Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology, with thesis:
This degree combines formal course work with the graduate student's first experience with original research. The research experience changes the student from a passive learner to an active participant in the advancement of knowledge. The master's thesis involves developing the research question, planning, gathering original data, analysis, and synthesis. During the process, students learn a great deal about their strongest intellectual interests, and they discover things at which they excel and abilities that need improvement. For students intending to continue to the doctoral degree, the master's experience provides an opportunity to explore and refine interests, develop research skills, and learn from mistakes in a preliminary phase. Many students change their focus of interest as a result of the master's experience. For these reasons, the School ordinarily requires doctorate-seeking students to complete the master's first, unless the student has already had a research experience equivalent to the master's thesis. Students ordinarily complete the master's degree in two years.
The Interdisciplinary Ecology graduate degree program considers the Social-Ecological System the proper conceptual framework for understanding the full scope of complex, adaptive systems comprising humans in the natural world.(See the curriculum webpage for a diagrammatic depiction.) The degree program challenges students to understand both natural and human dynamics to obtain a holistic view and to foster integration of human activities with natural resources and the environment. This is a remarkably difficult goal, but experience shows that the program works on two levels. First, students map their interests on the particular components and processes of the Social-Ecological System and select courses that provide formal training in important areas of connection. Second, the discipline of this program of study sets up a life-long habit of learning that enables alumni to continue to grow intellectually and adapt to changing needs encountered in their careers.
The ultimate responsibility for your degree program is yours, but the university empowers a Supervisory Committee of Interdisciplinary Ecology faculty to guide you and to decide whether you have met the program's requirements and achieved its learning outcomes. The Graduate School requires that the Supervisory Committee comprise no fewer than two members of the UF Graduate Faculty (including the committee chair). SNRE requires that no fewer than two must have affiliate faculty and Graduate Faculty appointments in SNRE). The majority of your committee cannot be from the same department. If you want to add a professional who is not a member of the UF Graduate Faculty, please provide the person's recent CV to the SNRE Academic Program Coordinator, who will handle the "Special Member" approval process with the Graduate School. Special members do not count toward the minimum committee number. Your committee must be appointed no later than your second semester in the program. See the Graduate Catalog for further details.
At the end of your master's thesis defense, your Supervisory Committee will assess your achievement of the School's learning outcomes as follows, based on your program of study, your defense of your thesis, and your professional behavior over the duration of your degree program:
Knowledge Outcome: Thorough understanding of the components, processes, and interactions of the social-ecological system.
* The Graduate School requires that at least 12 credit hours of the coursework be in courses designated for the major.
* Actual programs of study will differ, in part because so many parameters pertain (such as varying research schedules). For students on 12-month state personnel appointments, you must take exactly 9 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours during summer semester if on an assistantship, or 12 credit hours during fall and spring semesters and 8 credit hours during summer semester if on a fellowship (you may take more credits but must pay the additional tuition and fees). For students on 9-month state personnel appointments, you may choose to not register for summer semester; you will need to contact the Registrar's Office to be assigned a registration date for the next semester. If you will not be registered for two or more consecutive semesters, you must file an Interruption of Graduate Study form and then submit a Readmission Application form. A student not registered for seven or more years must reapply using the Admissions form.
Last Modified: Friday, September 6, 2013 9:51