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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 choices it can be a challenge finding the best choice. 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 schools for Natural Resources & Conservation students.

Choosing a Great Natural Resources & Conservation School

Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation Your choice of natural resources and conservation school matters. Important measures of a quality natural resources and 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

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The vast majority of the schools on this list are in at least the top 34% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 433 to 1 )
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. Recent natural resources and conservation graduates from U.S. colleges with a bachelors degree earned an average of $30,114 in 2017-2018.

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.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The natural resources and conservation school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best Natural Resources & Conservation Schools.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

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 25 Best Natural Resources & Conservation Colleges

#1

Unity College

Unity, ME

Unity College is a great choice for individuals pursuing a Natural Resources & Conservation major. Unity is a small private not-for-profit college located in the remote area of Unity. This college ranks 1021st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Maine.

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

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SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry is one of the finest schools in the United States for natural resources and conservation. ESF is a small public college located in the midsize city of Syracuse. This college ranks 226th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were approximately 240 natural resources and conservation individuals who graduated from this degree at ESF in the most recent data year.

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It's hard to beat Texas A&M University - College Station if you wish to study natural resources and conservation. Texas A&M College Station is a fairly large public university located in the midsize city of College Station. A Best Colleges rank of 102 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M College Station is a great university overall.

There were about 429 natural resources and conservation students who graduated from this degree at Texas A&M College Station in the most recent year we have data available.

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North Carolina State University is one of the finest schools in the United States for natural resources and conservation. Located in the large city of Raleigh, NC State is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 105 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means NC State is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, NC 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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Located in the rural area of Paul Smiths, Paul Smith's College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population. This college ranks 962nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Paul Smith's College offers an Associate's Degrees in natural resources and conservation.

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Located in the city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

There were about 670 natural resources and conservation students who graduated from this program at UC Berkeley in the most recent year we have data available.

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#7

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State is a fairly large public university located in the city of Corvallis. This university ranks 320th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Oregon.

There were about 444 natural resources and conservation students who graduated from this degree at Oregon State in the most recent data year.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

UF is a very large public university located in the midsize city of Gainesville. A Best Colleges rank of 85 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UF is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UF 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

Located in the small city of East Lansing, Michigan State is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 107 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Michigan State is a great university overall.

Michigan State University is one of the most popular universities to study natural resources and conservation in the United States with about 185 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

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#10

Lake Superior State University

Sault Ste Marie, MI

Lake Superior State University is a small public university located in the remote town of Sault Ste Marie. This university ranks 761st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

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

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#11

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

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

There were roughly 329 natural resources and conservation individuals who graduated from this program at Virginia Tech in the most recent year we have data available.

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Located in the small city of University Park, Penn State University Park is a public university 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 university overall.

There were roughly 93 natural resources and conservation students who graduated from this degree at Penn State University Park in the most recent data year.

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UT Knoxville is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Knoxville. This university ranks 251st out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Tennessee.

There were approximately 77 natural resources and conservation individuals who graduated from this degree at UT Knoxville in the most recent year we have data available.

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UC Davis is a very large public university located in the suburb of Davis. A Best Colleges rank of 83 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UC Davis is a great university overall.

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

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#15

University of Maine

Orono, ME

Located in the small suburb of Orono, UMaine is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 551st out of 1,715 colleges 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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Located in the town of Stevens Point, UW - Stevens Point is a public university with a medium-sized student population. This university ranks 668th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, UW - Stevens Point offers a Master's Degrees in natural resources and conservation.

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#17

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT

Located in the small city of Burlington, UVM is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university 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 and conservation, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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

For those interested in something more advanced, UMN Twin Cities 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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UCSB is a very large public university located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara. A Best Colleges rank of 133 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UCSB is a great university overall.

A favorite choice for natural resources and conservation undergrads, there were about 415 students who completed this degree at UCSB in the most recent data year.

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UW - Madison is a very large public university located in the city of Madison. A Best Colleges rank of 76 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UW - Madison is a great university overall.

University of Wisconsin - Madison is a fairly popular university to study natural resources and conservation in the United States with about 222 graduates in the most recent year we have data available.

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Michigan Tech is a moderately-sized public university located in the remote town of Houghton. This university ranks 205th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

With 54 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent year we have data available, Michigan Technological University is one of the most popular universities to study natural resources and conservation in the United States.

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#22

University of Georgia

Athens, GA

UGA is a very large public university located in the city of Athens. This university ranks 143rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There were roughly 149 natural resources and conservation individuals who graduated from this program at UGA in the most recent data year.

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UNH is a fairly large public university located in the suburb of Durham. This university ranks 211th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Hampshire.

UNH offers natural resources and conservation degrees as low as an Associate's and all the way up to a Doctorates.

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Located in the remote town of Brookings, South Dakota State is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 549th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of South Dakota.

For those interested in something more advanced, South Dakota 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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#25

Duke University

Durham, NC

Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

A popular major for natural resources and conservation undergraduates, there were roughly 231 individuals who completed this degree at Duke in the most recent year we have data available.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Natural Resources & Conservation

#27

West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Natural Resources & Conservation students that almost earned our 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 20,652
Natural Resource Management 2,459
Wildlife Management 2,179
Forestry 2,042
Fisheries Sciences 555

View All Natural Resources & Conservation Related Majors >

Majors Similar to Natural Resources & Conservation

Related Major Annual Graduates
Engineering 196,678
Computer & Information Sciences 173,112
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 160,242
Physical Sciences 53,214
Engineering Technologies 52,780

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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