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M.S. Wildlife Ecology

Master Programs

To earn the Master of Science degree, all NREM graduate students must complete three sets of requirements:

  • Iowa State University Graduate College requirements
  • NREM Department requirements
  • Graduate major requirements

A non-thesis Mater's degree is available for students desiring a degree program that consists of a creative component rather than a thesis. Refer to the NREM Graduate Student Handbook for more details.

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NREM Graduate Student Handbook     Graduate College Handbook


Admissions Requirements

B.S. Degree: Biological Sciences, ecology or other related area

Minimum B.S. GPA: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

GRE: None

GMAT: None

TOEFL: See graduate college requirements (International Students Only)

Academic Records / Transcripts: Yes

Letters of Recommendation: Three (3)

Completed Coursework: coursework equivalent to a B.S. in biological sciences, ecology, or related areas

See Application Process


M.S. Degree Requirements

M.S. with thesis: 30 credits total  |  15 credits of coursework  |  10 credits of research

M.S. without thesis: 33 credits total  |  30 credits of coursework  |  3 credits creative component

Coursework includes:

  • Two quantitative courses, including:
    • Statistics 587 (Statistical Methods for Research Workers)
    • An additional 3 credit hours in Statistics courses at the 400 level or above
    • A ECL 611 (Analysis of Populations), or similar seminar, special studies, or experimental quantitative courses approved by the POS Committee and Director of Graduate Education (DOGE)
  • One course from the following:
    • A ECL 516 (Avian Ecology)
    • A ECL 531 (Conservation Biology)
    • A ECL 551 (Wildlife Behavioral Ecology)
    • A ECL 589 (Population Ecology)
    • A ECL 554 (Principles of Wildlife Disease)
  • One additional 3 cr. course offered by the NREM department
  • In addition to the above requirements, graduate students are strongly encouraged to develop competency in plant ecology. Federal employment as a wildlife biologist and professional certification by The Wildlife Society both require 9 credit hours in plant sciences at either the undergraduate or graduate level. We also strongly encourage students to take at least 1 course in the area of natural resource policy, administration, or human dimensions.



There's the possibility of students receiving an assistantship (teaching or research) to help cover the costs of their program. Master Degree students with an assistantship can expect to receive:

  • A stipend starting at approximately $2,000
  • Healthcare benefits
  • Half (1/2) of tuition remission

View All Funding Opportunities


Interdepartmental Graduate Majors

Students may also select interdepartmental graduate majors in 


Explore NREM Faculty by Research Area

Aquatic Systems   Conservation   Human Interactions   Sustainability   Wildlife


Questions about our program?