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Academic Majors


Range Science

Rangelands are ecosystems where agriculture and conservation meet. Rangelands cover more than half of the Earth’s land area, and include prairie, grassland, savanna, shrubland and chaparral, alpine meadows, wetlands and deserts. Rangelands are dynamic ecosystems, teeming with biodiversity and driven by patterns of
climate, soil, and water, and have been used by humans for thousands of years. As range scientists, we seek to understand rangeland ecosystem patterns and processes to ensure sustainable management.

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An Ecosystem perspective

North Dakota is fortunate to have large areas of rangeland, and grazing agriculture remains a vital part of the state’s economy and way of life. At North Dakota State University, we look at the entire rangeland ecosystem–from plant diversity, to wildlife, to soils and water–and study how humans can best manage these natural resources for both sustainable production and conservation. We prepare students to study and manage rangelands not only in North Dakota, but across the country and around the world.

The Curriculum

Range science provides students with knowledge and experience to assess, monitor and manage rangeland resources. Using an ecosystem perspective, students study the inter-relationships between a variety of plant, soil, animal and social sciences. The undergraduate program is designed to train students in rangeland plant ecology and management; disturbance ecology and management, including grazing and fire; range improvement and restoration, management and monitoring; and watershed management. Students are required to have basic knowledge in biology, botany, chemistry, mathematics and zoology. Courses in related fields such as animal science, soil science, entomology, geology, geographic information systems and natural resource management are included.

High School Preparation

High school preparation should include course work in biology, chemistry, math and English.

Career Opportunities

Range science graduates find rewarding, lifelong careers with federal, state and provincial government agencies; private industry and consulting firms; college and university research, teaching and extension positions; and non-profit conservation organizations. The increasing need for research in natural resource sciences has led many graduates to seek further education in graduate programs. Specifically, graduates of our program find jobs as ranch managers, rangeland livestock managers, restoration ecologists, invasive plant specialists, mined-land reclamation specialists, wildlife habitat managers, watershed managers, wetland management specialists and many more in various agencies and private firms. Range science graduates are in high demand and qualify for a wide variety of careers in conservation and natural resources management. Examples of employment opportunities include:

Federal Agencies

  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Agricultural Research Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Park Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

State Agencies

  • Natural resource departments
  • Game and fish departments
  • State land departments
  • Experiment stations
  • Extension Service

Private Industry

  • Ranch management
  • Environmental consulting
  • Agricultural sales and service
  • Agricultural advisors
  • Mined-land reclamation specialists

Foreign Assignments

  • Peace Corps
  • U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
  • U.S. Agency for International Development

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Range science majors are eligible to apply for many program scholarships as well as College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources scholarships each year. Scholarships are announced in spring semester and awarded fall semester. In addition, part-time work and work-study are available through the program and the School of Natural Resource Sciences.

Sample Curriculum

General Education Requirements
    First Year Experience
1     AGRI 189 - Skills for Academic Success
3     COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking
3, 3     ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II
3     English Upper Level Writing Course
    Quantitative Reasoning
3     STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics
    Science & Technology
3, 1     CHEM 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab
3     PLSC 110 - World Food Crops
3     PLSC 315 - Genetics
6   Humanities & Fine Arts
    Social & Behavioral Sciences
3     ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics
3     Social and Behavioral Sciences Elective
2   Wellness
-   Cultural Diversity
    Global Perspective
3     ECON 201 - Principles of Microeconomics
40   Total
Credits   Major Requirements
1   AGRI 150 - Agriculture Orientation
3   ANSC 114 - Introduction to Animal Sciences
3   ANSC 123 - Feeds and Feeding or
      ANSC 220 - Livestock Production
4   BIOL 150, 150L - General Biology I and Lab
4   BIOL 151, 151L - General Biology II and Lab
3   BOT 380 - Plant Physiology
3   CHEM 122 - General Chemistry II
1   CHEM 140 - Organic Chemical Concepts and 
4   CHEM 260 - Elements of Biochemistry
3   MATH 103 - College Algebra
2 or 3   PLSC 219 - Introductory to Prairie and Community 
     Forestry or
      PLSC 320 - Principles of Forage Production or
         PLSC 323 - Principles of Weed Science
3   RNG 336 - Introduction to Range Management
3   RNG 450 - Range Plants
3   RNG 452 - Geographic Information Systems in 
      Range Survey
3   RNG 453 - Rangeland Resources Watershed 
     Management or
      RNG 454 - Wetland Resource Management
3   RNG 456 - Range Habitat Management
3   RNG 458 - Grazing Ecology
3   RNG 460 - Plant Ecology
3   RNG 462 - Natural Resources and Rangeland Planning
1   RNG 491 - Seminar
3   SOIL 210 - Introduction to Soil Science
3   SOIL 217 - Introduction to Meteorology and 
3   SOIL 351 - Soil Ecology or 
       SOIL 410 - Soils and Land Use
3   SOIL 444 - Soil Genesis and Survey
3   ZOO 475 - Conservation Biology or 
      ZOO 476 - Wildlife Ecology and Management
17   Electives
88-89   Total

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.

Morrill Hall
Room 201

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

Contact Information

Range Sciences
School of Natural Resource Sciences
North Dakota State University
Morrill Hall 201
Dept #2280, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58105-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7581 / Fax: (701) 231-8557

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: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 2:14:12 PM
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