Master of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Those who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology should have sound undergraduate training in the biological or related sciences. Initially, applicants should contact the faculty members whose research interests are closest to their own. Programs of study are designed to emphasize relationships between wild animals and their changing environments and production of aquatic organisms.

Admission to either the master's program or the doctoral program requires acceptance by the University and the Graduate Student Admission Committee of Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. This committee will base its acceptance recommendation to the Admissions Office on previous coursework, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, undergraduate background, and current research interests. Students are required to have completed a bachelor's degree, preferably in a natural science, with a minimum of 30 credit hours in natural sciences. In addition, an MS in natural resource biology or related area usually is preferred, but not required, for acceptance into the doctoral program. Students accepted without the appropriate course background will be required to make up these deficiencies as outlined by the Graduate Student Admission Committee and consistent with University admission policies.

Requirements for the MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology include 24 credit hours of coursework, six hours of research credits (W F B 891), an acceptable thesis based on original research, and satisfactory performance on a final oral examination. Additional coursework usually includes subjects such as experimental statistics, biological sciences, and forestry. Thesis research areas include aquaculture, conservation biology, upland and wetland wildlife biology, endangered species biology, freshwater fisheries science, and marine fisheries science.

There are no specific credit hour requirements beyond 30 credit hours of postbaccalaureate course-work and 19 hours of doctoral dissertation research for the PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology; however, the student's advisory committee will insist on a rigorous and appropriate program of study and research. Students are required to take, or have taken, at least two semesters of graduate statistics and two semesters of 800-level seminars in fisheries and wildlife science or related areas. Students must also have a minimum of one semester of professional experience, which will be evaluated by the student's advisory committee. Examples of appropriate professional experience are teaching assistantships, internships or cooperative study program participation, or natural resource agency employment. Other course requirements will be identified by the student's advisory committee and will include specific courses according to the elected emphasis area. The three emphasis areas are fisheries biology, wildlife biology, and conservation biology.

Research opportunities for graduate students are enhanced by cooperative programs with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Cooperative Research Unit at Clemson, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Webb Wildlife Research Center, and Waddell Mariculture Center. The department also is associated with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement Eastern Wildlife Program. The graduate program in Wildlife Biology is accredited by the Southeastern Section of the Wildlife Society.

Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science Degree Program

Under this plan, students may reduce the time necessary to earn both degrees by applying graduate credits to both undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

Students are encouraged to obtain the specific requirements for the dual degree from the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources as early as possible in their undergraduate program as a number of required courses have prerequisites not normally taken by Wildlife and Fisheries Biology majors. Enrollment guidelines and procedures can be found under Academic Regulations.

Departmental Website

Clemson Graduate School