Become a certified professional biologist: If interested, students can be certified as an Associate Wildlife Biologist (from The Wildlife Society), Associate Fisheries Biologist (from the American Fisheries Society) or Associate Ecologist (by the Ecological Society of America) upon completion of specific sets of classes. In addition to your degree, these certifications may help in securing certain positions or pay scales within state or federal agencies. Please visit with your advisor during your freshman or sophomore year regarding your interest in receiving certifications.
Through its Cooperative Education program, Mississippi State University encourages students to receive practical on-the-job training along with their academic studies. Typically, students in this program accumulate one year of work experience in their chosen fields before graduation by alternating between studying at Mississippi State for a semester and working with a cooperating organization for a semester.
Students must complete two semesters of study and earn a minimum 2.5 grade-point average before entering the cooperative education program, and they must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA. Generally, students begin work during the summer following their freshman year and work alternate semesters thereafter.