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 biology. Students entering the program with a degree in biology may pursue the policy and planning areas more heavily, while other majors may pursue biology more heavily.

  1. Biology (11 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 515a Responsible Conduct and Skill in Research (1) or 515b Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication (1); Bio 630/Gog 630 Topics in Biodiversity, Conservation & Planning (2).
  2. Policy and Planning Skills (6-8 credits, minimum)
    Pad 522 Politics and Policy (4) or Pad 526 Field Seminar in Public Policy (4); or Pad 666 Environmental Politics and Policy (4); and one of the following tool-based courses: Gog 584 Graduate Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment (3), or Gog 596/Pln 556 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3).
  3. Support courses as advised; at least one must be in biology, and a graduate-level statistics course is recommended (5-9).
  4. Thesis: Bio 699 Research in biology or jointly with other departments (e.g., Policy) (4-6 credits).
  5. Satisfactory completion of the core and final examinations in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy

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.