100% Online Master's in Conservation Law Enforcement

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Next Start Dates

March 16, 2020
June 1, 2020
August 17, 2020
October 19, 2020

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Master's in Conservation Law Enforcement

100% Online Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement

Unity College’s 100% online degree is flexible and fast for busy officers working toward advancement.

A graduate degree in Conservation Law Enforcement is a proven path to advancement for officers who want to make a difference.

The skills you need to advance in your career: communication, legal, management, and leadership.

The strength of a Unity College Professional Science Masters in Conservation Law Enforcement is in the program outcomes, and courses that support them. These outcomes were prepared by conservation law professionals and vetted against a sample of the key duties of law enforcement administrators from a selection of conservation agencies and core competencies for executive leaders in federal positions.

The role of conservation law enforcement officers in our country is very important and dates back over a century. For over 40 years Unity College has played a key role in developing and educating our conservation officers working all over the United States. As officers progress in their careers or want to gain extra experience for management positions, a Master’s degree in Conservation Law Enforcement from Unity College will help them get the educational insight they need to be successful administrators. This graduate degree is developed for current officers hoping to advance their career, or early career officers hoping to gain extra management and communication skills. This degree will be able to support the continuing education of our Unity College alumni, as well as other conservation law graduates throughout the country. They will develop management and leadership skills, as well as diversity, ethics, public policy and advanced investigative skills.

Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement Program Highlights:

  • 100% online. With the online Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement, students who take a full course load can complete the degree requirements in as few as 12 months!
  • World-class faculty experienced in online teaching.
  • Small class sizes allow for personalized attention. That’s something you won’t find at larger, online universities!
  • Affordable and flexible. Take the classes whenever works for you. We offer five start dates per year!
  • Unlike similar programs, no GRE is required.

Who should pursue an online Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement?

The Unity College Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement is primarily focused on working conservation officers looking to advance in their careers, as well as those interested in a career change. The list below includes both broad categories of employment opportunities as well as specific job titles.

Job Outcomes of the online Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement program

Employment Categories for Law Enforcement Supervision:

  • First line supervisor:  sergeant, lieutenant
  • Mid-level supervisor: lieutenant, captain
  • Senior level administration: colonel, chief, Lt. colonel, major, director

Specific Job Titles:

  • Game Warden Colonel
  • Fish and Wildlife, Law Enforcement Bureau Chief
  • Director, Bureau of Wildlife Protection
  • Director Fish and Game Enforcement
  • Fish and Wildlife Lieutenant
  • Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Supervisor
  • Conservation Enforcement Sergeant
  • Conservation Enforcement Captain
  • Marine Patrol Colonel
  • Marine Patrol Major
  • Forest Ranger Supervisor
  • Forest Ranger, Bureau Chief
  • Special Agent in Charge (federal enforcement)
  • Chief Ranger (National Park Service)

Master’s in Conservation Law Enforcement Degree requirements:

30 credits earned
3.00 minimum cumulative graduate-level grade-point average

Professional Skills Core:

PROF 510 Communication for Environmental Professionals

Course Description:

This course will provide students the opportunity to develop vital professional skills in oral and written communication while preparing them to communicate clearly about science, policy, and technology issues with demographically diverse and geographically dispersed audiences. Content will address mass media and public understanding of science; organizational communication issues such as structure and communication networks; rhetoric, advocacy, and strategic message development; the role of public opinion and public policy; innovation and decision making; crisis communication and conflict management; emerging communication technologies; and inter-organizational and cross-disciplinary communication.

CONL 605 Leadership and Ethical Decision-Making

Course Description: 

This course will analyze leadership styles in law enforcement and prepare a student to understand leadership at various administrative levels. Students will explore situational leadership and learn to apply a range of leadership principles to varied circumstances. Students will learn critical thinking skills and understand the basis of ethical decision making.

CONL 610 Diversity in Conservation Law Enforcement

Course Description: 

This course will explore the demographics of the United States and look at diversity from a broad perspective, including but not limited to ethnicity, gender, and economics. Students will understand how diversity affects agency enforcement policies and procedures. The course will also identify management level considerations for creating a diverse natural resource enforcement agency, considering federal and state laws, and policies.

Conservation Law Enforcement Management Core:

CONL 505 Conservation Law Enforcement Management

Course Description:

This course examines the structure of a conservation enforcement agency to achieve maximum effectiveness toward the mission of an organization. Beginning with a statutory foundation at the federal or state level, this course will look at a variety of factors such as size of workforce, budget, contracts, work rules; and public policy, to shape a cost efficient organization. This course will also look at structure of supervision, span of control, career advancement, use of special teams and support operations. Students will examine operational policies and procedures and learn the value of providing consistent direction to throughout the chain of command.

CONL 510 Operational Human Resources Management

Course Description:

Civil service laws and rules control the work practices of public service enforcement agencies. This course will take a hands on look at how such laws and rules direct the day to day operations of a conservation enforcement agency. Topics such as job specifications, position reclassification, performance management, personnel investigations; grievances, and arbitration will be examined. Students will review labor contracts and understand the principles of collective bargaining for conservation enforcement agencies.

CONL 515 Advanced Wildlife Law Enforcement

Course Description:

Enforcers of wildlife laws around the globe face a multitude of challenges. Technology has created an interface of humans and wildlife that has changed the face of conservation enforcement. From a local to global perspective this course analyzes how technology and other enforcement practices can be used to combat the illegal taking of wildlife. Topics such as human dimensions, overt vs. covert operations, surveillance practices will be examined.

CONL 520 Judicial Procedure and Evidence Management

Course Description:

This course will examine the judicial system focusing on the appellate court process at the state and federal level. Students will analyze court decisions and how they control enforcement practices within their jurisdiction. The course will examine evidence management issues including but not limited to electronic evidence, requirements for expert witnesses, and the use of DNA evidence.

CONL 525 Conservation Law Enforcement and Public Policy

Course Description:

This course examines natural resource policy globally, and at the federal and state level demonstrating regional and societal differences. Enforcement administrators learn to understand the impacts of natural resource based policy and how it directs the focus of agency. From a global perspective various treaties and conventions will be discussed. At the state and federal level topics such as the Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act will be reviewed.


CONL 530 Social Science Research Methods

Course Description:

Conservation enforcement administrators need the ability to assess the effectiveness of their programs and day to day enforcement responsibilities. This course will introduce administrators to varied research methods used to obtain quantitative and qualitative data and understand how to use research to support staffing and budget decisions to meet the demands of the public.

CONL 690 Conservation Law Enforcement Graduate Capstone

Course Description:

Students will take on the role of an administrator and analyze a real life conservation enforcement issue in an enforcement agency and/or program. By applying research, legal principles, public policy, human resource, and financial concerns, students will prepare recommendations to solve the problem.

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Research and Capstone Projects

Student research lies at the heart of our degree programs.

I chose Unity College because of the online accessibility and accelerated program. The experience was great. I learned new techniques in GIS and learned new ways to think about sustainability in the world.

Jason K.

Master's in Environmental GIScience