Human Dimensions of Natural Resources MS Program

Master’s Graduation Requirements

The MS is a research-based degree. The student is expected to work closely with a faculty advisor to develop a research topic and a program of study. Students who complete a thesis are expected to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals. A non-thesis option is also available that requires additional coursework and a research project.

Admission Requirement

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA: 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in last 60 hours
  • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)*
  • 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 and GRE scores do not meet the requirements will be evaluated individually. The GRE requirement may be waived under exceptional circumstances. 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.

All students in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Emphasis Area will be required to take at least one course from each of three categories:

  • Social science research methods
  • Quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis
  • Social science theory

Thesis Committee

A thesis committee is composed of three members of the MU faculty: a major adviser from the academic program, a second reader from the academic program and an outside reader who is a member of the graduate faculty from a different MU graduate program.

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

Students in the non-thesis option will complete 36 credit hours of coursework with no more than 12 credits for project research. Students choosing the non-thesis option will be required to write a project plan and to make an oral defense of that plan within the first year following their initial enrollment in the program. Students choosing the non-thesis option will write a technical report based on their project and participate in a public oral defense of their report to be announced at least two weeks prior to the defense.