FAQ

The following is a list of frequently asked questions. If you are unsure about a particular question or if you have a question not listed here, please contact:

Katherine Edwards
Coordinator, Professional Development
katie.edwards@wildlife.org
(301) 897-9770 ext 303 

How much do I pay to apply for the CWB application if I’m already certified as an AWB?

Applicants upgrading from AWB to CWB pay the difference in price between the current cost for the CWB application and the price they paid for the AWB application. If you are unsure of how much you paid for your AWB application, please contact the Program Manager of Subunits and Certification, listed above.

Do I need to include my transcripts and fill out the educational requirements if I already submitted this information while applying for the AWB certificate?

You only need to include transcripts if you desire credit for classes taken after you submitted your AWB application. For example, if you want to count a master’s or Ph.D. study as professional experience, then include your graduate school transcript, and provide an explanation of what was involved in your study.

Can I still apply for AWB or CWB if I’m missing a class in one category?

Yes, you may apply for AWB or CWB if you are missing one class, provided you gained similar experience through other means (workshop, continuing education, work, etc). Please note that at least one course must be taken in each category, and any specific category requirement must be met. Section III, A of the Program for Certification of Professional Wildlife Biologists states “For continuing education or professional experience to substitute for educational requirements, the applicant must have at least one college or university course (at least 3 semester hours documented on a college transcript) in that educational category."

Please provide sufficient detail of why this alternative experience should be accepted as a substitute for taking a class. If you are unsure if your experience qualifies as a substitution, please contact the Program Manager of Subunits and Certification, listed above.

Can I count wildlife technician work as professional work experience?

Sometimes. If your working title states “wildlife technician," you may apply this work experience provided you explain how your role provided you with management experience and independent decision making directly related to wildlife. Traditional wildlife technician roles do not count (see Section III. B of the Program for Certification of Professional Wildlife Biologists).

Can I count work I did while in school as an undergraduate towards the five years required professional work experience?

No. Professional work experience is counted after you graduate and are in a job that requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree (see Section III. B of the Program for Certification of Professional Wildlife Biologists).

Can I count my graduate research project as professional work experience?

Yes, you may substitute your graduate thesis and dissertation for up to three years of professional work experience (up to one year for a master’s degree, up to two years for a Ph.D, and up to three years for holding both). (See section III. B. 2 of the Program for Certification of Professional Wildlife Biologists.) The applicant should specifically request that graduate work be counted as professional experience and include job descriptions just as for any other professional position(s) for which they are requesting consideration. Please include your graduate school transcript, provide an explanation of what was involved in your study, and why you feel your study should count as a substitution for one, two, or three years of professional experience.

How do I calculate semester hours if my school used quarter hours?

If your school awards class credit in quarter hours, please convert them to semester hours using the following formula: 1.5 quarter hours = 1 semester hour. For example, a 5 quarter hour course would be comparable to a 3.33 semester hour course (see Section III. A. Credit Hours of the Program for Certification of Professional Wildlife Biologists).

If I transferred schools, do I need to submit a transcript from both schools or will one transcript suffice?

You may use one transcript as long as it shows the courses transferred, grades received, and semester/quarter hours awarded.

If my address, phone number, or email changed since I applied, how do I change this information on my certification application? 

Please submit any changes in your contact information to the Program Manager, Subunits and Certification (see top of page).

Do all three professional references have to be Certified Wildlife Biologists?

No. While it is strongly recommended that all three professional references be CWBs, it is not a current requirement. A minimum of one professional reference must be a CWB.

How do I get listed on the Certification Directory once I’m approved?

You will be automatically added to the Certification Directory after you are approved for AWB or CWB, provided you hold membership in good standing with TWS (parent society).

Do I have to use the school’s course catalogue description when describing all the classes I took?

No, you may provide your own descriptions.

If my AWB expired already, and I did not receive the required five years of professional work experience within the 10  year AWB expiration date, can I still apply for the CWB certificate?

Yes you may, as long as you have received five years of professional work experience within a ten year timeframe. However, TWS does not keep expired AWB applications on file, so the CWB applicant would want to submit an entirely new application completing the application in full.

Can I apply for a Professional Development Certificate without applying for an AWB or CWB certificate?

Yes.

What does the certification trademark mean?

After you are approved as an AWB or CWB and hold current membership in TWS, you may put the AWB or CWB title after your name followed by the ® trademark symbol. For Example: John Smith, Certified Wildlife Biologist ®. You may also use the certification logo. Please contact the Program Manager, Subunits and Certification for the logo (see top of page).