Undergraduate Frequently Asked Questions

Ask questions, get answers

Our advising team has compiled a list of the most common questions they receive from our students, and we are sharing them with you in hopes that these answers will help you on your academic journey. If you have follow up questions, or need answers not addressed here, email your advisor for help. If you do not yet have an assigned advisor in MyDegrees, you can contact fw.advising@oregonstate.edu for assistance.

Degree Requirements & Course Planning

How do I know who my advisor is and How do I schedule an Appointment?

The name of your advisor is located on the MyDegrees Checklist page beneath your name and OSU ID number. You can email your advisor directly by clicking on their name to schedule an appointment. Your advisor also will contact you every term (except summer) in Week 5 to schedule a registration advising appointment.

How do I know which classes to take?

Degree requirements for the BS Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences undergraduate degree can be viewed in the Academic Catalog.  In addition, the Fisheries and Wildlife Advising Guide, available on the FWCS Curricula and Course Offerings page has detailed information about courses needed to complete the Fisheries and Wildlife sciences degree. Academic Advisors assist with course planning, but ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to select courses that fulfill the degree requirements

How many credits do students usually take?

The number of credits that students take each term is highly variable and depends on factors such as the student’s obligations outside of school (e.g., work, family, financial, etc.). Student status (full time, half time, part time) is determined by credit hours per term. Students are encouraged to discuss their course load with their Academic Advisor or a Success Coach (Ecampus students). 

Will my transfer credits apply toward the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degree requirements?

Transfer students are encouraged to meet with a Transfer Advisor to discuss applicability of previous credits toward the baccalaureate core. Once admitted, a Fisheries and Wildlife advisor can discuss applicability of transfer courses toward the FW degree requirements. There are also several self-service tools to help students determine how their transfer credits will transfer to Oregon State.

What is Specialization? Are the specialization courses an additional 24 credits counted after the major requirements? Do they count as part of the major requirements?

Specialization is required to complete the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degree. Specialization courses are in addition to the other Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences requirements (e.g., Fisheries and Wildlife Core, Advanced Core, Human Dimensions). The Specialization requirement can be found in MyDegrees at the bottom of the Major in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences section (see below).  The individual courses will appear in the Program of Study section after completion of FW 307 – Specialization Development. For more details about Specialization please see the Specialization FAQs

Figure 1. Location of Specialization degree requirement in MyDegrees

Graduation Timeline

MyDegrees says I am a Senior and I am close to earning 180 credits. When I earn 180 credits, does that mean that I am done with my degree?

Not necessarily, and in many cases, no. Students may have accumulated a high number of credits from other institutions, but if they haven’t been applied to courses required to graduate with a FWCS degree, students still need to meet the course requirements. It is common for transfer and postbaccalaureate students to graduate with more than 180 credits since all transfer credits may not apply to the degree. All degree requirements for the major must be satisfactorily completed before a degree will be awarded.

How long will it take for me to finish this degree?

The time it takes for students to finish a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences depends on several factors including: the number of terms attended per academic year, the number of credits taken per term, and the number of transfer credits applied to the degree. Students can work with their advisor to discuss graduation time frames.

I only have 1 or 2 terms remaining. What do I need to do to graduate?

Students nearing graduation should plan their remaining classes using the MyDegrees planner and request a graduation audit from their advisor (Ecampus students) or the department head advisor (Corvallis students). A graduation audit is recommended no later than two terms prior to when the student plans to graduate.

Undergraduate students who have completed at least 90% their degree requirements will be contacted by Institutional Awarding and do not need to apply for graduation. If FW 410 – Internship is one of the last classes needed before graduation, start a search now and contact the Internship Coordinator (fw.internship@oregonstate.edu) if guidance is needed. It often takes several months to find and secure an internship.

Commencement is the graduation ceremony is held once per year at the end of spring term. All students who have received or will receive their diploma in the summer of that year are welcome to attend. Registration is required to attend Commencement.  For more information about degree clearance and graduation, consult the Registrar’s Graduation website.

Internships & Careers

How can this degree help me to find a job?

As part of the degree, students take several professional development courses intended to equip them with skills to find opportunities and make the most out of their time as a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences student. Students also complete internships to give them a head start on networking and gaining sought after skills. Students continue to have access to resources such as the Career Development Center and the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences (fw-undergrads) listserv after graduation.

What kind of job can I get with a Fisheries and Wildlife degree?

There are many paths to careers that conserve fish, wildlife, and habitat with a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degree. Some are field or research-based, while others involve public education, policy, social science, animal husbandry, or law enforcement. Depending on your interests, and no matter your background, you can find a path that will match your strengths and passions.

How do the internships work if I don’t live in Oregon or if I have other commitments outside of school?

The internship requirements for the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degree are highly flexible around a student’s existing obligations outside of school.  Many students complete their internships part-time over the course of several terms so that that they can fit it within their busy schedules.  Every student who has graduated from our degree program since 2009 has completed the internship requirements. The Department of FWCS has a full-time Internship Coordinator who can support students during the process of finding an internship. Please see the Internships page on the FWCS website for more information about the internship requirements.

What are some ways to get involved in research at Oregon State?

Ecampus and Campus based students are encouraged to apply to programs such as URSA Engage and the Fisheries & Wildlife Undergraduate Mentorship Program.  Students can also learn about research opportunities in weekly email communications from the Internship Coordinator on the fw-undergrads listserv.

Is there support for students doing low-paying or unpaid internships?

The ER Jackman Internship Support Program provides financial assistance to students in low-paying or volunteer internships. Funds may be used to help offset a variety of expenses including transportation, living, expenses, projects, and research.  Funds are awarded quarterly.


I have questions about financial aid or paying for college. Can I ask my advisor?

Academic Advisors cannot answer questions about financial aid. Students should contact the Office of Financial Aid. The Center for Advancing Financial Education (CAFÉ) also provides free education and advising about financing higher education.

What kind of scholarships are available?

Oregon State, College of Agricultural Sciences, and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences offer scholarships on an annual basis. The scholarship application period is typically from November 1 to February 1. Students can view scholarships through the ScholarDollars portal. Students who are experiencing considerable financial hardship that is making it difficult to progress through their degree should contact their academic advisor, Ecampus Student Services or the Student Care team.

Post-baccalaureate-specific Questions

What does a successful applicant to the post-baccalaureate program need?

In addition to the university post-baccalaureate admission requirements, the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences requires students have a college math course equivalent to MTH 111 – College Algebra, or MTH 112 – Elementary Functions with a C- or better.  Students can use the Transfer Course Search tool to determine if their previous math class is equivalent to either of these courses. Please see the How Do I Apply to the Undergraduate Program page for application deadlines and additional recommended coursework.

Do I need to take baccalaureate core classes as a postbaccalaureate student?

No. Post-baccalaureate students are not required to complete baccalaureate core coursework.

How many credits are required to complete a post-baccalaureate degree?

A minimum of 140 credits are needed to obtain a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences. Students whose first degree is in a field other than a biological or physical science will often need to complete a suite of prerequisite courses (e.g., chemistry, biology, math) prior to taking upper division Fisheries and Wildlife Courses. The transfer of equivalent or acceptable coursework from prior education at a regionally accredited college or university may reduce the number of courses that need to be taken at Oregon State. However, independent of how many credits a student transfers in, a minimum of 45 credits are required to be completed at Oregon State (32 credits if the first degree was granted from Oregon State).

What if I want a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences minor instead of completing the entire BS Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences?

Students interested in earning a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences minor, instead of the bachelor’s, will apply using the post-baccalaureate admission application and will clarify their educational goals (obtaining a Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences minor) in the Statement of Objectives.  See the Basic Admission Requirements for Post-baccalaureate Applicants page for more information on earning a subsequent credential.