Natural Resources M.S. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Natural Resources and the Environment

Program Description

Graduate training emphasizes developing broad-based knowledge necessary to manage natural resources. 

The M.S. and Ph.D. programs are research oriented, and each requires a thesis or dissertation. Students are normally expected to obtain the M.S. or equivalent degree before entering the Ph.D. program.

The Field of Natural Resources provides freedom to design a graduate program that addresses the individual interests of students. Excellent laboratory and field facilities are available. Many graduate students in the field also pursue international research topics.

The graduate program in natural resources is highly individualized and interdisciplinary. Students work with faculty advisors to identify course requirements and to define a research or professional project. In order to be admitted, a faculty member must express interest in supervising a prospective student, therefore it is important to correspond with potential faculty advisors during the application process. 


Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-2809

111D Fernow Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • applied ecology
  • community-based natural resources management
  • conservation biology
  • ecosystem biology and biogeochemistry
  • fishery and aquatic science
  • forest science
  • human dimensions of natural resources management
  • policy and institutional analysis
  • program development and evaluation
  • quantitative ecology
  • risk analysis and management
  • wildlife science



Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Feb. 28; spring, Sept. 30

Fall semester

The Natural Resources graduate field has a rolling admissions policy and will accept applications through February 28th.  

In order to be considered for Cornell Graduate Fellowships and other University-sponsored fellowships Ph.D. applicants should apply by December 1st.  Most decisions regarding admission and associated Cornell Fellowships are made in December and January.

Requirements Summary:

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • three recommendations
  • curriculum vita (CV)
  • A faculty member must sponsor your application for review by the Admissions Committee. Therefore, it is important that you correspond with and obtain sponsorship from a faculty advisor during the application process.

Learning Outcomes

Candidates for an M.S. degree in Natural Resources demonstrate capacity for the mastery of knowledge in one of the field’s sub-disciplines and the developing ability to create new knowledge in a focal sub-discipline in an appropriate timeframe.
M.S. Degree Proficiencies:
  1. Make a substantive research contribution to one of the sub-disciplines represented by concentrations in the Field of Natural Resources.
  2. Demonstrate research skills
    • Master some observational, experimental and analytical methods required for executing research. 
    • Interpret and evaluate research findings. 
    • Demonstrate the ability to communicate research findings, through oral presentation and written publications.