Master of Natural Resource Development (MNRD)

The MNRD degree (non-thesis) is designed for students who want professional graduate training with a management orientation in natural resources. It aims to develop an understanding of the interrelationships among ecology, economics, policy and culture as factors that influence natural resource conservation and management. It is intended to emphasize the problem solving skills involved in the use of science and technology to benefit humanity, not as a research degree.

The research and academic programs in ESSM center on ecosystem science, ecosystem management, genetics and systematics, and spatial science. ESSM has a diverse faculty and active research programs in eco-hydrology of managed ecosystems, ecological restoration of terrestrial and wetland ecosystems, forest and rangeland ecology and management, genetics and genomics research within an ecosystem framework, global change ecology, human dimensions of ecosystem management, spatial science research focused on ecological and natural resource issues, and urban forestry and broader urban ecosystem issues.

Credit requirement

  • 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

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 outside the department.

Degree plan

You will work with your advisor to develop a plan for the course work and other 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 master's student in Ecosystem Science and Management you must submit your degree plan by the end of your second long semester.

View more information on progress through degree


Professional paper

You must 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. See recent MNRD professional papers.

Final comprehensive examination

As a non-thesis student you are required to pass a final comprehensive examination administered by your advisory committee. The exam will be based on your formal coursework as well as the content of your professional paper. This exam may be written or oral or both.


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

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.

View the Texas A&M Catalog page for the ESSM MNRD program

Contact Us

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Amanda Ray
Academic Advisor for Graduate Programs

979.862.6470 |






Dr. Georgianne Moore
Associate Department Head for Graduate Programs

979.845.3765 |


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Department Resources

College of Ag and Life Sciences

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