Jul 23, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Conservation Biology, M.S.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: Integrative Biology


This thesis-based degree provides graduate training in conservation, biodiversity, ecology, organismal biology and taxonomy . Graduates of this program find careers in research and management of biodiversity, including natural resource agencies at the local, state and federal level, not-for profit conservation groups, environmental consultancy firms, and zoos, aquariums and botanical  gardens.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  •  a B.S. in Biological Sciences*  or a related discipline from an accredited college or university
  •  a GRE (general test)
  •  Three (3) letters of recommendation addressing academic and research potential of the applicant,
  •  A statement of research interests, including potential thesis topic.

* Applicants that do not have an undergraduate Biology degree can still apply if they have completed at least fifteen (15) credit hours in upper-level undergraduate work in biology relevant to a graduate  degree in Conservation Biology (e.g. ecology, genetics, evolution, zoology, botany).

**Acceptance to the program also requires that a faculty member in the program has agreed to serve as a thesis mentor for the applicant.  Applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty members  about potential thesis research opportunities  and topics of interest  before completing their application.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours - 30 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements - 6 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 12 Credit Hours
  • Electives - 6 Credit Hours
  • Thesis - 6 Credit Hours

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Additional Required Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Electives (6 Credit Hours)

Comprehensive Examination

The thesis defense serves in lieu of the Comprehensive Exam.

Thesis (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements include completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level core and approved elective course work, a minimum 3.00 graduate GPA, and the successful oral defense and publication-ready manuscript ofthe student’s thesis research. Students must complete all course work and thesis defense within 5 years of admission to the program.

Graduates of the Conservation Biology M.S. program will be able to: Identify and discuss the key conservation issues in Florida and the southern U.S. in relationship to terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats,

1.    Discuss the factors that influence and support biodiversity,
2.    Describe the biology of plants and animals native to Florida, and identify appropriate methods to  study population  and community-level characteristics,
3.    Discuss, evaluate, and apply scientific principles to the conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats,
4.    Design appropriate monitoring or experimental approaches to study native and invasive species, and develop testable hypotheses,
5.    Collect data using established field methods, and analyze data using appropriate statistical methods and ecological and mathematical  modeling tools,
6.    Discuss, interpret, and evaluate scientific and policy literature relevant to biodiversity and conservation,
7.    Effectively communicate research results and significance to general and scientific audiences using written text and oral  presentations.