Graduate Program

The Department offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science degree in Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Ecology. The degree can be personalized to emphasize fields such as Fisheries Sciences, Aquatic Ecology and Conservation Ecology.

Minimum qualifications for admission to the graduate program include the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in Wildlife Management, Fisheries Management, Ecology, Biology, Genetics, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Sciences or a similar field.
  • Coursework in zoology, botany, vertebrate biology, genetics, and animal ecology and as well as coursework that shows a basic appreciation of sustainable use of natural resources. Supporting courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics and written and oral communication are also expected.
  • 3.0 grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work.
  • For international students, TOEFL scores.

All applicants must contact a faculty member in the Department they would like to work with as an Advisor, and that faculty member needs to agree to serve as the student's Advisor and work with them to successfully fund their research. Given the strong mentoring ties between individual faculty members and their students, and the fiscal support that faculty generally provide to their students, developing a close rapport with a potential faculty advisor prior to applying to the program is a critical step in the admission process. Students that have not secured the support of an advisor are generally not admitted into the graduate program.

Successful applicants will be selected from those who meet the criteria of grade-point average and educational background, and whose work and academic experiences, writing and communication skills, and written references collectively demonstrate professional promise. The department no longer requires the reporting of GRE scores. However prospective students must have the backing of an individual faculty member within the department prior to admission (see above), and some faculty may still request scores to aid in their personal assessment of potential students they are considering mentoring.

All students should apply directly to the Graduate School using the online application form, and submit all required documents online, as follows:

  • Transcripts of ALL undergraduate courses, not just those taken at the university where they received their degree (i.e. community colleges, previous universities).
  • A Letter of Application - written composition of approximately 500 words that indicates the applicant's reasons for pursuing advanced study, explains personal and educational goals, and any additional experiences (i.e. military or career) or skills that might provide a foundation for graduate study.
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) which highlights your education, employment history, research or teaching experiences, achievements, publications, awards, honors, etc.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation - it is preferred that at least two letters come from university instructors.

Foreign students apply through the Center for International Programs and most submit a completed International Application for Admission online and pay the application fee at: International Student Services.

It is critical that potential student remain in close contact with their potential advisor during the course of the application submission process, letting the advisor know when the submission is complete. Doing so will facilitate the review process.