skip to main content

Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Master of Science Degree

Graduate study of the ecology, management, and restoration of range, forest, and wildlife ecosystems.  Areas of specialization include:

  • Ecohydrology and hydrology
  • Environmental science
  • Forest ecology, management, and restoration
  • Rangeland ecology, management, and restoration
  • Wildlife ecology and conservation biology
  • Watershed science


An ESSENTIAL criterion for admission to the M.S.  program is the agreement of a graduate faculty member to serve as a student's advisor.  Prospective students MUST correspond with potential advisors early in the application procedure as no students are accepted in the absence of the agreement by a faculty member to serve as advisor.  Refer to the Directory section of the Departmental web site.

Additional admission requirements include:  

  • a Bachelor degree from an accredited institution of higher education in an appropriate area of science,
  • an undergraduate grade point of 3.0 or higher, and
  • verbal and quantitative GRE score no more than five years old, with a combined score of 300 or greater for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011. For tests taken prior to August 1, 2011, combined score should be 1000 or greater.

Students who do not meet these criteria but who remain interested in the graduate program should contact the Director of the Graduate Program. 

Application Deadline:

Applications may be reviewed at any time.  However, in order to receive full consideration for Fall admission, all application materials should reach the department by March 1st.  For Spring admission, please provide all materials by November 1st.  You may use the on-line application to submit materials to the Graduate School. In addition to transcripts, and a report of your GRE scores, you will need three letters of recommendation and a Statement of Purpose and Intent.  The Statement is a one to two page essay that describes your reasons for undertaking graduate work, as well as an explanation of your study and research interests and their relation to your undergraduate study and professional goals. All application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School.  You may also submit copies of all materials, including informal transcripts, to the faculty member who has agreed to be your advisor.

Master of Science Graduation Requirements:

Plan A:

  • Coursework: Determined by advisory committee
  • Credits:  30
  • Comprehensive/Oral Examination: None
  • Thesis: Required

Plan B:

  • Thesis: Not required
  • Professional Paper: Required (see below)

Plan A versus Plan B:  

The vast majority of incoming students are admitted to the Plan A degree program.  This is the option in which the student is expected to write a thesis making an original contribution to the research field of a quality acceptable to a major, peer-reviewed scientific journal.  A small number of students, primarily those without research funding and/or who have a full-time job commitment, are admitted to the Plan B degree program.  This program requires the writing of a professional paper of a quality suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.  Occasionally, Plan B students transfer to Plan A if research funding becomes available.  Only under very special circumstances is a Plan A student allowed to transfer to Plan B.


Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science

Phone (775) 784-4020
(775) 784-4835
Fax (775) 784-4583
Location Max Fleischmann Agriculture Building
Address University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

Take the next step...