Natural Resources: Land, Water, and Air

The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment offers two graduate degrees in Natural Resources: Land, Water, and Air, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Master of Science (M.S.). The Department offers advanced study in the following areas: Conservation and Management of Forests, Wetlands, Fisheries and Wildlife, Climate, and Water Resources; Ecosystem Science and Management; Geospatial Analysis such as Remote Sensing of the Environment/GIS; Landscape Ecology; and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. The purpose of the M.S. program is to provide advanced study. The M.S. degree may be awarded as Plan A or Plan B. The Plan A M.S. is a research-based master’s degree whereas the Plan B M.S. is a coursework-based master’s degree. The M.S. program prepares students for Ph.D. programs (Plan A) or for careers in natural resources science and management with local, state, and federal government agencies, environmental consulting firms, or non-profit organizations (Plan A and Plan B). The Ph.D. program is designed to educate scientists with a broad experience in natural resources and to prepare them to do independent research. The Ph.D. program prepares students for careers in research and teaching in natural resources, including academia, non-profit organizations, industry, and government. Full-time students are expected to complete their Ph.D. degree work in three to five years and part-time students in five to seven years.

Requirements. The Plans of Study for Ph.D. and M.S. students in Natural Resources are determined by the student’s advisory committee consistent with the minimum requirements specified by the Graduate School in addition to departmental guidelines and requirements described below.

Master of Science

Students can pursue an M.S. degree by either of two plans as determined by their advisory committee. Plan A requires a written thesis that summaries findings from an independent research project and a final oral examination. Plan A conforms to the Graduate School requirements for a Thesis Master’s Degree. Plan B requires a final examination but no thesis. Plan B conforms to the Graduate School requirements for a Non-thesis Master’s Degree. Both M.S. degree plans require 30-credits following the Graduate School guidelines.

Doctor of Philosophy

Ph.D. students are required to successfully complete NRE 6000, 6500; and any additional course work as approved by the candidate’s advisory committee as part of the Plan of Study.

The programs are offered by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.