Fisheries and Wildlife MS Program

Master’s Graduation Requirements

F&W Policy on Graduate Committees and Graduate Degree Programs (Word)

F&W Graduate Affairs Committee Policy Changes Effective May 31, 2007 to present (Word)

Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences degrees emphasize resource management at organismal, population, or ecosystem scales. An emphasis on resource management helps distinguish our program from basic biology; therefore, course work in fisheries or wildlife management, environmental science, resource policy, or other applied ecology fields is advantageous.

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.2 on a scale of 4.0 in last 60 hours
  • Minimum TOEFL scores: 550 (paper-based test), 79 (Internet-based test)
  • Experience in research or management of natural resources. Practical skills are strongly considered.

*Students whose GPAs do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually. Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

Thesis Option

Course Requirements

  • 30 hours of graduate credit, with at least 15 hours comprised of 8000- or 9000-level courses.
  • Not more than 12 hours of the minimum 30 hours are permitted for research, problems, special investigations and special readings.
  • Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (A=4.0) in all course work presented for the degree.
  • Each student’s coursework requirements, including the selection of specific courses, will be listed in the student’s plan of study and approved by their graduate committee.

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.

Thesis Committee

A thesis committee is composed of three members of the MU faculty: a major adviser from the Emphasis Area and two additional members of academic program.  At least one of the two additional members must be part of the School of Natural Resources.  There is no requirement to have a committee member from outside the School of Natural Resources.  All voting members of the committee must be members of the graduate faculty at MU.

Thesis requirement

Students in the thesis option will complete 30 credit hours of coursework with no more than 12 credits for thesis research. Students choosing the thesis option will prepare a written research proposal and make an oral defense of that proposal within 12 months of their initial enrollment in the program. Students in the thesis option will write a thesis based on their research and participate in a public oral defense of their thesis announced at least two weeks prior to the defense date.

Students with thesis option must

  • submit a plan of study within six month of initial enrollment,
  • present a written proposal of their research or project proposal to be reviewed and approved by members of the students’ Masters Committee within one year of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, students,
  • submit a written thesis or project report following the guidelines specified by the Graduate School. All students must present a public oral defense of their dissertation or project announced at least two weeks prior to the defense date. Electronic media may be used to facilitate the defense for online/distance education students when appropriate.
  • Every candidate should review the Dissertation & Thesis Guidelines from the Graduate School and should consult the Emphasis Area Coordinator for academic program style requirements.

Non-Thesis Option


Financial Aid from the Program

Funding is available, but assistantships are highly competitive. Prospective students must complete all the necessary application requirements to be considered for funding. Contact the graduate program emphasis coordinator for more details.  Applicants should also contact the faculty they want to work with to determine the availability of possible graduate assistantship positions.