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Graduate School


Natural Resource Management

Program Director

Dr. Shawn DeKeyser

Program Location

School of Natural Resource Sciences, Morrill Hall-307

Telephone Number

 (701) 231-8180

Degrees Offered

Ph.D., MNRM, M.S.

Application Deadline

International applications are due May 1 for fall semester and August 1 for spring and summer semesters. Domestic applicants should apply at least one month prior to the start of classes.

English Proficiency Requirements

TOEFL ibT 71



Program Description

Natural Resources Management (NRM) in the School of Natural Resource Sciences prepares students for the environmental challenges of the 21st century. The Masters of Natural Resources Management (MNRM), Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) NRM degrees are interdisciplinary curricula offering a broad, systems-based approach toward managing natural resources. NRM graduates are prepared to compete for and be productive in jobs where issues reach beyond a single discipline or subject area. They have the skills necessary to address problems from holistic-ecological and global-social perspectives.

Through the NRM graduate program, students gain a breadth of knowledge in relevant planning, analysis and management areas while developing thorough knowledge in one of the six following specialty areas: 

Biotic Resources Science deals with basic scientific principles that govern the interrelationship between biotic (e.g., plants, animals) and abiotic factors (e.g., climate, soils) in major ecosystems and the use of these principles for environmentally sound management of both natural and agro-ecosystems. 

Environmental Communication is designed for environmentally oriented students preparing for careers in communications fields such as journalism, public relations, broadcast media and the internet. 

Natural Resources Economics prepares students for management, administrative, regulatory, and policy positions that require a broad understanding of natural resources management and allocation. 

Physical/Earth Resources Science leads to an understanding of the physical and chemical aspects of ecosystems. Topics of study include hydrology, water management and quality, waste management, soil properties, energy resources and land-use management. 

Pollution Control focuses on the principles and practices of managing natural resources for pollution control. Topics include the technical aspects of pollution as they relate to water, air/solids, earth/soils, and the impact of environmental pollution on the biotic factors. 

Social Sciences concentrates on human factors (social, anthropological, political) in environmental management and environmental disaster management, while recognizing constraints and opportunities presented by physical and biological factors. 

Within each NRM specialty area are one or more curriculums of study developed in cooperation with the following NDSU academic programs and departments. Students select a curriculum and an adviser from one of these participating units: 

  • Agribusiness and Applied Economics
  • Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
  • Biological Sciences (Botany and Zoology)
  • Civil Engineering
  • Communications
  • Entomology
  • Plant Sciences
  • Range Sciences
  • Earth and Climate Science
  • Geosciences
  • Soil Science
  • Sociology/Anthropology/Emergency Management
  • Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences

The educational objective of the NRM graduate program is to provide formal education in a chosen specialty area, introductions to other subject areas, appropriate course work in analytical methods, and research and writing experiences in the general area of environmental management. Problem recognition, definition, analysis and resolution are the ultimate learning objectives.

Admission Requirements

The graduate program in Natural Resources Management is open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, applicants may be recommended or required to take the GRE general exam. Consult with the NRM Program Director. 

Financial Assistance

Both research and teaching assistantships may be available through the participating academic units. Application for financial aid must be made directly to a department. Applicants are considered on the basis of scholarship and potential to undertake advanced study and research. Limited scholarships are available. Contact the NDSU Student Financial Services office for information and applications. 

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the M.S. degree, the candidate must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 30 semester units in their selected curriculum, an oral examination and a thesis or comprehensive study paper.

To qualify for the Ph.D. degree, the candidate must satisfactorily complete a course of study of not less than 90 semester units (including 30 semester units from the M.S. degree or equivalent), both a written and an oral preliminary examination, a research-based dissertation, and an oral defense of the dissertation. In addition, the candidate presents a final public seminar based on the dissertation research.

For more specific information, please refer to the Natural Resources Management Graduate Student Guidelines available on the NRM Web site at

NRM program courses are offered by NRM and the other participating academic units. These include: 

Agribusiness and Applied Economics 670, 701, 711, 739, 741

Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering 664, 682, 758, 765

Agricultural Systems Management 654, 675

Anthropology 658, 662, 680

Biology 680, 750, 776, 777

Botany 660, 671, 672, 720, 762, 764, 782

Civil Engineering 610, 621, 672, 673, 677, 678, 679, 768, 770, 775, 776

Computer Science 653, 658, 668, 728, 734, 737, 765

Economics 656, 661, 670, 672, 681, 741, 743

Entomology 610, 731, 732, 742, 750, 765, 770

Communications 636, 642, 643, 700, 711, 725, 755, 767, 785, 786

Geosciences 612, 613, 614, 628, 640, 650

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering 640, 660

Microbiological Sciences 652, 654, 660, 661, 665, 674, 675, 750, 762, 770, 775, 785

Philosophy 681

Plant Pathology 655, 656

Plant Sciences 653, 665, 686, 724, 734, 753, 763

Political Science 620, 621, 642

Range Science 650, 652, 653, 656, 658, 660, 716, 717, 765

Sociology 603, 605, 610, 612, 613, 620, 622, 631, 639, 643, 645, 665, 700, 701, 723

Soil Science 610, 633, 644, 647, 665, 680, 721, 733, 755, 763, 782, 784

Statistics/Mathematics 660, 661, 662, 663, 725

Zoology 640, 652, 654, 656, 658, 660, 662, 670, 672, 674, 675, 676, 677, 682, 750, 760, 770

Click here for course descriptions.


Allan C. Ashworth, Ph.D.
Professor of Geosciences
University of Birmingham, 1969 

William J. Bleier, Ph.D.
Professor of Zoology
Texas Tech University, 1975 

Francis Casey, Ph.D.
Professor of Soil Science
Iowa State University, 2000 

Gary K. Clambey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Botany/Biology
Iowa State University, 1975 

Gary A. Goreham, Ph.D.
Professor of Sociology,
South Dakota State University, 1985 

Robert Hearne, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics,
University of Minnesota, 1995 

Mark Andrew Meister, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
University of Nebraska, 1997 

Jack Norland, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Management
North Dakota State University, 2008 

G. Padmanabhan, Ph.D.
Professor of Civil Engineering
Purdue University, 1980 

David A. Rider, Ph.D.
Professor of Entomology
Louisiana State University, 1988 

Dean D. Steele, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
University of Minnesota, 1991 

Joseph D. Zeleznik, Ph.D.
Extension Forester
Michigan State University, 2001

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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NDSU Graduate School
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7033
Campus address:  106 Putnam Hall
Physical/delivery address:  NDSU Graduate School/106 Putnam Hall/1349 12th Avenue Northwest/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  NDSU Dept. 2820/PO Box 6050/Fargo, ND 58108
Page manager: NDSU Graduate School

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:14:48 PM