MS in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Application and Admission Information

Dr. Charles Nilon
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211
nilonc@missouri.edu; (573) 882-3738

Emphasis Area Focus

The Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Emphasis Area (HDNR) addresses research and management questions including peoples' attitudes, knowledge, values, perceptions, and behaviors associated with natural resources.  As an interdisciplinary emphasis area, HDNR considers applicants with backgrounds in social sciences, environmental education, natural resources management and conservation, or related disciplines. 

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 Criteria 

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 in last 60 hours
  • Minimum TOEFL scores:
Internet-based test (iBT) Paper-based test (PBT)
80 550
  • GRE Required

Required Application Materials

To the Graduate School:

  • All application materials must be submitted to the Apply Yourself online application system
  • Statement of interest
  • Résumé or CV
  • GRE scores
  • 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 ability and experience relevant to graduate study
  • Publications (optional)

Coursework Requirements

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

  1. Social science research methods

  2. Quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis

  3. Social science theory

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.

Thesis Option

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.

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.

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