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Graduate Programs

Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

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The Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources degree (non-thesis) is a flexible option that allows you to customize your education and complete coursework at your convenience. Our online program is asynchronous – which means you can access classes 24/7 and work at times that are optimal for you. And, if you take at least 2 courses each semester, you can finish the degree in as little as 2 years.

Our students include Federal and State Agency wildlife and fisheries employees, educators who wish to increase their knowledge about wildlife and fisheries biology, private industry professionals and individuals with a variety of other natural resource backgrounds. 

We also accept a limited number of students who come from out of the natural resources field or who are looking to make a career change. Students who do not have previous experience in natural resources may need to take coursework to strengthen their chance of success in the program prior to applying.

Students can also add a concentration in GIS for Natural Resources to their flexible degree plan. See additional information below.

If you’d rather have an on-campus experience, we have that option too.

New enrollees are accepted in fall, spring and summer semesters as space permits. See application deadlines below.

  • Admission Requirements

    (in addition to Graduate School requirements

    The following requirements must be met to be considered for admission to the online Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources:

    • A suitable undergraduate education (you do not need an undergraduate degree in wildlife and fisheries resources to be considered for admission).
    • Two references.
    • A resume or CV.
    • GRE (General Test) Scores are encouraged for applicants who do not currently work in a natural resources field or have an undergraduate degree in natural resources/biology with a GPA above 3.0.
    • Personal Statement.
    • A satisfactory TOEFL score (550 from paper exam or 213 from online exam, or 80 from the internet exam, or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test) is required for international students whose native language is not English.

    Clemson’s graduate school handles applications. All application materials are sent to the graduate school. Use the apply now button below to navigate to graduate admissions.

    Deadlines for admissions:

    • Fall - June 30th
    • Spring - October 15th
    • Summer - February 28th
  • Requirements for Degree


    This program is available in an on-campus format, as well as completely through online instruction, with courses offered each semester: January-April, May-August, and August-December. The program requires 30 credit hours of course work to graduate. The student’s plan of study for the 30 hours of course work must be approved by the MWFR graduate advisory committee. At least 15 hours of 8000 level courses are required. Students must also take at least 2 credits of a graduate seminar.

    Current Course Offerings

    Spring 2024

    • FOR 6340/6341 – Geographic Information Systems for Natural Resources (3)
    • FOR 8070 – Plant Taxonomy (3)
    • ENR 6130/6131 – Restoration Ecology (3)
    • FNR 8080 – Graduate Seminar (1)
    • WFB 8510 – Advanced Conservation Biology (3)
    • FOR 8220 – Invasion Ecology (3)
    • WFB 8610 – Wildlife Behavior (3)
    • WFB 8610 – Limnology (3)
    • WFB 8610 – Landscape Ecology (3)
    • WFB 8050/8051 - GIS Analysis in Natural Resources (3)
    • FOR 8930 - Grassland Ecology and Management (3)

    Summer 2024 (Anticipated)

    • FNR 8080 – Graduate Seminar (1)
    • FOR 8930/8931 – Forest Protection, Health and Management (3)
    • FOR 8930/8931 – Applied Wildlife Habitat Management (2, optional in-person lab 1)
    • WFB 8610/8611 – Vertebrate Biology & Ecology (3)
    • FOR 7070 – Plant Biology (3)
    • WFB 8610/8611 – Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation (3)

    Summer I

    WFB 6180/6181 – Fisheries Management & Conservation (4)

    Summer II

    WFB 8540 – Fish Ecology (3)

    Fall 2024 (Anticipated)

    • FNR 8080 - Graduate Seminar (1)
    • WFB 6200 - Environmental Education (2 or 3 with lab)
    • WFB 6300 - Wildlife Conservation Policy (3)
    • WFB 6350 - Aquatic Habitat Management (3)
    • WFB 6620 - Wetland Wildlife Biology (3)
    • WFB 6720/6721 - Ornithology (4) ODD YEARS ONLY
    • WFB 6800 - Waterfowl Ecology and Management (3)
    • FOR 6340/6341 - GIS for Natural Resources (3)
    • WFB 8530 - Global Change Ecology (3)
    • WFB 8610 - Study Design & Data Analysis (3)
    • FOR 7070 - Trees of the Southeastern US (3)
    • WFB 6640 - Mammalogy (4) EVEN YEARS ONLY
  • Financial Information

    The Clemson Master in Wildlife and Fisheries Resources online program is assessed as a Tier Four Online Graduate Program. Please check the Student Financial Services Page for the most accurate tuition rates. Once on the financial services page select the online tab and choose MWFR Wildlife and Fisheries Resources.

    Please note that aspiring students will need to connect with a faculty advisor and be accepted into the Department’s Graduate Program to be eligible for the assistantship. Students that feel qualified for this award should consider mentioning it when communicating with potential faculty advisors. Students on these assistantships will be expected to TA for the Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources (online) degree program one semester each year.

    FEC grad faculty
  • GIS Concentration

    GIS Applications in Natural Resources Concentration (9 credits) Students must take 3 of the following courses:

    • WFB 6340/6341 - Geographic Information Systems for Natural Resources (3)
    • WFB 8050/8051 - GIS Analysis in Natural Resources (3)
    • FOR 8160/8161 - Remote Sensing and GIS in Natural Resources (3) OR
    • WFB 8640/8641 - Spatial Hydrology (3)

    Students completing the concentration must successfully complete all graduate coursework required by the MWFR program plus one additional 3-credit course for a total of 33 credit hours.

  • Contact Information

    Dr. Thea Hagan
    Program Director of online MWFR Program
    Office: 245 Lehotsky Hall
    Clemson, SC  29634-0317
    Phone: 864-656-4823
    Fax: 864-656-3304

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I transfer credits?

    Courses Policy:

    All transfer credits must be verified by the submission of an official transcript from the institution at which the work was completed. Up to 12 credit hours of coursework (and no more than one-third of the graded course credit hours required for a master’s degree, in the case of Wildlife and Fisheries Biology 10 credit hours) may be transferred to a master’s degree and 48 credit hours of coursework may be transferred to a doctoral degree.

    All credits transferred to Clemson’s graduate programs must have been completed at a regionally-accredited institution. Credits may be transferred for work completed at off-campus centers of accredited institutions, provided such courses are acceptable, without reservation, in degree programs at those institutions. In all cases, the use of transfer credits must be recommended by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the department.

    Grades earned for courses taken at institutions other than Clemson University will not be included in the student’s grade point ratio. Courses to be considered for transfer credit completed outside the six-year time limit may not be transferred to Clemson. Courses taken at any institution other than Clemson University may not be revalidated for transfer credit at Clemson. Valid transfer credits will appear on the student’s transcript as credits earned. Transfers from non-U.S. institutions that do not hold either accreditation may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Under no circumstances will transfer credit be awarded for courses in which a grade lower than B (or its equivalent) has been received, or for courses graded on a pass/fail basis, for continuing education units, courses completed outside the six-year time limit, correspondence, extension, or in-service courses or for concentrated courses and workshops that award credit at a rate exceeding one credit per week. All transfer courses listed on Form GS2, Plan of Study must be courses taken for credit from a regionally-accredited, degree-granting institution whose scholastic reputation is acceptable to Clemson University.
  • Do I have to take the GRE?

    The GRE is not required for application.  If you have 3 or more years’ experience working in a natural resources field and an undergraduate GPA above 3.0, it is not necessary for you to take the GRE.

    We strongly encourage students who do not currently work in natural resource fields and/or those who do not have an undergraduate degree in a natural resources/biology field with a GPA above 3.0 to take the GRE.

  • Are there Scholarships/Assistantships?
    We do not currently have any scholarships or assistantships.
  • What is the time commitment for the degree?
    Expect to spend a maximum of 12 hours a week on a 3-credit hour course. This translates to 3 hours of lecture and 9 hours to work on projects, assignments, readings, discussions and studying for exams or quizzes.
  • What is the difference between a thesis and non-thesis master’s degree?
    A non-thesis Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources is intended to serve individuals who do not need hands-on research experience in graduate school. This is a professional degree that is meant for those already working in the field of natural resources management, environmental education, or related areas. Those who wish to be working in these fields but have not yet obtained on-the-job training may be better served by a thesis-based Master of Science degree in a natural resource-related field or may work on the degree while accumulating volunteer and internship experience in natural resources. Pursuit of the thesis requires a student to conduct and report on research and can act as a substitute to field experience obtained on the job.
  • Can I be a part of the program as an international student?
    Yes. Clemson University works to provide global access to its online programs. It is the student’s responsibility to understand current circumstances or special requirements of whether the online degree selected will be recognized in the country of residence; how the collection of student data may be used in your country; and, whether you will be subject to additional withholding taxes in addition to the price of tuition. International students considering an academic program that leads to a professional license should first confirm with the appropriate professional licensing board in their country of residence whether a Clemson University degree is recognized when seeking licensure or certification.
  • Possible prerequisite coursework

    If you do not have experience working in a natural resources field or an undergraduate degree in a natural resources/biology field, we encourage you to take a few undergraduate science courses before applying to the program.

    Courses that applicants with undergraduate degrees in natural resources and/or biology have taken that would strengthen out of field applications include, but are not limited to:

    • Biology I and II,
    • Chemistry (a variety of options are acceptable),
    • Statistics (again a variety of options are acceptable),
    • and at least two of the following:
      • Forest Biology or Ecology,
      • Wildlife Biology or Ecology,
      • Wetland Biology or Ecology,
      • Vertebrate Biology or Ecology,
      • Fish Biology or Ecology and
      • a Dendrology or Botany course.

    These courses should be offered at a local community college or online.

  • State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement
    South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.
  • Where do students in the MWFR live?
    Location in Canada and the US of current and graduated Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Students.

    Location in Canada and the US of current and graduated Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources Students.

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