Twin Cities campus

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Twin Cities Campus

Conservation Biology M.S.

Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, 135 B Skok Hall, 2003 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108 (612-624-7751)
  • Students will no longer be accepted into this program after Fall 2016. Program requirements below are for current students only.
  • Conservation Biology program is now Conservation Sciences.
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2024
  • Length of program in credits: 30
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Science
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The Conservation Biology (CB) Program has two complementary objectives leading to a unique multidisciplinary program. The first is to provide students with sound graduate training in the biological sciences relevant to the global conservation of plants, animals, and ecosystems. The second objective promotes the study of social, political, and economic sciences that relate to recognition and solution of conservation problems. Students may select a named track, fisheries and aquatic biology, which offers an aquatic specialization. Students may also pursue a joint degree in law and conservation biology through the joint law degree program. The overall goal of the program is to prepare students to develop solutions or approaches to address problems that are scientifically and environmentally sound and likely to be acted upon or implemented within their social and political context.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
A B.S./B.A. degree in biology or a closely related field is preferred. Applicants with a baccalaureate degree in another field are accepted, but may be required to take selected courses in biology.
Special Application Requirements:
A statement of career goals and three letters of recommendation evaluating the applicant's potential for graduate study are required. Scores less than five years old from the General Test of the GRE are required. TOEFL is required for applicants who speak English as a second language. Applicants to the joint law degree program must also apply to the Law School. Application deadline is December 15. Typically, students only are admitted for fall semester.
Applicants must submit their test score(s) from the following:
  • GRE
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
    • Total Score: 6.5
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan A: Plan A requires 14 major credits, 6 credits outside the major, and 10 thesis credits. The final exam is oral.
Plan B: Plan B requires 14 major credits and 6 credits outside the major. The final exam is oral. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project: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.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Students must complete a minimum of 30 credits in the biological and social aspects of conservation biology. For Plan A students, 10 of these credits are thesis credits; for Plan B students, 10 of these credits are for electives.
Joint- or Dual-degree Coursework:
Joint Degree in Conservation Biology and Law Students may take a total of 12 credits in common among the academic programs.
Program Sub-plans
A sub-plan is not required for this program.
Students may not complete the program with more than one sub-plan.
The Conservation Science Track will provide structure and oversight for students interested in the interface of population, species, and ecosystem biology with disciplines of social sciences, education, economics, and law.
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· College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

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