4.8%
  • Median Salary*: 144440
  Bright Outlook

Park Naturalists


  • Growth: 4.1%
  • Median Salary*: 64460

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).



Global Opportunities

Global Experience

Through study abroad programs, students studying biological sciences are able to experience distinct biological environments and gain an understanding of conservation biology practices worldwide. They are exposed to a variety of laws, policies and practices in biology-centric environments and expand their knowledge of how science impacts society. Students also are able to engage in community service and outreach, which can help them stand out in graduate study or a professional career.

With more than 300 programs available, Global Education programs allow students to tailor their experience to their specific interests and skill sets. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recommends these programs for students majoring in biological sciences with a concentration in conservation biology and ecology.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.



Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.