Fisheries and Wildlife: How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the university online application system (, including:

  • Statement of interest
  • Résumé or CV
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation and the accompanying evaluation sheets from people who can attest to the candidate’s scholastic and conservation field work abilities
  • Publications (optional)
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Emphasis Area application (PDF). You are required to enter an area of specialization; a potential adviser(s); and your official GPA for the last 60 hours of your undergraduate program.

You must write a response to one of the 5 questions listed below.

  • What has basic ecology offered applied ecologists?
  • Does science require hypothesis testing?
  • What is the most important concept in ecology and why should applied ecologists care?
  • Why should a management agency be concerned with conserving species?
  • What is the importance of research to a state or federal resource management agency?

Applicants are required to meet two sets of minimum qualifications for admission: the requirements of the PhD in Natural Resources with this emphasis area and the minimum requirements of the MU Graduate School.  Because requirements vary, you must refer to a degree program’s graduate admission page to learn about specific admission criteria, application deadlines, eligibility and application process.  Your application materials will be reviewed by both the MU Graduate School and the degree program to which you’ve applied before official admission to the University of Missouri.

Application Deadlines



We require applicants to contact specific faculty to determine the availability of research assistantships prior to applying to the program. No student will be admitted without the support of a faculty advisor in the Fish and Wildlife Emphasis Area.

An applicant contemplating graduate work in fisheries, limnology, conservation biology, or wildlife should have a strong background in biological and physical sciences, including biology, botany, zoology, ecology, physiology, and genetics. In addition, such taxonomic courses as plant taxonomy, invertebrate zoology, ichthyology, ornithology, and mammalogy are highly desirable, as is a background in chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and physics.

A background of 25 to 30 hours in biological sciences courses is desirable. Minor deficiencies may be remedied during the graduate program; major deficiencies may require preparatory coursework prior to consideration for admission.