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Prospective M.S. Conservation Ecology Information

Dear Prospective Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in the Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development Program at the University of Georgia, which has been established in the Odum School of Ecology. This program is specifically intended to grant degrees at the Master's level, though students with similar interests can be accommodated in the Ecology degree program at the Ph.D. level.

We admitted our first class of 15 students to the program in Fall 1993. Currently, we plan to admit no more than 10 students per academic year. This is a small program and as a result, we are able to work closely with our students. Student interests over the last few years have ranged from the study of the biodiversity of the coarse woody debris in forests to wetlands policy issues to the development and analysis of environmental education programs. Because we have a core sequence of courses that begin in the Fall, we plan only to admit students once each year.

The Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development Program is composed of a core curriculum that will provide a strong background in biological and social science aspects of conservation and development issues. Students will also be required to participate in a seminar course on conservation and development issues which addresses the multidisciplinary nature of conservation and development programs (ECOL 8400). Students can then choose other supplementary courses for their particular area of interest. We also require that students take two credit hours of ECOL 8990 (Problems in Ecology) with their major advisor during their first Spring semester on campus. This time is to be spent developing a thesis topic and exploring methodologies that will be needed to complete the work. This helps students progress toward a work plan for the summer thesis work.

As for admission requirements, we strongly advise all students to have completed a course in Ecology (Introductory Biology as a prerequisite) before enrolling in our program. The University has minimum requirements of 1000 (Verbal + Quantitative) on the GRE and a minimum GPA of 3.0. However, because admission to our program is very competitive, GRE scores usually average 1350 and undergraduate GPA around 3.4.

For many students, financial aid is an important consideration for entering a graduate program. The annual competition for student stipend support takes place during February (Graduate School Assistantships) and March (Teaching Assistantships). Research assistantships, arranged through individual faculty members with grant funds, might be available, though demand for these positions is also high.  Thus due to the volume of applications received, it is best to have your application and all supporting materials submitted to both the Odum School of Ecology and the Graduate School no later than December 5.  Furthermore, while applications will be accepted until January 1st, only applicants who have applied by December 5th will be considered for funding to attend the Odum School of Ecology’s graduate student recruitment event and Graduate Student Symposium in January.  The School’s Graduate Program Committee meets in mid-December to review completed applications and select 10-15 highly qualified applicants for travel funding to this event. 

If requested, general information about the University of Georgia and application materials will be sent to you. We strongly encourage applicants to contact faculty members with whom you are interested in working.

Sincerely,
Graduate Program Office
Odum School of Ecology

For More Information

The University of Georgia
Ecology Graduate Program Office
Katherine Adams
Room 19, Odum School of Ecology
Athens, GA 30602-2202
Phone: (706) 542-3404
Fax: (706) 542-4819
e-mail: ktswings@uga.edu


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