BS in Natural Resource Science and Management

The Natural Resource Science and Management degree addresses the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing natural and human-dominated ecosystems, in a sustainable manner, to meet desired societal goals.  The degree has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences that are applied to conserving plant and animal species in forests, grasslands, rivers and streams, and urban areas.  The degree also develops students' skills in working with diverse groups of people. Students with degrees in Natural Resource Science and Management work as fisheries biologists, foresters, interpreters, naturalists, and wildlife biologists for state and federal agencies, nature centers and museums, and consulting firms.

Students pursuing a degree in Natural Resource Science and Management individualize their degree by choosing one of four emphasis areas. The Forest Resources emphasis prepares students to manage forests in order to protect wildlife habitats and the environment while meeting the ever-growing demand for wood products. The Human Dimensions emphasis trains students to apply social sciences to address questions about how people’s attitudes, knowledge, values and behaviors impact management of our natural resources. The Fisheries and Wildlife Science emphasis focuses upon development of skills in conservation of wildlife habitat, protection of endangered species, and management of wild animal populations. The Terrestrial Ecosystem emphasis allows students to combine interests in wildlife management and forestry to both conserve biodiversity and satisfy the needs of society for renewable natural resources using the practice of ecosystem management.

Major Program Requirements

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Science and Management are required to complete all University general education, University graduation, and degree requirements, including selected foundational courses, which may fulfill University general education requirements.

Students majoring in Natural Resource Science and Management may select one of the following emphasis areas:

A student may complete the B.S. in Natural Resource Science and Management without selecting a specific emphasis area by completing an additional (beyond the major/core requirements) 39 credit hours of coursework with NAT_R, FOREST, or F_W course designators, or other related courses approved by their faculty advisor. Of these 39 credit hours, at least 30 should be at the 3000- or 4000-level.

Students are admissible to transfer into this program with a 2.0 term GPA and 2.0 cumulative GPA, and are directly admissible into the program when they meet the University admissions requirements.

Students planning to transfer courses (including AP credit) and seeking information on how they apply to a degree program(s), can email for general recommendations.

Foundational Courses15
MATH 1100College Algebra3
BIO_SC 1200General Botany with Laboratory5
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
ABM 1041Applied Microeconomics3
or ABM 1042 Applied Macroeconomics
or ABM 2070W Environmental Economics and Policy - Writing Intensive
Major Requirements48-49
NAT_R 1070Ecology and Renewable Resource Management3
ATM_SC 1050Introductory Meteorology3-4
or PHYSCS 1210 College Physics I
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3
SOIL 2100Introduction to Soils3
SOIL 2106Soil Science Laboratory2
FOREST 2151Dendrology4
NAT_R 2325Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
or GEOG 3040 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems GIS
STAT 2500Introduction to Probability and Statistics I3
NAT_R 31103
PRST 3231Interpretation of Natural and Cultural Resources3
or ENV_SC 4024 Foundations of Environmental Education
F_W 3600Introduction to Conservation Biology3
FOREST 4320Forest Ecology5
or BIO_SC 3650 General Ecology
NAT_R 4353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3
or ENV_SC 4400W Environmental Law, Policy, and Justice - Writing Intensive
or PRST 3230 Outdoor Recreation Policy
F_W 4650Natural Resource Planning and Management (Capstone)4
FOREST 4940Forestry Internship3
or F_W 4940 Fisheries and Wildlife Internship
or FOREST 4950 Forestry Undergraduate Research
or F_W 4950 Undergraduate Research in Fisheries and Wildlife
Emphasis Area Requirements39-43

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample semester plan for the B.S. in Natural Resource Science and Management.  Please consult with your advisor prior to registering for courses. 

First Year
BIO_SC 12005ATM_SC 10503 
MATH 11003CHEM 13204 
ENGLSH 10003Humanities & Fine Arts3 
NAT_R 10703Emphasis Area Course3 
 14 13  
Second Year
MATH 14003NAT_R 23253 
FOREST 21514SOIL 21003 
ABM 10413STAT 25003 
Missouri State Law Requirement3Emphasis Area Course4 
Humanities & Fine Arts3Emphasis Area Course3 
 16 16  
Third Year
BIO_SC 3650W or FOREST 43205F_W 36003FOREST 4940 or F_W 49403
NAT_R 41104PRST 32313Emphasis Area Course3
SOIL 21062Emphasis Area Course3 
Humanities & Fine Arts3Emphasis Area Course4 
Emphasis Area Course3  
 17 13 6
Fourth Year
Emphasis Area Course3NAT_R 43533 
Emphasis Area Course3F_W 46504 
Emphasis Area Course3Emphasis Area Course3 
Behavioral or Social Science3Emphasis Area Course4 
 12 14  
Total Credits: 121

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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