Wildlife Scholarships for Those With a Wildlife-Related Degree

Lion And Lioness On Wooden Platform In Zoo
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Attending college is an expensive undertaking and students should always be looking for ways to minimize the amount they have to take out in student loans. You don't want to graduate being burdened with $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.

While this comprehensive list focuses on nationally available scholarship options, don’t forget to search for the dozens of wildlife-related scholarships available to residents of a particular state or region. You can also find a number of departmental scholarships that are specifically designated for students attending particular colleges and universities. 

Canadian Wildlife Federation

The CWF offers scholarships through the Orville Erickson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Scholarships range in value from $500 to $4,000. In the past, award winners have represented a variety of majors including biology, zoology, ecology, and environmental sciences. Applicants should have an interest in conservation and be citizens of Canada. Applications are due in May and winners are notified by late September.

Izaak Walton League of America

The IWLA offers National Conservation Scholarships (in the amount of $2,500) to undergraduate students 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 April 1st.

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. Three or four scholarships are awarded each year to students working toward their masters or doctoral degrees. The awards include 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 two 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 $1,000 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, with the abstract due in December and the final draft due in January. The winner receives a $500 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 (in the amount 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 $2,000 award and a one-long membership in the RMEF. To date, over $200,000 has been awarded to students from more than 50 colleges and universities. Applications are due March 1st.

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 graduate scholarship in marine conservation (in the amount of $2,000), an undergraduate scholarship in marine conservation (in the amount of $1,000), and an undergraduate scholarship marine biology (in the amount of $1,000).  Additional awards are available to cover diving certification course fees. Applications are due in November and winners are notified in February.