MS in Natural Resources with Emphasis in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

The Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Emphasis Area is focused on resource management at organismal, population, or ecosystem scales. Our MS program is designed to prepare students for a professional career with state and federal agencies, private conservation organizations, consulting firms or academic institutions. An applicant contemplating graduate work in the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Emphasis Area (including limnology, conservation biology) should have a strong background in biological and physical sciences, including biology, botany, zoology, ecology, physiology, and genetics. In addition, such taxonomic courses as plant taxonomy, invertebrate zoology, ichthyology, ornithology, and mammalogy are highly desirable, as is a background in chemistry, mathematics, statistics, and physics.

Degree Requirements

Master’s students must complete, with a B average or better, a minimum of 30 hours of course work (15 hours or more at the 8000 course level). Research, problems, special investigations, and special readings courses shall not exceed 12 of the 30 hours.

Candidates are expected to design and have approved by their committee a plan of study during their first semester in residence and a thesis proposal by their second semester. A thesis acceptable to the student’s graduate committee shall be completed and defended in a final oral examination. All candidates must complete the oral examination and a final thesis seminar before the degree is conferred.  For additional information about thesis requirements please see the MS in Natural Resource page.

Application and Admission Information

Dr. Craig Paukert
302 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211; (573) 573-882-3524

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), 80 (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.

We require applicants to contact Fisheries and Wildlife faculty to determine the availability of research assistantships prior to applying to the program.

All application materials must be submitted to the Apply Yourself online application system. In addition, we require:

  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation and the accompanying evaluation sheets from people who can attest to the candidate’s scholastic and conservation field work abilities
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences emphasis area application
  • Written response to 1 of 5 questions listed on the Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences Graduate Program Admissions page
  • TOEFL scores (when applicable)
  • Publications (optional)
  • Résumé or CV

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.