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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Combined Degree (BS/MS) in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation (WEC) has developed a program for undergraduate students that allows those who qualify academically to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in WEC. A minimum qualification for the program includes a ≥3.2 GPA for admission to the WEC Graduate Program and UF Graduate School.

The combined degree program allows you to get a head start on your graduate education by taking graduate courses throughout the junior and senior undergraduate years. 12 credit hours of this graduate coursework will also count toward the undergraduate degree, thus reducing the time it takes to get both degrees.

There are a number of financial considerations you should keep in mind. You are responsible for paying the difference between undergraduate and graduate tuitions. Florida Prepaid College Tuition Program participants will receive funding for the first 120 credit hours. The program will fund graduate courses taken toward the undergraduate degree at the undergraduate level. Financial aid may be available to assist with the graduate degree portion of the program.

Additional information can be found at for UF and for College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS).

Advice to prospective mentors and Combined Degree students:  It is challenging to complete this program: few have done it (only 1 in WEC by the end of 2022).  Students, if you plan on going to graduate school in order to enter a research career, it is probably best to aply to graduate priograms during your senior year and give yourself a proper 2-year MSc experience.  For students who are highly motivated, exceptionally organized, and seeking entry into MS-level career positions, then this is a good option for you.  But you need a suportive Graduate Faculty mentor, especially for the research track!

How to Apply

  1. Meet with prospective faculty mentors in your sophmore year to secure an agreement by one of them to be your Graduate Mentor/Advisor.  It is best if you already have an advisor who has a project for you to work on by the second semester of your Sophmore year. 
  2. In the first semester of your Junior year, finalize your plans for the Combined Degree. This involves all of the following:
  3. Apply to WEC
    • Complete the WEC Combined Degree Program Form by
      • 1 November for a Spring Semester start of the Combined Degree Program, OR by
      • 1 April for a Summer or Fall Semester start of the Combined Degree Program
    • Discuss and sign the Financial Disclosure Information form for WEC (do this with your faculty advisor).
    • If WEC approves, submit the UF Combined Degree Program Request Form to CALS and the UF Graduate School Application by
      • 1 December for a Spring Semester start of the Combined Degree Program
      • 1 May for a Summer or Fall Semester start of the Combined Degree Program

Two Tracks in the Combined Degree Program

  1. Research Track
  2. Non-Thesis Track

Upon Admission to the WEC Graduate Program

  • Students must do all of the following in their first graduate semester:
  • Both Tracks
    • Complete the graduate Course Planning Document (Form 2) for their program (thesis or non-thesis)
    • Understand that Undergraduate courses cannot be used for both BS and MS degrees, only for BS. 
    • Graduate courses up to 12 credits can be used for both degrees. 
  • Research Track
    • Have your first committee meeting and file the Graduate Committee form with Student Services.
    • During this meeting, the student must defend their research proposal, and deposit the signed form and proposal with Student Services
    • During this meeting the thesis defense must also be scheduled in time for thesis submission deadlines.

Resources (Adobe PDF)

Combined Degree (BS/MS) in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation

UF Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Request

Funding for Combined Degree Program

See also

Graduate Course Listing in WEC

WEC Graduate Admissions

Graduate Forms