A UAlbany graduate student working with a Drone to document the tree canopies at the Huyck Preserve.

Master of Science 

Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy

Program of Study

Master's Research Requirement

Your research requirement can be met through independent study, contributions to faculty research, internship projects, or any combination of work in these categories.

Common research projects include field and lab studies of organisms of interest in conservation, data analysis for environmental conservation organizations, and assessment of New York State conservation policy and activities.

Sample internship placements:

  • Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission 
  • New York State Coastal Management Program 
  • New York State Museum
  • New York State Natural Heritage Program 
  • NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation 
  • NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 
  • The Nature Conservancy 
  • UAlbany Office of Sustainability
  • U.S. Geological Service 
  • Other land conservancies and regional conservation organizations

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information contact Andrei Lapenas at 518-442-4191 or alapenas@albany.edu.

Required Biology Courses

  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology: Theoretical Issues
  • Biodiversity and Conservation Biology: Policy Issues
  • Responsible Conduct and Skill in Research
  • Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication
  • Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Planning

Policy and Planning Skills Courses

One of the following policy courses:

  • Politics and Policy
  • Field Seminar in Public Policy
  • Environmental Politics and Policy

One of the following tool-based courses:

  • Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment (Graduate)
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Three Support Courses

One biology elective and two additional courses in areas of interest. Graduate-level statistics is recommended.


Master's Thesis in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy



Career Paths

Earning this degree prepares you to work in a variety of roles related to biological sciences, land use planning, invasive species management, wildlife and habitat preservation, environmental assessment, and natural resource protection policy development, analysis, and administration.

Sample job titles:

  • Climate Change Researcher
  • Conservation Specialist
  • Environmental Policy Analyst
  • Erosion Control Manager
  • Habitat Management Coordinator
  • Land Restoration Specialist
  • Natural Resource Manager
  • Soil and Water Conservationist
  • Wildlife Protection Policy Enforcer


Biodiversity and Conservation Employers

UAlbany biodiversity, conservation, and policy alumni go on to work in conservation science, land and water management, wildlife protection, and policy analysis for a wide range of employers such as:

  • State conservation and resource management agencies
  • Branches of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • United Nations environmental programs
  • Environmental policy research groups
  • Nonprofit wildlife preservation organizations

Some master's  graduates also go on to complete doctoral programs in related fields.

International Students

This degree is designated as a STEM program. Upon graduation, international students with an F-1 visa are allowed to apply for a 2-year extension to the automatic 1-year post-graduate Occupational Practical Training (OPT) period.

Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: November 1
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE score
  • Statement of goals

The GRE will be waived as a requirement for admission to the Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy master's program for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 applicants.