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Academic Majors


Natural Resources Management

With increasing human pressure and a growing need to balance competing demands, we need new and better ways to manage society’s impacts on the environment. The natural resources management (NRM) program prepares students for careers requiring an understanding of the social, economic, biological, and physical aspects of solving problems associated with the management of natural resources for their highest and best uses for society while maintaining the integrity of life-sustaining ecological systems.

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The Program

The NRM program is part of the School of Natural Resource Sciences at North Dakota State University. We are a management-oriented, interdisciplinary program that integrates the social, economic, physical, and biological aspects of natural resources. The program draws upon the courses and resources across the various colleges at the University. An undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science, a graduate program leading to a Master of Science, a doctoral program leading to a Doctor of Philosophy, as well as a professional degree program, called a Master of Natural Resources Management are available.

Through the NRM program, students acquire a broad background in natural resources, as well as in-depth study in one or two emphasis areas of interest. The program exposes students to many disciplines—exactly the interdisciplinary approach society must take if it is to find solutions to complex environmental problems. The undergraduate program curriculum is divided into 90 core credits required of all students, and 38 emphasis credits selected by the individual student from seven areas of interest.

NRM Core -- This group of courses provides each student a broad foundation in the social, biological and physical/earth sciences. The NRM core also satisfies NDSU’s General Education requirements and includes 40 credits along with 40 core credits, 38 emphasis credits, and 10 credits of free electives.

NRM Emphasis -- During the third and fourth years of the program, students focus on a specific area of interest—an emphasis. The majority of courses are selected from a diverse group of approved electives. NRM offers seven emphasis 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 natural resources and agroecosystems

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 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

Sustainability and Resiliency -- focuses on how to build capacity to deal with change; prepares students through system, strategic, and anticipatory thinking

The Faculty

The NRM main faculty are part of the School of Natural Resource Sciences and are dedicated to the NRM program.  NRM is an inter-college/interdisciplinary program actively engaging faculty from across the University in the coordination of the program classroom teaching and advising.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Summer job opportunities in natural resources management fields are plentiful. Internship programs leading to full-time employment with several federal agencies are available. Natural resources management offers three scholarships each year ranging from $250 to $500 each. Additional scholarships are available through the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources. Student loan, grant and work-study information is available from the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and One Stop.

Career Opportunities

Policy makers, elected officials at all levels of government, business leaders, farmers and ranchers are facing ever more complex, multidisciplinary and international problems dealing with natural resources and the environment. NRM graduates are prepared with the skills and knowledge for examining these problems from a holistic ecological perspective and a global social perspective. Federal government employment opportunities include U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Reclamation, Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service, Agency for International Development, Peace Corps and more. State government opportunities include departments of natural resources, water management agencies, parks and recreation agencies, agriculture departments, health departments, Public Service Commission, Cooperative Extension Service, state Agricultural Experiment Stations and university and secondary school education. Many positions also are available with local government units. Private sector employment opportunities include mining and forest product companies, consulting firms, water organizations and non-profit conservation and environmental organizations.

Sample Curriculum



General Education Requirements





COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking


ENGL 110 - College Composition I


ENGL 120 - College Composition II


Upper Division Writing


Quantitative Reasoning


STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics


Science & Technology


CHEM 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab


GEOL 105 - Physical Geology


NRM 225 - Natural Resources and Agrosystems


Humanities & Fine Arts


Social & Behavioral Sciences


ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics


ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology or
EMGT 101 - Emergencies, Disasters and Catastrophes or
POLS 110 - Introduction to Political Science or
SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology




Cultural Diversity


Global Perspective


GEOL 105 - Physical Geology




Major Requirements



BIOL 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab


BIOL 151, 151L - General Biology II and Lab


BIOL 364 - General Ecology


ECON 481 - Natural Resource Economics


HIST 434 - Environmental History


NRM 150 - Natural Resource Management Orientation


NRM/SOIL 264 - Natural Resource Management Systems


NRM 431 - National Environmental Policy Act and
Environmental Impact Assessment


POLS 115 - American Government or
POLS 215 - Problems and Policies in American Government


RNG 452 - Geographic Information Systems in Range Survey or
GEOG 455 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems


Social Science Elective


Emphasis Electives






Minimum Degree Credits to Graduate

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Transferring Credits
View NDSU equivalencies of transfer courses at:

Morrill Hall
Room 205B

Morrill Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Dr. Edward (Shawn) DeKeyser
Natural Resources Management Program
North Dakota State University
Morrill Hall 205B
Dept #7510, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8180 / Fax: (701) 231-7590

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 10:31:50 AM
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