Get expertise in biodiversity conservation, endangered species, wild animal management, and habitat suitability.

Degree requirement: None
Semester: Spring, fall
Program length: 3 university courses (12 months)
Format: Hybrid (online and in-person)
More detailed information below.

This certificate will give students a broad perspective on this exciting field. It is the first certificate of its kind at the University of Illinois to offer a sequence of wildlife-related courses.

The certificate is open to students from across the University and it is not necessary to have a background in wildlife or fisheries to enroll.

Students will gain a fundamental understanding of contemporary challenges and opportunities in biodiversity conservation in a wide variety of geographic contexts. They will also develop an appreciation for the factors that render a given habitat suitable or unsuitable, with particular emphasis on human activities.

Current UIUC students may use the Start Certificate button below or contact Susan Helmink, NRES Advising Coordinator (, to discuss adding this certificate. 


Estimated tuition and fees for the Professional Development Certificate depend on the number of courses and hours taken. See Illinois Online for tuition and fee information.

Hand holding a bird up close

Program Highlights

Completion of the certificate will serve as a signal to potential employers that the student has expertise related to the conservation and management of wild animals, thus broadening potential employment opportunities.

Knowledge and experience gained in completing the Certificate in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation may also serve as a stepping-stone to additional coursework in an undergraduate minor or a graduate program.


The unique nature of this certificate and the diversity of course offerings will allow students to explore interests ranging from the ecological underpinnings of on-the-ground wildlife and fisheries conservation, habitat management for terrestrial or aquatic vertebrates, and recovery of endangered species. This suite of elective courses also provides flexibility in terms of timing and integration with a given program of study.


  • Complete at least nine credit hours
  • Take courses for academic credit and earn a "B" or better for all courses

Course List

  • Complete NRES 101 Wildlife Conservation in the 21st Century (3 Hours, offered every spring)
  • Complete 6 additional hours of coursework from the following list:
    • NRES 219 Applied Ecology (3 Hours, offered every fall)
    • NRES 348 Fish and Wildlife Ecology (3 Hours, offered every fall)
    • NRES 407 Wildlife Population Ecology (4 Hours, offered every spring)
    • NRES 409 Fishery Ecology and Conservation (4 Hours, offered every fall)
    • NRES 429 Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation (3 Hours, offered every fall)
    • NRES 485 Stream Ecosystem Management (3 Hours, offered spring of even years)

Start Certificate

Express your interest in pursuing a certificate. Once accepted, you will receive an email with further instructions for registration.

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Complete Certificate

Upon completing your required coursework, you will need to submit a completion request for your certificate. 

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