Degree Requirements

There are two concentrations to select from within the M.S. in Ecology and Sustainability:

  1. Ecological Conservation: This degree program focuses on the importance of ecology and conservation with respect to ecosystem health, and is appropriate for students who wish to pursue careers working with governmental agencies and private entities to maintain and restore biodiversity and ecosystem health.
  2. Ecological Economics: This degree program explores the economic and social dimensions of issues in sustainability and environmental management. It is intended for students who desire to work at the interface of economics and ecology in government, industry, and NGOs.

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete 36 units for the concentration in Ecological Conservation or 37 graduate units for the concentration in Ecological Economics
  2. Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0
  3. Complete and defend a thesis

Required Core Courses (17 units)

  • BIOL 5010: Advanced Writing in Environmental Science (4 units)
  • BIOL 5030: Ecosystem Services and Ecology (3 units)
  • BIOL 5500: Research Design for Ecologists (4 units)
  • BIOL 5961: Graduate Seminar in Ecology and Sustainability (1 unit, taken 3x)
  • PADM 5310: Environmental Planning, Policy, and Law (3 units)

Required Courses for the Ecological Conservation Concentration (minimum of 19 units)

  • BIOL 5170: Restoration Ecology (4 units)
  • One Tools Course, selected from the following (or as approved by the student's committee) (2-4 units):
    • GEOG 4750: Geographical Information Systems (3 units)
    • BIOL4310: Histological and Cytological Techniques (4 units)
    • BIOL 4850: DNA Technology in Forensic Science (2 units)
    • BIOL 4870: Recombinant DNA (2 units)
    • BIOL 5980: Individual Study (2-4 units)
  • On Elective Course, selected from the following (or as approved by the student's committee) (3-4 units):
    • BIOL 4200: Ecological Agriculture (3 units)
    • BIOL 4600: Plant Ecology (4 units)
    • BIOL 4630: Marine Ecology (4 units)
    • BIOL 4650: Freshwater Ecology (4 units)
    • BIOL 4700: Ecology and Invasive Species (3 units)
    • ECOM 4640: Economics and Agriculture (3 units)
    • appropriate courses taught at Moss Landing Marine Lab
  • One of the following (2-4 units):
    • BIOL 5940: Internship in Biology (2-4 units)
    • BIOL 5941: Directed Field research (2-4 units)
  • BIOL 5990 Thesis* (6 units) (if possible, should be taken as 3 units/3 units over two semesters)

Required Courses for the Ecological Economics Concentration (minimum of 20 units)

  • ECON 4200 Intermediate Theory (Microeconomics) (3 units)
  • ECON 4560 Natural Resources and Environmental Economics (4 units)
  • ECON 5570 Ecological Economics (4 units)
  • One of the following (3-4 units):
    • BIOL 5940: Economics Internship (3-4 units)
    • BIOL 5940: Internship in Biology (3-4 units)
  • ECON 5990: Thesis* (3 units)
  • BIOL 5990: Thesis* (3 units)

*Before enrolling for thesis units, the student must have a thesis proposal approved by their committee.

**Students who have completed their coursework, including thesis units, but are working on their thesis, are encouraged to maintain continuous enrollment by signing up for BIOL 7005: Continuing Thesis.