Master of Science
Natural Resource Sciences
Students may be accepted into the graduate program with undergraduate degrees other than Wildlife or Forestry.
These students, however, may need to complete additional courses to cover deficiencies. Courses taken to satisfy deficiencies cannot be included in the program of study. Each student, in consultation with his/her graduate committee, will develop a plan of study. This plan outlines what courses will be required for completion of the degree. To develop a plan of study, students may choose from a variety of graduate and selected undergraduate courses offered in the area of emphasis. In addition, courses may be selected from a number of related courses in other programs of the University.
Each program may have its own required core courses (a list of these courses may be obtained from your faculty mentor).
Major Professor and Advisor
The department selection process for prospective graduate students is very competitive. Your selection is based on a number of factors:
- Faculty research interest and funds available for support which parallel your academic background
- GRE scores
- TOEFL, if an international student
- Last two years of your undergraduate grades
- Experience in field of study and how well your faculty advisor believes you will succeed within the program
With consultation, the student and faculty mentor/advisor and possible research supervisors (if separate) come to a decision as to whom the student will have as the research supervisor/committee chair. Once the research supervisor has been identified, the scope of the research problem will be outlined and a program of study will be filed with the Graduate School. Forms for this purpose are available on-line at http://gradsch.wsu.edu.
Students will select the other advisory committee members in consultation with their major professor. Then the students should contact each prospective member, have an interview with him/her and others to be a member of the committee. The student should review the proposed degree plan with the prospective member. The committee member's signature on the approved degree plan indicates his/her willingness to participate in guiding and directing the student's entire academic program. Individual committee members may be replaced by petition for valid reasons.
The chair of the student's committee and at least one other member of the committee must be Graduate Faculty.
It is important that the student keep the committee members informed of the progress of their research. Even though the research supervisor is primarily responsible for supervision, other members of the committee should be consulted on a regular basis.
The student's advisory committee has the responsibility for assessing the appropriateness of the proposed degree program, research proposal, thesis, and the final examination. In addition, the committee is expected to provide periodic advice and assistance to the graduate student.
Specific courses to be included on a student's degree plan are determined as a joint effort between the student, his/her major professor and the other members of the advisory committee to meet the particular needs of the student. The student's advisory committee and the department chair must approve all degree plans before it is submitted to the Graduate School for approval.
M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences
- Minimum of 21 hours of graded course work to include at least: 1 semester of Environmental and Natural Resource Issues & Ethics (NATRS 594), 2 semesters of graduate seminar, at least 1 which must be the department seminar (NATRS 595).
- At least 11 hours in major coursework
- At least 15 hours at 500 level coursework
- Up to 10 hours of supporting course work outside major area
- Up to 10 hours of supporting course work outside major area. 2-9 hours of NATRS 700 (Thesis Research).
- Minimum of 30 total credit hours beyond the Bachelor's degree.
General regulations regarding the preparation of a thesis are set by the Graduate School and are listed in the policies and procedures of the Graduate School. The thesis format will follow requirements for publications in an appropriate technical journal as recommended by the committee. Usually the student and advisor will organize the research material into a paper publishable in a refereed journal concurrently with preparation of the thesis. Typing, copying and other associated costs for the preparation of the thesis will be borne by the student.
Final Examination and Seminar
All students are required to present a seminar on their thesis work or special problem to the faculty and graduate students during the final semester of their program. Graduate students will notify the main office with enough lead time to ensure Seminar Announcements are disseminated to other departments and agencies on and off campus. The final oral examination (closed to the public) will consist of questions asked by the student's committee relating to the validity of the research as well as any problem areas in research techniques, statistics, etc.
Students can choose whether the final copy of the thesis is provided to the Graduate School in paper format or digital format. The candidate for degree will continue to submit two paper copies of the title page, two paper copies of the abstract, and two original signature pages--one on 100% bond. Signatures should be in black ink.
If the candidate for degree selects to utilize the paper format, two unbound copies of the final thesis must be provided to the Graduate School within five working days of passing your scheduled final examination:
- One copy on 100% cotton rag paper with original signature page
- One copy with original signature page (it is not necessary to have this second copy on 100% cotton paper)
Thesis Copy Requirements
Copies must be provided to the department, the committee chair and any committee member requesting it. For the department copy, submit an unbound signed copy. Do not have it bound yourself. Additional theses can be bound at the same time for personal use by submitting an unbound copy and $20.00 cash. (If your faculty advisor chooses to pay for your bond copy, a budget account code must be obtained from your academic advisor. If the bound copies you request are to be mailed, you must provide an address for mailing at a later date. Rod will assist you with any questions you have concerning the thesis copies at the departmental level.
Deadlines are established by the Graduate School and found on-line at http://gradsch.wsu.edu. Students intending to graduate should be certain to check this list early in their final semester. Because these dates vary each semester, it is the responsibility of the student to know the schedule.
Graduate students should be aware of the departmental rules and requirements regarding distribution of thesis drafts. Because a student only has five working days after defending their thesis to turn in the final version to the Graduate School, substantially all changes must be addressed prior to defending their thesis in the final exam. Consequently, your committee members need to have read your thesis prior to scheduling a thesis defense date. This means committee members should receive copies of your thesis at least 14 days before scheduling the final exam. Depending on your advisor and your writing ability, you should generally allow for three to four weeks prior to this for addressing the rough draft comments.
Before first semester registration meet with faculty advisor to plan course of study for first semester:
- Attend TA workshops, if applicable
- Before second semester registration, determine research supervisor and establish committee
- Submit program of study to Graduate School
- During last semester, apply for degree
- At least 14 calendar days before scheduling final examination, submit final draft of thesis to committee members
- At least 14 calendar days before requested examination or no later than scheduling of final examination