Human Dimensions of Natural Resources PhD Program

Doctoral Graduation Requirements

The PhD degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources is designed to prepare students for careers in academic research and teaching, or advanced scientific professions. The PhD degree is conferred upon students who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in their particular specialization and have completed independent research contributing to knowledge in their respective field.

Admission Requirement

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline from an accredited institution
  • GPA: 3.2 on a scale of 4.0
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)*

* The GRE requirement may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 72 hours beyond the baccalaureate degree for the PhD.
  • A maximum of 30 hours of post baccalaureate graduate credit from an accredited university can be transferred toward the PhD degree program, subject to graduate committee and MU Graduate School approval.
  • The program must include a minimum of 15 hours of 8000 level course work, exclusive of problems, readings and research courses.

Coursework Requirements

All students in the HDNR Emphasis Area are required to participate in the HDNR seminar course, and to take at least one course from each of three categories:

  1. Human dimensions methods
    One course from the following:
  • NAT_R 7024 Foundations of Environmental Education
  • F_W 7220 Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • NAT_R 8430 Research Methods in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  1. Quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis
    One course from the following:
  • NAT_R 7001 Observing the Earth from Space
  • NAT_R 8024 Program Development and Evaluation in Informal Settings
  • NAT_R 8500 Qualitative Analysis for Environment-Society Inquiry
  1. Social science theory
    One course from the following:
  • PRST 7250 Parks, Health, and Wellness
  • NAT_R 7353 Natural Resource Policy and Administration
  • PRST 7340 Recreation Land Management
  • PRST 8400 Constructs of Leisure
  • PRST 8436 Visitor Behavior & Policy
  • F_W 8510 Ecology Conservation & Environmental Justice

Each student’s coursework requirements, including the selection of specific courses in the above categories, will be listed in the student’s plan of study and approved by their graduate committee.

Within 12 months of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination. The qualifying exam will include a presentation by the student of his/her course of study. The course of study shall be approved by the student’s graduate committee. The graduate committee may also request a demonstration of the student’s research aptitude, competencies in subject matter, and communication skills. Within 24 months of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must present a written proposal of their research and an oral defense of that proposal to be reviewed and approved by members of the students’ doctoral committee. Within 36 months of initial enrollment in the emphasis area, doctoral students must pass a comprehensive examination. The PhD comprehensive exam will be a written examination with questions from each of the graduate committee members followed by an oral examination. The format of each set of questions will be determined by the graduate committee members, but will cover human dimensions methods, qualitative and/or quantitative methods, social science theory, and the dissertation topic. The oral portion of the comprehensive examination may be combined with the oral defense of the research proposal.

Doctoral students will submit a written dissertation following the guidelines specified by the Graduate School. In their final semester in the program doctoral students must be enrolled in NAT_R 9087 Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Seminar, present a public seminar on their dissertation that is announced at least two weeks before the date of the seminar, and present an oral defense of their dissertation.