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2021 Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation

Natural Resources & Conservation is a popular major and United States is the most popular state for students studying it. 28,010 of the 28,010 Natural Resources & Conservation diplomas awarded last year were given by schools in United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation ranking analyzed 190 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in natural resources and conservation. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation students.

Choosing a Great Natural Resources & Conservation School

Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation The natural resources and conservation program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host 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 34% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 433 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

A natural resources and conservation degree from schools on this list typically translates into higher than average salaries following graduation. A natural resources and conservation bachelors degree from a college in the United States helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 earn $30,114 a couple years later.

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 and conservation students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized natural resources and conservation related accrediting body.

Our complete 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

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for natural resources and conservation majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

Top 25 Best Natural Resources & Conservation Colleges

#1

Unity College

Unity, ME

Every student who is interested in natural resources and conservation needs to take a look at Unity College. Located in the remote area Unity, Unity is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 1021st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maine.

Unity offers natural resources and conservation degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Master's.

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SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is a wonderful option for individuals pursuing a Natural Resources & Conservation major. Located in the midsize city Syracuse, SUNY - ESF is a public college with a small student population. This school ranks 226th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There are approximately 240 natural resources and conservation undergraduates enrolled in this degree at SUNY - ESF.

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Texas A&M University - College Station is among your top options if you're planning on studying natural resources and conservation. Located in the city College Station, Texas A&M is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 102 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M is a great school overall.

There are roughly 429 natural resources and conservation undergraduates enrolled in this program at Texas A&M.

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North Carolina State University is a great decision for individuals pursuing a Natural Resources & Conservation degree. Located in the large city Raleigh, NC State is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 105 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means NC State is a great college overall.

There are roughly 277 natural resources and conservation undergraduates studying this program at NC State.

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Paul Smith's College is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the rural area of Paul Smiths. This school ranks 962nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

A favorite major for natural resources and conservation undergraduates, there are about 86 students enrolled in this program at Paul Smith's College.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges 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 and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#7

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Located in the city Corvallis, Oregon State is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 320th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Oregon.

For those interested in something more advanced, Oregon State also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Located in the city Gainesville, U of F is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 85 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means U of F is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of F also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#9

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI

Michigan State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of East Lansing. A Best Colleges rank of 107 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Michigan State is a great school overall.

Michigan State University is one of the most popular college to study natural resources and conservation in United States with more than 185 graduates last year.

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#10

Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste Marie, MI

Located in the remote town Sault Ste Marie, Lake Superior State University is a public college with a small student population. This school ranks 761st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Lake Superior State University offers a Associate's Degree in natural resources and conservation.

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#11

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Located in the small city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 88 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Virginia Tech is a great school overall.

There are approximately 329 natural resources and conservation undergrads enrolled in this degree at Virginia Tech.

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Located in the city University Park, Penn State University Park is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 112 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Penn State University Park is a great college overall.

There are approximately 93 natural resources and conservation undergrads studying this program at Penn State University Park.

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UT Knoxville is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Knoxville. This college ranks 251st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

For those interested in something more advanced, UT Knoxville also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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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.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, UC Davis offers a Master's Degree in natural resources and conservation.

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#15

University of Maine

Orono, ME

UMaine is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Orono. This college ranks 551st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maine.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMaine also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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UW - Stevens Point is a medium-sized public school located in the town of Stevens Point. This school ranks 668th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There are approximately 313 natural resources and conservation undergraduates studying this program at UW - Stevens Point.

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#17

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Located in the city Burlington, UVM is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 231st out of 1,715 schools 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 and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Located in the city Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 124 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UMN Twin Cities is a great college overall.

There are approximately 213 natural resources and conservation undergrads studying this degree at UMN Twin Cities.

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UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized suburb of Santa Barbara. A Best Colleges rank of 133 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UCSB is a great college overall.

University of California - Santa Barbara is a fairly popular college to study natural resources and conservation in United States with more than 415 graduates last year.

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Wisconsin is a fairly 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.

University of Wisconsin - Madison is one of the most popular school to study natural resources and conservation in United States exceeding 222 graduates last year.

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Located in the town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 205th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

Michigan Technological University is one of the most popular college to study natural resources and conservation in United States exceeding 54 graduations last year.

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#22

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Located in the city Athens, UGA is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 143rd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

For those interested in something more advanced, UGA also offers 2 different higher degree levels in natural resources and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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

U of NH offers natural resources and conservation degrees as low as a Associate's and all the way up to a Research / Scholarship Based Doctorate's.

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South Dakota State is a fairly large public school located in the town of Brookings. This school ranks 549th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of South Dakota.

There are approximately 61 natural resources and conservation undergrads studying this program at South Dakota State.

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#25

Duke University

Durham, NC

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.

Duke University is a fairly popular school to study natural resources and conservation in United States with more than 231 graduations last year.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation

#27

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

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
29 University of Delaware Newark, DE
30 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
31 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
32 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
33 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
34 Cornell University Ithaca, NY
35 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
36 Colgate University Hamilton, NY
37 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
38 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA

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

Natural Resources & Conservation Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Natural Resources Conservation 21,552
Natural Resource Management 2,842
Wildlife Management 2,400
Forestry 2,339
Fisheries Sciences 620

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer & Information Sciences 220,337
Engineering 200,684
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 162,961
Engineering Technologies 92,549
Physical Sciences 53,556

View All Natural Resources & 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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