Program Requirements

General Requirements for all Options

  • A minimum of 30 units of approved upper division and graduate course work beyond the bachelor’s degree,
  • A minimum of 21 units in residence at HSU.
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in all approved work taken toward completion of the graduate program.

Know Your Limits – Effective Fall 2013, graduate students cannot receive state financial aid for more than 125 percent of the published minimum number of units required for their program of study. Financial Aid Limits & Caps for Graduate Students

Make satisfactory progress in a timely manner.

Complete a thesis or project approved by your graduate committee.

Successfully present and defend your thesis or project in an open presentation to the Department.

Program Specific Requirements

Requirements for the Master of Science in Biology

  • 30 upper division or graduate units in biological sciences or supporting courses approved by the graduate committee, including BIOL 683 and BIOL 684 (normally taken at the first opportunity) and two seminars (BIOL 685). A minimum of 18 units must be at the graduate level.
  • Combined total of not less than four nor more than eight units of BIOL 690 and/or BIOL 699 (with a maximum of six units in BIOL 690) and a thesis or project approved by the graduate committee.
  • While in residence, enrollment in a minimum of two units per semester of BIOL 690 or BIOL 699.
  • Oral presentation of the thesis or project work and defense of the thesis or project before the graduate committee.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Environmental Systems

  • Complete an environmental systems program of courses arranged with a graduate advisor and approved by the faculty graduate committee. The program must include the core courses below plus an environmental systems option. Background deficiencies may be satisfied by taking approved undergraduate courses.
  • Complete the core course requirement: SCI 698 (1-3) Graduate Colloquium in Environmental Systems
  • Complete one of the following options: Energy, Technology, and Policy; Environmental Resources Engineering; Geology; or Mathematical Modeling.
  • Write an acceptable thesis/project.

Energy, Technology, and Policy Option

  • Prerequisites. An appropriate undergraduate degree and sufficient preparation is required. Prior coursework in areas including elementary statistics and probability, calculus, physics, and chemistry is expected. Engineering, math, and natural science students will benefit from having had at least six semester units of sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, or another related social science. Students who aspire to work internationally should have at least one year of training in a language other than English, or equivalent experience. Students with deficient preparation will be expected to satisfy background coursework prior to beginning the program. Deficiencies may be made up concurrently with prior approval in some cases, but this may extend time in the program.
  • Required courses. All core requirements listed under Requirements for the Degree plus the following option requirements:
    ENGR 532 (4) Energy, the Environment, and Society.
    ECON 550 (4) Economics of Energy & Climate Policy
    STAT 630 (4) Data Collection & Analysis
  • And at least one additional course from the following:
    ENGR 533 Energy & Climate Change.
    ENGR 535 Development Technology
  • Approved upper division and graduate courses in a coherent package of a minimum of four elective courses that bring the total to at least 30 units.

Environmental Resources Engineering Option

  • Prerequisites. Applicants should have an undergraduate major in engineering (civil, mechanical, agricultural, chemical, industrial, environmental, or other) or a related physical science. Students with deficiencies in core competencies associated with Environmental Resources Engineering may be required to take prerequisite coursework.
  • Required courses. All core requirements listed under Requirements for the Degree, plus at least three graduate level engineering courses from an approved list. In addition, students must complete approved coursework in topics related to engineering, associated sciences, economics, and policy to bring the total number of units to at least 30. Up to 6 units of thesis or project work may be applied to the degree. Note that courses taken at the 400-level for an undergraduate degree may not be repeated at the 500-level for credit towards the graduate degree.
  • Approved coursework must include one course each in economics and policy. Allowable courses include those listed below or appropriate alternative non-general education upper division or graduate level courses approved by the student’s academic advisor.

  • Approved economics courses:
    ECON 423 (3) Environmental & Natural Resources Economics (Must be taken concurrently with the corresponding Additional Depth course)
    ECON 423D (1) Env. & NR Economics – Add’l Depth.
    ECON 550 (4) Economics of Energy & Climate Policy
    ECON 570 (4) Sustainable Rural Economic Development
  • Approved policy courses:
    ENGR 532 (4) Energy, Environment & Society.
    ENGR 545 (3) Water Resources Planning & Mgmt..
    GEOG 473 (1-4) Topics in Advanced Physical Geography

Geology Option

  • Prerequisites. Applicants should (a) have an undergraduate major in geology or a related science and (b) submit transcripts and Graduate Record Examination scores in both aptitude and geology. Applicants must have at least a year of college physics and a minimum of two semesters of calculus (three semesters desirable).
  • Required courses. All core requirements above plus option requirements:
    GEOL 550 (3) Fluvial Processes.
    GEOL 551 (3) Hillslope Processes.
    GEOL 553 (4) Quaternary Stratigraphy.
    GEOL 554 (2) Advanced Geology Field Methods.
    GEOL 555 (3) Neotectonics
    STAT 630 (4) Data Collection & Analysis
  • Approved upper division and graduate courses in a coherent package to bring the total units to 30. Electives generally will be taken within the College of Natural Resources & Sciences.

Requirements for the Master of Science in Natural Resource Sciences

Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences

ENRS graduate studies are oriented toward environmental analysis and land use planning; environmental science, particularly ecological restoration, renewable energy, and energy policy; recreational use of natural resources; and geospatial analysis of environmental and natural resource-related topics.

  • Required courses: EMP 690 and EMP 695. Enrollment in EMP 685 is required during each semester of residence. A maximum of two units is applicable to the 30-unit requirement.
  • Approved upper division and graduate electives to bring total units to no fewer than 30 units. At least half of these units must be courses organized and conducted at the graduate level.
  • Students must enroll in three units of EMP 690, through regular enrollment (i.e. not Extended Education), the semester that they 1) gain committee approval of their thesis; 2) defend their thesis; and 3) submit their thesis to the NR graduate coordinator. If an additional semester is needed to graduate, students may enroll in one unit of EMP 693 (Extended Education) their final semester.  A thesis, a public oral presentation, and closed formal defense are required.

Fisheries

The Fisheries program is designed primarily to produce graduates who can assess, develop, and manage fish habitats, populations, and commercial and recreational fisheries. The program is broad enough to allow students to prepare themselves for work in additional areas such as water pollution ecology and fish culture.

  • Required courses: FISH 310, FISH 458, FISH 460, FISH 685, FISH 690, FISH 695, or equivalents.
  • Approved upper division and graduate electives to bring total units to no fewer than 30 and no more than 60 units. At least half of these units must be courses organized and conducted at the graduate level.
  • During the first four semesters at HSU, all graduate students shall enroll in three units each of FISH 690 and FISH 695. In all subsequent semesters in residence, students shall enroll in at least one unit each of FISH 690 and FISH 695.
  • A thesis, a public oral presentation, and a closed formal defense are required.

Forest, Watershed & Wildland Sciences

Graduate studies in Forest, Watershed & Wildland Sciences are oriented toward generating a greater understanding of the ecology and management of forests, rangelands, and the soils and watersheds that support them. Graduate research is focused on a wide variety of topics, including forest ecology, fire science, forest growth and dynamics, forest operations analysis, watershed processes, rangeland ecology soil science, and integrative analyses across these areas.

  • Required courses: FWWS 501, FWWS 690, and FWWS 695. All students are required to enroll in at least one unit of at least two of the following courses every semester: FWWS 690, FWWS 695, or FWWS 699.
  • Approved upper division and graduate electives bringing the total units to no fewer than 30 units. At least half of these units must be courses organized and conducted at the graduate level.
  • A thesis, a public oral presentation, and a closed formal defense are required.

Wildlife

Wildlife focuses on the conservation, management, ecology, behavior, and habitat requirements of wildlife species. Research projects emphasize the application of science to addressing issues in wildlife conservation and management.

  • Required courses: WLDF 585, WLDF 690, WLDF 695
  • Approved upper division and graduate electives to bring total units to no fewer than 30 units. At least half of these units must be courses organized and conducted at the graduate level.
  • A thesis, a public oral presentation, and a closed formal defense are required.