Wildlife Scholarships

Lion And Lioness On Wooden Platform In Zoo
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Attending college can be quite expensive, and students should always be on the lookout for ways to minimize the amount they have to take out in student loans.  There are many sources of funding for those majoring in a wildlife related field such as zoology, veterinary medicine, marine biology, wildlife biology, or conservation.

While we focus here on nationally available scholarship options, don’t forget to search for the dozens of wildlife-related scholarships that are available to residents of particular states or regional areas.

  You can also find a number of departmental scholarships that are specifically designated for students attending particular colleges and universities. 

Here is a sampling of some scholarship options that are available on a national level:

Canadian Wildlife Federation

The CWF offers scholarships through the Orville Erickson Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Scholarships range in value from $500 to $4,000.  Award winners have had 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 ($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 1.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program is a graduate award available to marine biology students (women and minorities are particularly encouraged to apply).

  Three or four scholarships are awarded each year to masters or doctoral students.  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 4 to 6 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 is a one-year renewable scholarship of $1,000 available to college juniors or seniors.  Applicants should be women majoring in wildlife management or conservation that have at least a 3.0 grade point average.  Applications are due November 1.

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

The NWRA offers the Ed Hiestand Memorial Veterinary Student Scholarship to all current veterinary students, interns, and residents.  Candidates must 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 makes 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 ($500) is also offered to vet tech students with an interest in exotics.  An essay, resume, and letters of recommendation are required.  Applications must be postmarked by March 1 and recipients will be announced May 1.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The RMEF sponsors the Wildlife Leadership Awards for college juniors and seniors that are interested in pursuing a career in wildlife management.  Scholarship winners receive a $2,000 award and a year-long membership in the RMEF.  Over $200,000 has been awarded to students from more than 50 colleges and universities.  Applications are due March 1.

Women Divers Hall of Fame

The WDHOF awards scholarships to women who are pursuing career paths that involve scuba diving (such as marine biology and conservation).

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