2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    May 26, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (M.S.) - Wildlife Sciences Specialization

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 M.S. degree program in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences is intended to educate students for management-level positions with state and federal agencies, private companies, and for the pursuit of higher academic degrees. By using specifically identified coursework and mentoring, we strive to assist students in developing their intellectual capabilities in working with natural resources and people. In addition, each student must propose and conduct an original scientific investigation. Placement rates for M.S. graduates into positions as fisheries biologists, wildlife biologists, and other natural resource positions with state and federal agencies is extremely high.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  • Be knowledgeable regarding biological systems at a level appropriate to a M.S. 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

Master of Science Option A - Thesis 30 Credit Hours

Core Requirements

Total Required Credits: 30 (Option A)

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 should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .