Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (MS)


Degrees Offered



Research areas include wildlife ecology and management, forest ecology and management, conservation biology, landscape ecology, human dimensions of wildlife management, and environmental toxicology. Recent graduate projects have focused on seabird ecology in the Gulf of Mexico, ecology of freshwater turtles in managed forests, conservation of stream salamanders in the Appalachians, recreation conflicts with shorebird habitat, historical land use effects on wetland communities, fish community ecology, and supercomputing applications for conservation planning.

Students are encouraged to pursue multiple lines of evidence using multiple methods at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Graduate theses and dissertations typically include several aspects of field, remote sensing, and computer models incorporating population and habitat assessment, marking and tracking techniques e.g. radio and satellite telemetry, collection of toxicological and water quality data, statistical analysis, and geographic information systems (GIS). Most research directly addresses integrated social, economic, and ecological issues, but much basic research is also conducted. Funders of graduate wildlife research have included US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, SC Department of Natural Resources, and private industry. Graduate programs of study are flexible and decided by the student and their committee. Courses offered emphasize relationships among wild plants and animals and their changing environments, and management and conservation solutions.

Graduate students typically interact with those from other programs across campus including Biological Sciences, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, and City and Regional Planning.

Students may become certified by The Wildlife Society by taking the appropriate courses.

We strongly recommend that you contact prospective advisors prior to applying.


More information can be found in this graduate handbook.


Program of Study

Requirements for the MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology include 24 credit hours of coursework, six hours of research credits (WFB 8910), 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.


Excellent GIS, computer, chemical analysis and biotechnology facilities are available to graduate students in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation. The 17,500-acre Clemson Experimental Forest surrounds the campus and offers opportunities for field research. In addition, students may work with faculty members who are located at the Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science in Georgetown, South Carolina. At the Baruch Institute, opportunities exist for research at the Hobcaw Barony, a 17,000-acre undisturbed ecological reserve of forests, high-salinity marsh estuaries and brackish and freshwater marshes. Research opportunities for graduate students are enhanced by cooperative programs with the US Forest Service Southern Research Station, USGS Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Research Units at Clemson, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Waddell Mariculture Center and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement Eastern Wildlife Program


Required Documents

Before applying, please visit our Prospective Student Page.


Students applying to the MS program in WFB will not be admitted without the offer of a research assistantship provided by the major advisor from grant funding sources.  Please go to for details on identifying WFB faculty members who have positions available. Students applying to the non-thesis MWFB program will not be admitted without the consent of the major advisor; assistantship funding is not provided to students in the non-thesis program.


Program Contact(s)

Program Coordinator(s)