Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences - BS

S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

About This Degree

Utah State University is the only university in the state with a college devoted to the study of natural resources, and the fisheries and aquatic science program is one of the few programs in the nation where students have the opportunity to focus on freshwater fish populations.

Fisheries and aquatic scientists understand the biology of rivers, lakes, and wetlands. The program highlights the ecology of freshwater and marine systems, management of important fisheries, restoration of riparian and wetland areas, and protection of the plant and animal communities in lakes and rivers.

What You Will Learn

Students of fisheries and aquatic sciences learn the skills necessary to understand and manage freshwater fish populations. This major also includes an understanding of the relationships among physical, chemical, and biological components of aquatic ecosystems. Graduates of this program may go on to work as scientists and managers for state and federal natural resource agencies, researchers, or as professionals for environmental consulting firms, nonprofit environmental firms, and water-based industries.

Students may use their electives to explore interests in policy or water law, environmental history or ethics, oceanography, or genetics.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in fisheries and aquatic sciences, students may be qualified for the following careers:

  • Fish biologist
  • Fisheries manager
  • Conservation officer/game warden
  • Aquatic ecosystem disease specialist
  • Aquatic resource specialist
  • Water quality specialist for wetlands, streams and lakes
  • GIS Technician/Geospatial analyst
  • Research scientist
  • Endangered species coordinator
  • Restoration ecologist

The Career and Design Center provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the fisheries and aquatic sciences program has additional requirements:

  • Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and from other USU majors need a 2.5 total GPA to be admitted to the major.

International students have additional admissions requirements.

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