Academic Programs Catalog

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Graduate Study

The graduate program in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in research and teaching.  Our faculty are  among the top professionals in their fields, and our programs are at the forefront of teaching management policy, conservation biology, human dimensions of natural resources management, as well as fish and wildlife biology, ecology, and management.

Scientists from throughout the world regularly visit the department, interacting with the faculty and students, and presenting seminars.  Graduate students are encouraged to attend regional, national, and international professional meetings such as the annual Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, the American Fisheries Society Conference, the Wildlife Society Conference, the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, the Society for Conservation Biology Conference, Ecological Society of American Conference, and the International Association of Landscape Ecology Conference in addition to local professional meetings such as the Michigan Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society.

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife brings together a diverse group of related basic and applied sciences.  Faculty and graduate students are actively engaged in teaching, research, and outreach.  Major areas of interest include: wildlife ecology and management; fisheries science and management; limnology (including water quality and water pollution biology); conservation biology; environmental management; aquaculture; human dimensions of resource management; wetland ecology and management; stream ecology; wildlife disease ecology and conservation medicine; and ecosystem and population modeling.

In addition to the major areas of interest, fisheries and wildlife graduate students can develop their own program of study under the direction of major professors and guidance committees within the department.  For students who wish to pursue programs in the social, economic, geographic, or education-related aspects of fisheries and wildlife management, interdisciplinary programs are offered.  Interaction with many related departments and colleges at Michigan State University, as well as with state and federal agencies, allow for both depth and breadth in research and academic programs.

The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in fisheries and wildlife, a Doctor of Philosophy degree program in fisheries and wildlife—environmental toxicology, and a Graduate Certificate in Conservation Law.

Students in the Master of Science degree program in fisheries and wildlife are eligible for the dual JD program with Michigan State University - College of Law.

Students who are enrolled in Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife may elect specializations in environmental and resource economics,  fish and wildlife disease ecology and conservation medicine, and gender, justice and environmental change. For additional information, refer to the statements on Interdepartmental Graduate Specializations in Environmental and Resource Economics, Graduate Specialization in Fish and Wildlife Disease Ecology and Conservation Medicine, and the Graduate Specialization in Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change in this catalog.


Fisheries and Wildlife - Master of Science

Programs of study are based on the academic preparation, interests, and career goals of individual students.  Although individual students' programs vary, all Master of Science programs in fisheries and wildlife are designed to provide preparation in one of the areas of specialization within the field of fisheries and wildlife, broad preparation in related areas, and a foundation for fisheries and wildlife related careers in administration, research, and management.

Master of Science

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the student must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Admission to a master's program requires prior completion of an undergraduate major in a biological or other appropriate science with course work appropriate to support the graduate program. Students lacking sufficient courses may be admitted provisionally until such deficiencies are removed by completing collateral courses. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test are required.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife

The student may elect either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis). A total of 30 credits is required for the degree under either Plan A or Plan B. The student and the major professor plan a program of study that includes FW 894 and courses related to one or more areas of specialization within the field of fisheries and wildlife. Students are required to plan and execute a departmentally approved outreach experience, or in lieu of this, include FW 895 in their approved program. The program must be approved by the student's guidance committee which includes at least two members in addition to the major professor, at least one of which is from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.



 


Fisheries and Wildlife - Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the student must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

Applicants for a doctoral program should have completed a Bachelor of Science degree in a biological or other appropriate science. For some areas of specialization, additional background in mathematics, chemistry, botany, zoology or a related Master of Science degree is desirable. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test are required.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife

The student and the major professor plan a program of study that includes FW 894 and courses related to one or more areas of specialization within the field of fisheries and wildlife. Students are required to plan and execute a departmentally approved outreach experience, or in lieu of, include FW 895 in their approved program. The program must be approved by the student's guidance committee, which includes at least three members in addition to the major professor, at least one of whom is from a department other than Fisheries and Wildlife and at least one of whom is from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.


Fisheries and Wildlife - Environmental Toxicology

Doctor of Philosophy

For information about the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in fisheries and wildlife—environmental toxicology, refer to the statement on Doctoral Program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences in the Graduate Education section of this catalog.


Conservation Law - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Conservation Law provides students an opportunity to explore conservation law by gaining familiarity with the language, theory and practices of the law discipline to better integrate their core education with their respective environmental or conservation-related disciplinary field.

The graduate certificate is available as an elective to students who are enrolled in master’s or doctoral degree programs at Michigan State University.


Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Conservation Law

               
Students must complete both of the following courses (9 credits):  
LAW 630M Conservation Law Clinic I 6
LAW 630N Conservation Law Clinic II 3