Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy Master of Science Degree

A minimum of 30 graduate credits is required for the master's degree, at least 18 of which must be in Geography and Planning. Admitted students may concentrate on the biological aspects of conservation, while others may emphasize policy, planning, or other social sciences.

Program of Study (30 credits minimum)

  1. Geography and Planning (10 credits, required courses):
    • Bio 530A/Gog 536 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology-Theoretical Issues (4);
    • Bio 530B/Pad 665/Pln 539 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology-Policy Issues (4);
    • Bio 630/Gog 630 Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation & Planning (1; this course is taken twice).
  2. Policy and Planning Skills (6-8 credits, minimum):
    • Two graduate courses in Geography/Planning (such as Gog 534, Gog/Pln/Bio 634, Pln/Bio 621), or in Public Administration/Political Science (Rockefeller College)
  3. Tool-Based Course (emphasizes quantitative analytical methods; 3 credits minimum):
    • Gog 502/Pln 504 Statistical Methods (3)
    • Gog 518/Bio 518/Inf 508 Ecological Modeling (3)
    • Gog 524 Landscape Ecology (3)
    • Gog 584/Pln 551 Remote Sensing I (3)
    • Gog 596/Pln 556 Geographic Information Systems (3)
    • Pos 618 Qualitative Methods (3)
  4. Support Courses:
    • As advised; at least one must be in Geography and Planning, and a graduate-level statistics course is recommended (5-9).
  5. Thesis:
    • Gog 699 or Pln 699 Research in Geography or Planning, or jointly with other departments (e.g., Public Administration) (4-6 credits)
  6. Satisfactory completion of the core and final examinations in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy
  7. Admissions for M.S. Degree in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy

    Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited University or College with a minimum 3.0 GPA. For students pursuing emphasis in biology, suggested background course work includes genetics, evolution, and ecology, plus at least two courses in physical sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Earth or Atmospheric Sciences). The Graduate Admissions Committee may recommend that deficiencies be filled from undergraduate courses (without graduate credit), after acceptance. Students applying for admission to the M.S. in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy are required to submit a University at Albany standard application, 3 letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and scores from the Graduate Record Exam General Test.

    Core and Final Examinations in Biodiversity, Conservation and Policy

    Core examination in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy will follow the same guidelines as those listed under the program leading to a Master of Science Degree. The final examination will be an oral public defense of the thesis. There are three options for completing the thesis: 1) internship leading to a research project; 2) problem solving with previously collected data; and 3) original field and laboratory research.