The M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences includes a thesis that is a publishable contribution to understanding ecosystems and natural resources. Specializations are offered in areas such as wildlife ecology, conservation and biodiversity, forest ecology, spatial aspects of natural resources and aquatic resources and their diverse ecological and/or social values. The specific requirements are given below and are subject to completion after entering the masters program.
Program Requirements (Thesis option only):
M.S. candidates in Natural Resource Sciences thesis program must consist of not less than 30 hours of approved graduate credit including a minimum of 21 hours of graded course work and 4 hours of SOE 700 Master’s Research – two of which must be taken in the semester of the final exam. Of these 21 credits, candidates must take at least 15 hours of 500-level graded major course work and up to 6 credits of non-graduate graded credit (300- or 400-level) may be also used.
All incoming students who lack prior Graduate School experience are strongly encouraged to take one credit hour of a Graduate Skills course, SOE 501. This course provides an introduction to graduate study at WSU, the scientific method and research proposal and results presentation. All students are strongly encouraged to take one or more credit hours of seminar courses (e.g. SOE 593).
The program may not include courses graded Pass/Fail, courses not approved for graduate credit, or courses that are audited. Courses taken to remove undergraduate deficiencies cannot be taken for a Pass/Fail grade. Any course included in the advanced degree program in which a grade of “C-” or below is earned must be repeated but not on a Pass/Fail basis.
Specific courses to be included on a student’s degree plan are determined as a joint effort between the student, his/her major professor and the other members of the advisory committee to meet the particular needs of the student. The student’s advisory committee and the department chair must approve all degree plans before it is submitted to the Graduate School for approval.