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Natural Resources (MS) - Multiple Concentrations

Degree or Minor: 
Graduate Degree
UA College: 
Agriculture & Life Sciences
Degree/Minor Description: 

Program/Degree

Natural Resources (MS) 

Program Description

The School of Natural Resources and the Environment is concerned with the management and conservation of natural ecosystems with emphasis on the desert, rangeland, and forest ecosystems of arid and semi-arid environments. Graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy prepare students for (1) research and teaching in the areas of natural resource science, conservation, management, and planning; and (2) positions in natural resource management agencies and organizations. All students are urged to gain a broad understanding of social and political institutions as they affect fundamental relations of humans and their environment, particularly those involving plants, animals, soil and water resources, and climate. Students pursuing the M.S. or Ph.D. degree may elect one of four disciplinary emphasis areas: Ecology, Management, and Restortation of Rangelands; Natural Resources Studies; Watershed Management and Ecohydrology; and Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management.  Students also may choose from a wide variety of minor subjects, including soil science, watershed management, animal science, wildlife ecology, plant science, ecology, anthropology, public administration, and global change.

Career opportunities for M.S. and Ph.D. graduates exist in federal and state natural resource agencies and legislative policy and budget offices; in non-governmental organizations; in offices of corporations and trade associations concerned with natural resource policy and administration; and in international development agencies, consulting firms, universities, and private research organizations.

Students working toward the M.S. degree, thesis track, shall complete a minimum of 30 units including a thesis for which as many as 5 units may be earned.  Students working towards the M.S. degree, non-thesis track, shall complete a minimum of 36 units.

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 63 units distributed as follows: 36 units in the major, 9 units from the minor, and 18 units of dissertation.  For information concerning requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees see Requirements for Master's Degrees and Requirements for Doctoral Degrees (http://grad.arizona.edu/current-students/program-requirements).

Applicants for the Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree programs are required to submit 1) a well-crafted letter of intent, 2) three letters of recommendation, 3) a summary of coursework (available through the School), and 4) scores on the Graduate Record Examination. In addition, applicants are strongly encouraged to communicate with prospective faculty advisors prior to applying. Applicants are expected to have completed an undergraduate major in a natural resources or closely related field with strong training in biological, physical, and social sciences comparable to that required for the bachelor's degree at The University of Arizona. Applicants lacking these prerequisites will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

NOTE: YOU MUST APPLY TO AN OPTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES.

Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands: The study of the Ecology, Management and Restoration of Rangelands includes all the biological and physical processes of ecosystems - knowledge needed for sustainable use of rangelands as well as management of the diverse and complex systems that they support. Ecology, Management and Restoration of Rangelandst: Students may specialize in any of several areas, usually related to ongoing research projects and faculty expertise. These areas of specialization include plant-herbivore interactions, fire ecology, rangeland policy, soil-vegetation interactions, global change, long-term vegetation dynamics, and human dimensions of rangeland management.

Natural Resources Studies: The Natural Resources Studies emphasis is intended to provide an interdisciplinary graduate education for individuals who wish to contribute to natural resource policy and management decisions made in an environment increasingly influenced not only by technical elements, but by economic, legal, political, and social factors. This option is appropriate for students continuing from undergraduate work in natural resource management and for mid-career professionals interested in broadening their expertise in natural resource policy, administration, planning, management, and ecology.  Course requirements for the option in Natural Resources Studies are higher than for the other programs. Contact the graduate coordinator for additional information.

Watershed Management and Ecohydrology: The emphasis of the Watershed Program is on interactions between hydrologic processes and land-surface conditions and the application of this knowledge to land-water resource planning and management. The focus of the program is on arid/semiarid regions of the southwestern United States and the world. Research areas include hydrology, hydrologic-vegetative interactions, soil-water processes, erosion and sedimentation, stream dynamics, watershed modeling, hydrologic effects of management, land-use, and climate change. Other research areas include analysis and assessment (including GIS), economics and policy, integrated watershed management, fire effects, and tree ring studies.

Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Management: Students may emphasize in Wildlife Conservation and Management or Fisheries Conservation and Management. Graduate studies are designed to provide training in ecological principles, field research techniques, and the application of these tools for the management and conservation of all types of wildlife and fisheries resources. The program responds to the research needs of the State of Arizona, the Southwest region of the United States, the United States, and international governments and organizations. The Arizona Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service frequently assist in the development and support of research projects. Within the School, the U.S. Geological Survey also maintains the Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Sonoran Desert Field Station. Graduate degrees qualify students for professional careers with state agencies, such as state game and fish departments; federal agencies, such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Bureau of Land Management; colleges and universities; conservation organizations; private industry; and consulting firms.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

School of Natural Resources and the Environment - http://snre.arizona.edu/

The School of Natural Resources and the Environment is a world leader in pursuing science that informs how environmental change impacts arid and semi-arid systems and how best to adapt to environmental challenges. We are a cohort of students, faculty, and staff who take great pride in our focus on problem-driven research, teaching, and extension encompassing all aspects of environmental stewardship. Our research answers important questions about how ecosystems respond under environmental or human pressures. We develop strategies to help mitigate the effects of these pressures, helping to create and maintain healthy and sustainable ecological systems. For an overview of SNRE, watch our video.