MS in Conservation Science

Two types of master's degrees are offered: Plan A, involving a thesis, and Plan B, with more emphasis on coursework and one or more independent projects.

Plan A requires a minimum of 20 graduate-level course semester credits and 10 master's thesis credits. Plan A Master's students must complete a research thesis, following all requirements designated by the Graduate School. Examples of Master's thesis topics are listed on the CS program website. Thesis credits may be taken for the master’s Plan A at any time during degree program.

Plan B course requirements include a minimum of 20 graduate-level course semester credits; plus an additional 10 elective credits, chosen in consultation with the adviser. Plan B Master's students must demonstrate familiarity with the tools of research or scholarship in their major field, the ability to work independently, and the ability to present the results of their investigation effectively, by completing at least one Plan B project. The Plan B project should involve a combined total of approximately 120 hours (the equivalent of three full-time weeks) of work. The advisory committee specifies both the nature and extent of the options available to satisfy this requirement, subject to approval by the DGS. The Plan B project must be satisfied independent of the courses in the student's program.

MS students have the option of completing a minor in another field, e.g., statistics or ecology; see the DGS of those programs for requirements.

All students must pass a comprehensive final oral examination which is administered by a committee appointed by the Graduate School, including at least two faculty from the major field and one from the minor or supporting field. Typically, the Master's program takes from 2-3 years.