Wildlife Scholarships for Those With a Wildlife-Related Degree

Lion And Lioness On Wooden Platform In Zoo
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Attending college keeps getting more expensive, so students should always look for ways to minimize how much they take out in loans to fund their education. After all, you don't want to graduate with more than $100,000 worth of debt.

The good news is, there are many sources of funding for those majoring in wildlife-related fields such as zoology, veterinary medicine, marine biology, wildlife biology and conservation. Scholarships can help offset the increasing costs of education, books and materials and housing.

While this comprehensive list focuses on nationally available scholarship options, don’t forget to search for other wildlife-related scholarships available to residents of a particular state or region.

You can also find a number of departmental scholarships specifically designated for students attending particular colleges and universities. Be sure to check with your professors, advisors and other academic staff for possible leads for grants and scholarships in your field of study.

Canadian Wildlife Federation

The Canadian Wildlife Federation offers scholarships through the Orville Erickson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1975.

The scholarships range from $500 to $4,000, with past award winners representing a variety of majors including biology, zoology, ecology and environmental sciences.

In order to qualify, applicants should be Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, be registered at a recognized Canadian educational institution, and plan on working in Canada after graduating.

Applications are due May 25 every year and winners are notified by late September.

Izaak Walton League of America

The IWLA has been offering the National Conservation Scholarships since 2005 to promote conservation leadership.

To qualify for the $2,500 prize and a one-year membership to the IWLA, students must be enrolled in undergraduate studies in degree programs related to wildlife, fisheries, field biology, marine biology, zoology and other conservation fields. Applicants must be juniors or seniors.

There are also many additional scholarships available through local chapters of the IWLA. Applications are due May 15 every year.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program is a graduate award available to marine biology students, and women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Scholarships are awarded each year to students working toward their masters or doctoral degrees. Yearly support of $42,000 is granted per student which includes a 12-month stipend of $30,000 plus an educational allowance of up to $12,000. Students may also be eligible for an additional $10,000 for a four- to six-week program collaboration at a NOAA facility. Applications are due in December.

National Rifle Association

The NRA offers a Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarship Program. It's a one-year renewable scholarship of $5,000 available to college juniors or seniors. Applicants must be females majoring in wildlife management or conservation and have a grade point average of at least 3.0. 

Applications are due November 1st.

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

The NWRA offers the Ed Hiestand Memorial Veterinary Student Scholarship to all current veterinary students, interns and residents.

Candidates are required to submit a paper related to a veterinary topic in wildlife rehabilitation such as diagnosis, transmission, treatment and disease prevention, or a wildlife medicine-related study. The abstract is due in December, while the final draft is due in January.

The winner receives a $1,000 award and gets to make a presentation at the NWRA conference. There are also a variety of other awards available to defray the costs of attending the NWRA conference.

Oxbow Animal Health

Oxbow Animal Health offers a $1,000 scholarship to veterinary students with an interest in zoo and wildlife medicine.

A veterinary technologist scholarship of $500 is also offered to veterinary tech students with an interest in exotics.

An essay, resume and letters of recommendation are required in order to be considered. Applications must be postmarked by March 1st and recipients will be announced May 1st.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The RMEF sponsors the Wildlife Leadership Awards for college juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a career in wildlife management. Scholarship winners receive a $3,000 award and a one-long membership in the RMEF.

Over $375,000 has been awarded through 2018 to almost 200 students from more than 65 colleges and universities in Canada and the United States.

Applications are due March 1st and must include letters of recommendation.

Women Divers Hall of Fame

The WDHOF awards scholarships to women pursuing career paths that involve scuba diving such as marine biology and conservation.

Several awards are available including a scholarship in underwater archaeology for $2,000, an undergraduate scholarship in marine research for $1,000 and a $2,000 scholarship for men or women who focus on underwater education. Additional awards and grants are available to cover diving certification course fees.

Applications are due in October or November, and winners are notified in February.