Non-thesis Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology:
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.
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. 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.
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.
* The Graduate School requires that at least 18 credit hours of the coursework be in courses designated for the major.
Last Modified: Monday, September 26, 2016 10:33