M.S. in Ecosystem Science and Management

The master of science degree is intended to educate students in ecology and natural resource management. It offers a thesis option for those who desire a serious research experience and a non-thesis option for those who seek a professional career outside of research. Specialization is available in four main broad research areas: ecosystem science; ecosystem management; genetics, systematics, evolution; and spatial sciences. (See the main ESSM graduate programs page for more details on these four areas.)

Credit requirements

  • Thesis option: 32 credit hours, minimum
  • Non-thesis option: 36 credit hours, minimum
  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPR on the degree plan and cumulatively, with no grade lower than C in any course on the degree plan

Course requirements

You will plan most of your courses in consultation with your advisory committee. Required credits:

  • 1 credit hour of graduate seminar (ESSM 681)

Advisory committee

You will work with your advisor to form an advisory committee that consists of at least three members of the graduate faculty who represent your fields of study. The committee chair (i.e., your advisor) must be from the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and at least one committee member must be from another department.

Degree plan

You will work with your advisor to develop a plan for the course work and research credits you will take, based on your academic needs. This is called the "degree plan." The degree plan also formally declares your degree objective and advisory committee membership. You must submit your degree plan to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies for approval. This is done through the online document processing submission system.

DEADLINE: As an M.S. student in Ecosystem Science and Management you must submit your degree plan no later than the middle of your second regular semester.

Duration

A master's degree generally requires at least two years of full time work beyond a bachelor's degree.

Thesis option

  • Thesis: As a student on the thesis track, you are expected to conduct original research approved by your graduate committee. A thesis is required as the culminating product of this work.
  • Final comprehensive examination: You must pass a final comprehensive examination. This involves a public seminar of your thesis immediately followed by a formal examination with your advisory committee, addressing the content of your thesis as well as your prior coursework. This exam may be written or oral or both.
  • Recent master's theses in ESSM.

Non-thesis option

  • Professional paper: Students on the non-thesis track may prepare a professional paper in a relevant area of ecosystem science and management. This paper is formulated in consultation with your advisory committee and may be based on literature reviews, surveys and other sources.
  • Final comprehensive examination: As a non-thesis student you are required to pass a final comprehensive examination administered by your advisory committee and based on all your coursework. If you prepare a professional paper, the final exam may also address that work. This exam may be written or oral or both.
  • Recent master's professional papers in ESSM.

 

> Refer to the ESSM Graduate Programs Manual for a guide to key steps in your graduate program and key resources, student life and professional development opportunities.

> Find detailed information about all requirements in the Texas A&M Graduate Catalog. (Select the most current catalog from the list.)