2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 09, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (Ph.D.)

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

Program Coordinator/Contact

Michele Dudash, Department Head and Professor
Department of Natural Resource Management
Edgar S. McFadden Biostress Laboratory 138, Box 2140B

Program Information

The Department of Natural Resource Management offers graduate programs in both Biological Science with a Specialization in Natural Resource Management and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences. Both degree programs award M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

The Ph.D. degree program in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences is intended to educate students for upper-level management, research and administrative positions with state and federal agencies, private companies, and academic institutions. Academic career opportunities also exist for Ph.D. graduates in all the Departmental disciplines, preparing students for the responsibilities of teaching, research, and service, required for faculty positions with universities and colleges. By building on the educational foundation that students obtain from B.S. and M.S. degree work, we endeavor to raise them to a higher intellectual plateau. While coursework is involved, this educational experience is primarily based on research and mentoring. This degree requires original thought and research contributions, synthesis and development of information, and contributions to the world and its natural resources.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  • Be knowledgeable regarding biological systems at a level appropriate to a Ph.D. degree holder.
  • Be able to effectively express themselves orally and in written form.
  • Understand the scientific method of solving problems.
  • Be computer and statistically capable.
  • Be specialized in some area of wildlife or fisheries, but still be broadly based in knowledge.
  • Be able to conduct scholarly research.
  • Understand the relationships between biological information and socioeconomic factors.
  • Demonstrate professional development, especially in regard to the need for continued learning after their degree program.
  • Develop a concern and feeling for the natural resources of the world. 

Accreditation, Licensure, and Certification


Certification is available through the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society.

Course Delivery Format

The Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences graduate program is primarily an on-campus program. However, field research may require extended time periods away from campus.

Facilities and Services

The department is housed within the McFadden Biostress Laboratory at SDSU. The Department houses the Oak Lake Field Station and also hosts the South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy 60 Credit Plan
  90 Credit Plan

Core Requirements

60 Credit Plan

90 Credit Plan

Additional Admission Requirements

GRE: Not Required
TOEFL: 71 Internet-based
TOEFL Essentials: 7.5
IELTS: 6.0
Duolingo: 100

Admission to all degree programs requires that a faculty member from the department agrees to serve as the major advisor.

General Requirements

Graduate students must consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements .