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2021 Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation

Approximately 20,647 natural resources conservation degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be difficult finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation ranking analyzed 160 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in natural resources conservation. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Natural Resources Conservation students.

Choosing a Great Natural Resources Conservation School

Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation The conservation program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality conservation program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we include a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 12% of our overall quality ranking while the lowest ranked school on the list is still in the top 16%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 178 to 20 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Natural Resources Conservation graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average natural resources conservation bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $30,240, graduates of colleges on this list average $33,604.

Starting Salary  ( 29170 to 38829 )
$0
$44,700

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Natural Resources Conservation students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other natural resources conservation students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized natural resources conservation related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for Natural Resources Conservation students.

Best Schools to Study Natural Resources Conservation in the United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities for a Natural Resources Conservation degree. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 24 Best Conservation Colleges

University of California - Berkeley is among your top options if you want to study natural resources conservation. UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. University of California - Berkeley natural resources conservation students make $10,696 more than the average conservation graduate.

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It's hard to beat University of California - Santa Barbara if you wish to study natural resources conservation. UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 133rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

With 415 undergraduates, University of California - Santa Barbara is one of most popular schools to study conservation in United States. Students who graduate from the conservation program earn about $34,400 for their early career.

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Any student who is interested in natural resources conservation needs to check out SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Located in the city Syracuse, SUNY - ESF is a public college with a small student population. This school ranks 226th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

SUNY - ESF offers natural resources conservation degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's. Grads of the conservation program state that they receive average early career earnings of $28,500.

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#4

Duke University

Durham, NC

It is hard to beat Duke University if you wish to study natural resources conservation. Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

There are about 209 natural resources conservation undergrads studying this program at Duke. Graduates of the conservation program earn an average of $32,300 in their early career salary.

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Located in the medium-sized city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 102nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Texas A&M University - College Station natural resources conservation graduates make $2,796 more than the average conservation student.

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UNC Chapel Hill is a very large public school located in the small city of Chapel Hill. A Best Colleges rank of 60 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UNC Chapel Hill is a great college overall.

A favorite choice for natural resources conservation undergraduates, there are about 171 learners studying this degree at UNC Chapel Hill. Graduates of the conservation program make about $33,300 for their early career.

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University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, University of Virginia also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the conservation program make around $34,700 in their early career salary.

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Located in the small suburb Davis, UC Davis is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 83 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Davis is a great college overall.

University of California - Davis is one of the most popular college to study conservation in United States with more than 223 graduations last year. Grads of the conservation program report average early career earnings of $35,300.

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Located in the large city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 97 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UW Seattle is a great college overall.

University of Washington - Seattle Campus is one of the most popular school to study conservation in United States exceeding 227 graduations last year. Soon after graduating, conservation students typically earn an average of $30,300 in their early careers.

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#10

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

A popular choice for natural resources conservation undergraduates, there are roughly 90 learners enrolled in this degree at Cornell. Graduates of the conservation program earn an average of $28,000 in the first couple years of working.

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UCLA is a fairly large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UCLA is a great college overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, UCLA offers a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship) in natural resources conservation. University of California - Los Angeles natural resources conservation students receive $4,896 more than the typical conservation student.

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Located in the suburb Durham, U of NH is a public college with a large student population. This college ranks 211th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New Hampshire.

A favorite choice for natural resources conservation undergraduates, there are about 77 learners studying this program at U of NH. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, conservation students generally earn about $33,900 in the first five years of their career.

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#13

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia. This college ranks 186th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

A favorite major for natural resources conservation undergrads, there are roughly 33 students studying this program at Drexel. Natural Resources Conservation graduates from Drexel University receive an earnings boost of about $11,296 over the typical earnings of natural resources conservation graduates.

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Ohio State is a fairly large public school located in the city of Columbus. This college ranks 175th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

There are about 170 natural resources conservation undergraduates studying this program at Ohio State. After getting their bachelor's degree, conservation students generally earn around $33,100 in the first five years of their career.

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UMass Amherst is a very large public school located in the suburb of Amherst. This college ranks 118th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

University of Massachusetts Amherst is one of the most popular school to study conservation in United States with over 193 graduates last year. Students who graduate from the conservation program make about $29,500 for their early career.

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Located in the midsize city Tempe, ASU - Tempe is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 276th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

A preferred choice for natural resources conservation undergrads, there are approximately 160 individuals enrolled in this program at ASU - Tempe. Soon after graduation, conservation students typically make about $35,200 in the first five years of their career.

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#17

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY

Colgate is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Hamilton. A Best Colleges rank of 29 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Colgate is a great school overall.

A favorite choice for natural resources conservation undergrads, there are roughly 36 students enrolled in this degree at Colgate. Graduates from the natural resources conservation program at Colgate University earn $4,996 more than the typical college grad in this field shortly after graduation.

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Wisconsin is a very large public school located in the large city of Madison. A Best Colleges rank of 76 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Wisconsin is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wisconsin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, conservation students usually earn an average of $25,800 in their early careers.

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#19

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Located in the small city Burlington, UVM is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 231st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Vermont.

For those interested in something more advanced, UVM also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, conservation students typically make around $25,700 in the first five years of their career.

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Located in the city Boulder, CU - Boulder is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 227th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There are about 251 natural resources conservation undergrads enrolled in this program at CU - Boulder. Students who graduate from the conservation program make an average of $28,200 in the first couple years of working.

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Iowa State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Ames. This school ranks 213th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Iowa.

There are approximately 92 natural resources conservation undergraduates studying this program at Iowa State. Soon after graduating, conservation students usually make around $35,100 at the beginning of their careers.

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Located in the large suburb College Park, UMCP is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 117th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMCP also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the conservation program make around $34,100 in the first couple years of working.

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#23

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

Located in the suburb Newark, U of Delaware is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 87 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means U of Delaware is a great school overall.

There are approximately 78 natural resources conservation undergraduates studying this program at U of Delaware. Students who graduate from the conservation program make around $32,800 in their early career salary.

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USC is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 40 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means USC is a great college overall.

University of Southern California is a fairly popular school to study conservation in United States with more than 67 graduations last year. Grads of the conservation program state that they receive average early career earnings of $34,600.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation award.

Rank College Location
26 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
27 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
28 University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
29 Northeastern University Boston, MA
30 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
31 Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA
32 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
25 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN

Natural Resources Conservation by Region

View the Best Colleges for Natural Resources Conservation for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 5 majors within the Natural Resources & Conservation area of study, Natural Resources Conservation has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Natural Resource Management 2,842
Wildlife Management 2,400
Forestry 2,339
Fisheries Sciences 620
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 151

View All Conservation Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Lynn Betts. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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