The Range Science program offers graduate study leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Advanced work may involve specialized training in the following areas: range land ecology, ecosystem science, vascular plant systematics, and natural resources management.
Student research and academic programs are tailored to individual student needs and interests. Interdisciplinary approaches to range science programs are fostered.
The Range Science graduate program is open to all qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. To be admitted with full status to the program, the applicant must:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from an educational institution of recognized standing.
- Have adequate preparation in range science or in a complementary area of natural sciences, have a background or interest in agriculture, and show potential to undertake advanced study and research as evidenced by academic performance and experience.
- At the baccalaureate level, have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all courses of at least 3.0 or equivalent.
Preferably, applications should be submitted directly to The Graduate School by April 15 prior to the upcoming academic year. However, applications will be considered at any time they are submitted.
Official transcripts (transcripts having an appropriate seal or stamp) of all previous undergraduate and graduate records must be received by The Graduate School before the application is complete. When a transcript is submitted in advance of completion of undergraduate or graduate studies, an updated transcript showing all course credits and grades must be provided prior to initial registration at North Dakota State University.
Three letters of recommendation are required before action is taken on an application. Personal reference report forms are available from the Graduate School.
The TOEFL examination is required of international applicants, and a minimum score of 525 (paper test) or 193 (computer test) must be achieved.
Research assistantships are available. Applicants are considered on the basis of scholarship and potential to undertake advanced study and research. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, three letters of reference, and a TOEFL score for international applicants must be submitted to The Graduate School no later than April 15.
The range science program has two options for the M.S. degree: the thesis option and the comprehensive study option. The M.S. program requires completion of 30 semester credits of approved graduate and letter-graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better. The Ph.D. program requires the completion of 90 semester credits (or the equivalent) of graduate approved and letter graded course work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or better.
Each student must choose an adviser, usually based upon area of academic and research interest, within the first program year. By the end of the first year of residence, the student must have selected an advisory/supervisory committee and have an approved graduate plan of study, including a research proposal. The advisory/supervisory committee advises the student and administers the graduate exams to the student. Students are referred to the Range Science Graduate Student Handbook for information regarding additional requirements.
Candidates for the M.S. normally complete their degree requirements in two years. Candidates for the Ph.D. generally complete their degree requirements in three to four years.
The M.S. candidates are required to take an oral examination which covers both the research and academic subject matter covered in their program. Candidates for the Ph.D. are required to take a preliminary written and oral examination directed toward the academic subject matter of their chosen discipline and a final defense of a research based thesis.