Curriculum

Curriculum

The P.S.M. in Conservation Biology is based on courses and an internship (30‐34 credit hours). Courses include a range of subjects in addition to graduate biology courses (e.g., business, sustainability and others). This broad background plus an internship experience prepares graduates for employment related to conservation biology. All students in the program will be part of a closely mentored experience they can tailor to their own professional needs. Importantly, this will also facilitate connections for future employment. Students are advised into appropriate elective courses based on their specific career goals.

The program includes all components of a high-quality P.S.M. degree as outlined by the Council of Graduate School (CGS) guidelines which require an extensive professional skills component, an experiential component, and a majority of courses emphasizing the natural sciences. The professional skills component will be implemented in response to regular feedback with an industry advisory panel.

Students complete at least one capstone project that is supervised collaboratively by faculty and industry partners and presented for evaluation by faculty and industry advisory in both written and oral formats. In preparation for their capstone experiences, each semester students will take a required ‘contemporary issues’ course. In these courses they will evaluate current issues in the field, write and present case studies and other industry specific professional documents, and present their findings to industry advisers.

In subsequent semesters students will establish an industry network, apply for internship experiences and more clearly define the knowledge, skills and abilities that will make them outstanding additions to their field. In addition to the ‘contemporary issues’ courses, students will be required to complete two courses in professional skills such as business writing, management, and business ethics. The majority of required coursework is based in the natural sciences and will emphasize a research-based approach to learning that integrates the practical application of scientific theory and skills required by industry.