Graduate Program Overview
Dr. Jim Austin
The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (WEC) graduate program prepares students for professional employment in conserving natural resources in a changing world. WEC faculty teach, conduct research, and provide service and extension in the following areas: behavioral ecology, community ecology, conservation biology, conservation education, conservation genetics, ecosystem management, environmental interpretation, habitat restoration, human dimensions of wildlife management, international conservation, introduced species, landscape ecology, plant ecology, population biology, range ecology, systems ecology, tropical conservation, urban wildlife relations, wetlands ecology, wildlife diseases, and wildlife management.
This diversity of faculty expertise attracts and maintains a population of approximately 100 graduate students enrolled in MS and Ph.D. programs.
WEC offers MS and PhD. Degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. WEC faculty also partner with the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE) to offer graduate degrees in Interdisciplinary Ecology (IE). Please see the SNRE website (https://snre.ifas.ufl.edu/academics/degrees-offered/) for admission information to the IE degrees.
Prospective students are expected to explore the WEC faculty research programs (https://wec.ifas.ufl.edu/people/wec-faculty/) and initiate a dialog with potential graduate mentors before applying to the program.
Degrees Offered in WEC
The graduate programs in WEC include research and non-research degrees. The specific requirements and aims of these differ considerably.
MS (thesis) or PhD (dissertation) in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
For both MS and PhD research degrees, prospective students must develop a dialog with a potential faculty advisor before applying to the program. Faculty wishing to accept students must have a funding plan to support the student in place before acceptance (See this link for a recommended application strategy and information on fiscal support for graduate students.)
WEC does not offer research degrees through distance education – all students are expected to be able to attend UF through the main campus in Gainesville or at one of the RECs.
Interdisciplinary Ecology Via The School Of Natural Resources And Environment
Graduate students can also apply to this major to work with Faculty in WEC to obtain MS (Thesis) or PhD (Dissertation) degrees in the Interdisciplinary Ecology Program through the School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Non-thesis MS Degrees
There are two options available for obtaining non-thesis MS degrees through WEC.
- On-campus non-thesis program in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
This program is designed for professionals (e.g., government and non-governmental employees, natural resource industry personnel) who want advanced wildlife ecology and conservation coursework. The program is course-based (on campus). Prospective students must have identified a prospective faculty member willing to serve as their coursework advisor.
Specifics on this program, including how to apply, can be read here.
- Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a concentration in Wildlife Forensic Sciences and Conservation (online only - see Maples Center link below).
Although this MS is granted as a Wildlife Ecology and Conservation degree, it is not overseen by WEC. It is run entirely through the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine with instructors external to WEC.
Specifics on this program, including admissions requirements and program goals, can be viewed at https://wildlife.forensics.med.ufl.edu/admissions/masters-degree/. Contact the Maples Center at https://wildlife.forensics.med.ufl.edu/contact-us/ for all questions about this degree program.
Please note that no financial aid from UF is available for non-thesis MS degrees.
- Graduate Program Overview
- Admission Requirements
- Application Process
- Tuition, Fees, and Residency
- Financial Aid and Fellowships
- Graduate Course Listing
- Study Abroad Courses
- PhD Student Timeline
- MS *(Thesis) Student Timeline
- MS *(Non-Thesis) Student Timeline
- Graduate Handbook
- Student Organizations
- Computer Policy & Guidelines
- Job Opportunities
- Online Resources
- Travel Grant Opportunities