Natural Resources & Conservation

2021 Best Value Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation

184 Colleges
21,077 Bachelor's Degrees
$26,262 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Value Natural Resources & Conservation School for You

Best Value Colleges for Natural Resources & ConservationNatural Resources & Conservation is the #23 most popular major in the country with 21,077 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2018-2019.

This year's Best Value Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking looked at 184 colleges that offer a bachelor's in natural resources and conservation. Note that the phrase 'best value' does not mean the absolute lowest-priced. For this ranking, we are identifying those natural resources and conservation schools that provide their students with a hiqh quality education at a price that is lower than other colleges and universities of the same caliber.

Average cost figures start with estimating tuition, fees, room and board, books, and other related expenses. We then subtract the average amount of financial aid that a student receives. You can use this as a gauge to estimate how much you may need to pay out of pocket to cover costs when financial aid isn't enough. Keep in mind that the net cost for you may be higher or lower, depending on your income and other factors.

One Size Does Not Fit All

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Value Natural Resources & Conservation Schools list to help you make the college decision.

To further help you make the college decision, we've developed a unique tool called College Combat that allows you to compare schools based on the factors that matter the most to you. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

2021 Best Value Natural Resources & Conservation Schools in the United States

Check out the natural resources and conservation programs at these schools if you want to get the best value for your money.

Top 25 Best Value Natural Resources & Conservation Schools

#1

Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste Marie, MI

Lake Superior State University earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the remote town of Sault Ste Marie, Lake Superior State University is a public college with a small student population. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Lake Superior State University also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking.

The average student at Lake Superior State University graduates in less than 4.4 years, and it costs about $16,475 per year to attend the school. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Lake Superior State University is $72,161. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point landed the #2 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. UW - Stevens Point is a medium-sized public school located in the distant town of Stevens Point. In addition to its great value ranking, UW - Stevens Point is in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UW - Stevens Point is 4.5 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $19,927. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from UW - Stevens Point is about $90,070. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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South Dakota State University earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Brookings, South Dakota State is a public school with a large student population. South Dakota State excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at South Dakota State is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $20,370. This means that the average student pays around $89,628 to get a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#4

Unity College

Unity, ME

Unity College comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Unity is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the rural area of Unity. Unity not only placed well in our value rankings. It is also #1 on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

It takes the average student at Unity about 4.1 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,495. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Unity be around $122,109. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Paul Smiths College of Arts and Science comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. Paul Smith's College is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the rural area of Paul Smiths. Paul Smith's College not only placed well in our value rankings. It is also #5 on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

The average student at Paul Smith’s College graduates in less than 4.2 years, and it costs about $29,530 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Paul Smith’s College is $124,912. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#6

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida landed the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. Located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville, U of F is a public school with a very large student population. As a testament to the quality of education offered at U of F, the school also landed the #8 rank in our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking.

The average student at U of F graduates in less than 4.3 years, and it costs about $28,230 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from U of F is $120,542. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Our rankings recognize SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry as the #7 school in this year's rankings. SUNY - ESF is a small public school located in the city of Syracuse. As a testament to the quality of education offered at SUNY - ESF, the school also landed the #2 rank in our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking.

It takes the average student at SUNY - ESF about 4.2 years to graduate, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $30,271. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the SUNY - ESF is $126,230. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Stephen F Austin State University landed the #8 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. Located in the town of Nacogdoches, SFASU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

The average student at SFASU graduates in less than 4.4 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $22,360. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from SFASU be around $99,278. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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North Carolina State University comes in at #9 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Raleigh, NC State is a public college with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our best value list, NC State has also earned the #4 rank in our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking.

It takes the average student at NC State about 4.4 years to graduate, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $28,493. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from NC State be around $124,799. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#10

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

West Virginia University landed the #10 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. WVU is a very large public school located in the small city of Morgantown. On top of its placing in our value rankings, WVU also did well on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list. It's in the top 15% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

At WVU, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.5 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $27,485. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the WVU is $122,583. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#11

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

University of Georgia earned the #11 spot in our 2021 rankings. UGA is a fairly large public school located in the city of Athens. In addition to its great value ranking, UGA is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at UGA is 4.3 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $31,505. This means that the average student pays around $134,211 to get a bachelor’s degree from UGA. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Iowa State University earned the #12 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Ames, Iowa State is a public school with a fairly large student population.

At Iowa State, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.4 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $26,749. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State is $118,231. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of South Florida - Main Campus. Located in the city of Tampa, USF Tampa is a public school with a very large student population.

The average student at USF Tampa graduates in less than 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $23,095. This means that the average student pays around $99,309 to get a bachelor’s degree from USF Tampa. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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The #14 spot in this year's ranking belongs to North Dakota State University - Main Campus. North Dakota State University is a large public school located in the medium-sized city of Fargo.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at North Dakota State University to complete their degree, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $21,224. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University be around $96,145. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earned the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the small city of Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill is a public school with a very large student population. In addition to its great value ranking, UNC Chapel Hill is in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

The average student at UNC Chapel Hill graduates in less than 4.1 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $26,820. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill is $109,694. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#16

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS

Mississippi State University landed the #16 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. Mississippi State is a fairly large public school located in the remote town of Mississippi State.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at Mississippi State to complete their degree, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $28,760. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State is about $130,570. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#17

University of Maine

Orono, ME

University of Maine comes in at #17 in this year's ranking. UMaine is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Orono. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UMaine also is in the top 10% of our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking.

It takes the average student at UMaine about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $32,976. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from UMaine is $144,765. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#18

Western Carolina University

Cullowhee, NC

Western Carolina University earned the #18 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Cullowhee, WCU is a public college with a large student population.

It takes the average student at WCU about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $15,387. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from WCU is $67,549. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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The #19 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Humboldt State University. Humboldt State University is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Arcata.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at Humboldt State University is 4.9 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $24,360. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Humboldt State University is $118,390. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

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#20

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech landed the #20 spot in our 2021 rankings for best value natural resources and conservation schools. Virginia Tech is a very large public school located in the city of Blacksburg. Virginia Tech excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

It takes the average student at Virginia Tech about 4.3 years to graduate, and it costs about $33,298 per year to attend the school. Putting this cost and the average time to graduate together, we find that the average amount you’ll pay to get a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech is $142,182. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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#21

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University comes in at #21 in this year's ranking. Florida State is a very large public school located in the city of Tallahassee.

The average student at Florida State graduates in less than 4.2 years, and it costs about $27,233 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $115,196 to get a bachelor’s degree from Florida State. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Tennessee Technological University comes in at #22 in this year's ranking. Tennessee Tech University is a large public school located in the town of Cookeville.

The average student at Tennessee Tech University graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $29,120. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University is $132,787. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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University of Minnesota - Twin Cities earned the #23 spot in our 2021 rankings. UMN Twin Cities is a very large public school located in the city of Minneapolis. UMN Twin Cities excels when it comes to quality. It's ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation list.

At UMN Twin Cities, the average time it takes a student to graduate is 4.2 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $33,989. This means that the average student pays around $143,094 to get a bachelor’s degree from UMN Twin Cities. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

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#24

University of Idaho

Moscow, ID

University of Idaho earned the #24 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the town of Moscow, Idaho is a public college with a large student population.

The average student at Idaho graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $29,080. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Idaho is $131,151. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#25

University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY

Our rankings recognize University of Wyoming as the #25 school in this year's rankings. U of Wyoming is a large public school located in the town of Laramie.

The average amount of time it takes for a student to receive their degree at U of Wyoming is 4.6 years, and it costs about $20,323 per year to attend the school. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from U of Wyoming be around $94,299. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

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Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Rank College Location
28 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
29 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
30 Allegheny College Meadville, PA
31 Colorado State University - Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
32 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
33 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
34 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
35 Massachusetts Maritime Academy Buzzards Bay, MA
36 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA

Natural Resources & Conservation by Region

View the Best Value 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

Natural Resources & Conservation Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Natural Resources Conservation 16,348
Wildlife Management 1,761
Natural Resource Management 1,307
Forestry 1,156
Fisheries Sciences 405

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Engineering 128,724
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 126,493
Computer & Information Sciences 92,596
Physical Sciences 32,633
Mathematics & Statistics 30,991

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • 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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