MS Fisheries & Aquatic Biology

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 Conservation Sciences 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.

Masters students in the track must meet all requirements for the MS in Conservation Sciences, substituting one semester of FW 8200 in lieu of 1 credit of CONS 8001, and take at least six credits of coursework from the list below.


EEB 5601 - Limnology (3 cr)
ENT 5361 - Aquatic Insects (3 cr)
FW 4107 – Principles of Fisheries Science and Management (3 cr)
FW 5136 - Ichthyology (4 cr)
FW 5401 - Fish Physiology and Behavior (4 cr)
FW 5003 - Human Dimensions of Biological Conservation (3 cr)
FW5051 - Analysis of Populations (4 cr)
FW 5459 - Stream and River Ecology (3 cr)
ESPM 5061 - Water Quality and Natural Resource (3 cr)
ESPM 5575 - Wetlands Conservation (3 cr)
EPSM 5111 - Hydrology and Water Quality Field Methods (3 cr)
EEB 8601 - Introduction to Stream Restoration (3 cr)
EEB 8602 - Stream Restoration Practice (2 cr)
FR 5114 - Hydrology and Watershed Management (3 cr)
FR 5153 - Forest and Wetland Hydrology (3 cr)

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.