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Natural Resources, MS

The Master of Science in Natural Resources, a program of the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is designed to be a flexible degree that can meet the advanced educational goals of a wide range of students. The program was developed to provide advanced study and experience in natural resources management, field ecology, environmental science, and related fields that are not readily available at other local colleges and universities. The program’s research projects emphasize local environmental management issues, and facilitate cooperative ventures with federal and state government agencies, private industry, and other interested organizations through grant proposals, internships, service-learning relationships, and similar programs.

Admission and Degree Requirements

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the candidate must have a Bachelor’s degree in some aspect of natural or applied field science (such as natural resources, wildlife management, fisheries, a field-oriented biological science degree, or similar), including thirty (30) credits from the following courses: Aquaculture, Biometrics, Botany, Dendrology, Ecology, Ecosystems, Environmental Law/Policy, Fisheries Science, Ichthyology, Forestry, Land Use Planning, Limnology/Aquatic Ecology, Mammalogy, Marine Biology, Ornithology, Population Biology, Resource Management, Soil & Water Management, Wetlands Biology, Wildlife Management, Zoology. Any deficiencies in course background identified by a student’s advisory committee can be completed at DSU, although courses taken to fill deficiencies cannot be applied to the graduate program for credit.

Degree Requirements

The Master’s degree in Natural Resources requires a total of 31 credit hours, including 25 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of research. The degree program also requires a supervised research thesis, participation in university seminars and related academic life, presentation of thesis research, and submission of thesis data for publication.


The faculty in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources possess diverse backgrounds and are dedicated to their fields of study. Specific areas of research interest in the faculty include aquatic ecology, wildlife management, integrated environmental modeling, wetland ecology, rainforest ecology and aquaculture. Active research programs exist within these areas and offer graduate students opportunities for active learning, funding, internships, and potential jobs upon graduation.


The Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is housed in the James Baker Building, which contains classrooms, offices, and laboratories for the program. Other facilities include the Claude E. Phillips Herbarium, the largest herbarium at an HBCU which ranks 87th out of 525 herbaria in the U.S., housing the largest collection of preserved plant specimens at any historically black institution. Several fields and forested areas are located on the campus grounds for teaching and research. An aquaculture facility, with over 30 ponds and an aquatic ecology laboratory, is available for aquatic studies and research. In addition, collaborative efforts with various state and federal parks and natural areas allow for a wide range of projects throughout the state.

Required Courses

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