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Non-thesis Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology:

For more information contact

To schedule an appointment with Karen, please email her with some days and times that you are available, and she will get back to you promptly.

Ms. Karen Bray

Telephone 3352-392-9230
Fax 352-392-9748

103 Black Hall, Box 116455
Gainesville, FL 32611-6455

Office Hours:
8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-F

MS Non Thesis Plan of Study Form

The non-thesis master's degree is limited to students who must forego the research experience because of unusual constraints. Normally these are students whose graduate study is financed by the military, an employer, an embassy, or an international development agency, with a strict time limit before resumption of active duty. The technical paper is an exhaustive term paper involving analysis and synthesis of existing knowledge. The non-thesis master's degree is not recommended for those desiring research credentials. The degree program can be completed in 18 months or, with an extreme course overload, 12 months. Although every degree will look different a non-thesis plan of study form has been included for your convenience.

Conceptual Framework:

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.

Supervisory Committee:

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. Although the Graduate School only requires one member for the Supervisory Committee, the School of Natural Resources and Environment requires that the Supervisory Committee comprise no fewer than two members of the Graduate Faculty of the university, one of whom must have a Graduate Faculty personnel appointment in SNRE. The majority of your committee cannot be from the same department. 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.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of your non-thesis master's project report 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 project, 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.
Skills Outcome: Competence in research methodologies for applying the scientific method to the generation of new knowledge.
Professional Behavior Outcome: Interacting with professional peers with honesty, ethical behavior, cultural sensitivity, teamwork, and effective communication.

Coursework Requirements

Coursework Requirements:*

Credits, M.S. in Interdisciplinary Ecology

Core ecology courses (2)


Research Design & Methods/Statistics (2)


Distribution requirements (3) and electives


Optional concentration, 5000-level, 3.0 GPA

(6 included above)

Technical paper


Seminar in Interdisciplinary Ecology

1 (register for credit one semester, attend without registering a second semester; attendance taken both semesters)



* The Graduate School requires that at least 18 credit hours of the coursework be in courses designated for the major.

Sample Schedule, Non-thesis M.S. degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology:

Year 1, Semester 1 - Fall

Principles of Ecology core requirement, 2 credits

Social Sciences distribution requirement, 3 credits

Sustainability Studies distribution requirement, 3 credits

Research Design & Methods/Statistics requirement 1, 3 credits

Seminar 1 in Interdisciplinary Ecology, requirement, 1 credit

[Students admitted in Spring: submit your Plan of Study form this semester; otherwise we will put a hold on your further registration]

Year 1, Semester 2 - Spring

Particular Systems core requirement, 3 credits

EVR 6320 Sustainable Natural Resource Management, meets the Natural Science distribution requirement, 3 credits

Research Design & Methods/Statistics requirement 2, 3-4 credits

Elective, 3 credits

Seminar 2 in Interdisciplinary Ecology, requirement, do not register for credit (attendance taken)

[Students admitted in Summer or Fall: submit your Plan of Study form this semester; otherwise we will put a hold on your further registration]

Year 1, Semester 3 - Summer

Internship, 3 credits

Year 2, Semester 1 - Fall

Elective, 3 credits

Elective, 3 credits

Technical Paper, 2 credits

Seminar in your advisor's department, 1 credit

Total Credit Hours: 38

Last Modified: Monday, October 16, 2017 11:32