Biodiversity, Conservation & Policy

Course Requirements

*This page is meant as an unofficial guide to course requirements for the program. Please see the Program Director or the Department of Biological Sciences Main Office for an official up-to-date requirements list.

Graduate Program : Effective 5/98; Revised 6/99, 3/00, 6/00, 6/01, 6/02, 6/03, 6/04

  • A total of 30 credits, 18 of which must be in Biology

Biology (11 credits)

    • Bio 530A Biodiversity & Conservation Biology -Theoretical issues (4)
    • Bio 530B Biodiversity & Conservation Biology - Policy issues (4)
    • Bio 630 Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation & Policy (1+1) (2 semesters). Attendance is required all semesters of attendance but only two as a registered student in the course.
    • Bio 515A Responsible Conduct & Skills in Research (1) OR Bio 515B Responsible Conduct & Skills in Scientific Communication (1)

Research Credits (4-6)

    • Bio 699 Research in Biology

Supporting Courses (5-9 credits):

    • At least one course in biology (3-4) not including Bio 699
    • 1 graduate level statistics course is recommended

Policy & Planning Skills, Departments of Public Administration & Policy Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy (6-8 credits)

    • Pub 522 Politics and Policy (4) OR
    • Pub/Pad 666 International Environmental Policy (4) OR
    • Pub 513, Field Seminar in Public Policy (4)

AND at least 1 of the following tool based courses, such as:

    • Pub 514 Economics for Public Affairs II (4)
    • GOG 584 Graduate Introduction to Remote Sensing of Environment (2)
    • GOG 596 Geographic Information Systems (3)
    • An appropriate course in economics, as deemed appropriate by the Program Directors.

Thesis Research:

Bio 699 Research in biology or jointly with other departments (4-6 credits)

Choose from the following options:
  1. Internship leading to a research project. An approved internship with an appropriate agency or organization may serve as the basis for planning and conducting research. (Topic examples: The role of ecological theory in formulating an agency's conservation policies; Assessing future management needs to preserve biodiversity in parks and preserves).
  2. Problem solving with previously collected data. Information obtained by the student prior to admission or by others who are willing to share data may be analyzed to answer novel questions relevant to biodiversity conservation and public policy. (Topic examples: Examining the effectiveness of ecological restoration projects; Assessing biodiversity resources on public and private lands; Evaluating the ecological consequences of land use policies).
  3. Original field and laboratory research in conjunction with a participating faculty member. (Topic examples: Genetic diversity in rare species; Estimating extinction risks for natural populations).

Program Examinations:

    • Satisfactory completion of the Master's core examinations at the end of year one for full time students, or following completion of 12 credits for part-time students. Students are expected to acquire and demonstrate by means of an examination a comprehensive insight into the current state od knowledge and the current problems in Biodiversity/policy. To assist in preparation for the core examination , the appropriate faculty groups will provide a reading list of textbooks and original papers directed to the more significant aspects of the field.
    • A public presentation of the thesis will serve as the final examination for the degree.

Relevant Course Links:

Course Descriptions

Biology (A BIO)

Public Administration (R PAD)

Public Affairs (R PUB)

Planning (A PLN)

Geography & Geographic Information
Systems (A GOG)

Math and Statistics (A MAT)

Economics (A ECO)

Departmental Course Links


Public Administration

Public Policy



Math and Statistics