Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate

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The Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificates prepare you to learn effective solutions to complex fisheries or wildlife management challenges at both local and international levels. You'll gain the knowledge needed to handle many different issues in the management of fisheries or wildlife resources.

These are flexible programs, with a large number of courses that can be tailored to fit your interests. Courses can be completed online through Ecampus, at the Corvallis Campus, or both.  A program of fisheries science courses is also offered at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon.

Learner Outcomes for Graduate Certificate Students: Demonstrate proficiency (course grade of C or better) in graduate-level coursework in fisheries or wildlife ecology and human dimensions of resource management. Integrate biological and social science in a capstone research paper or outreach product designed for a specific audience: science, management agency, or general public. Synthesize scientific information from a variety of sources and demonstrate research skills through a project proposal, outline, and revision process, as well as correct citation and documentation of sources in the capstone project. Improve their breadth of fisheries knowledge and understanding of critical management issues, preparing them for advancement in the field.

Curriculum

Fisheries Management Graduate Certificate:

Students are required to take a minimum of two courses (6 credits) from our Human Dimensions area and two courses (6 credits) from the Fisheries Science and Ecology area, plus a Capstone Project (3 credits). You need at least 18 credits of approved coursework to earn the certificate.

Capstone Projects are synthesis papers or outreach products that are developed with a mentor from campus, a natural resource agency, or the student’s place of employment. 

Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate:

Students are required to take a minimum of two courses (6 credits) from our Human Dimensions area and two courses (6 credits) from the Wildlife Sciences Core, one course from the Skills Courses area, plus a Capstone Project (3 credits). You need at least 18 credits of approved coursework to earn the certificate.

Capstone Projects are synthesis papers or outreach products that are developed with a mentor from campus, a natural resource agency, or the student’s place of employment. 

Marine Research at Hatfield Marine Science Center

Students can choose to spend one or more terms at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, an extended campus facility located in Newport.  Whether you only have time during summer term or can make an extended stay, you can complete a number of credits toward your Fisheries Management Certificate in the research-oriented courses offered at HMSC.

View the complete list of HMSC schedule of classes or see what courses are being offered this fall at HMSC (.pdf).

Capstone Projects

Capstone Projects are synthesis papers or outreach products that you develop with a mentor from campus, a natural resource agency, or your current job.

The purpose of your capstone project is to contribute to the field of fisheries or wildlife management with a product that reflects the principles and applications you have learned in your classes.

The format of your final project is the choice of student and mentor. Final projects can be in any communication format – a written report or “white paper”, a documentary, an outreach product, or even a podcast.  Podcasts or video productions require a written script.

Supervision

You should identify a “Project Mentor”. Your employer or supervisor can serve as your mentor, or you can seek a mentor from OSU's faculty. The role of the mentor is to provide input on finalizing the project proposal and outline, help develop a timeline for completion, provide feedback on a draft, and provide an evaluation of your final product for review by the Program Director. It is anticipated that the time commitment of a mentor is approximately 10-15 hours in total, and a small stipend is available to compensate for their time.

As part of your Program of Study, please notify the Graduate Program Coordinator when you decide which term you will enroll in the Capstone Project course.  This will allow us to plan for adequate oversight of your project and notify us to grant you the required department approval to register for FW 506.

Guidelines

Capstone Project Guidelines (.pdf)

Forms

Capstone Project Mentor Request Template
Capstone Project Guide for Mentors
Capstone Project Mentor Evaluation of Student

Sample Projects

Vector Corruption - Make Them Live Hard and Die Young
Marine Protected Areas in the 21st Century - breakthrough or static?
Fisheries Kiosk - an educational fisheries kiosk
Get on Board - an educational outreach video 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there financial aid for the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificates program?

Yes, federal financial aid is available if you are enrolled at least half time. For graduate students, full time enrollment is 9 credits, and half time is 5 credits.  Federal aid is generally available as student loans.  OSU does offer a limited number of need-based scholarships for Ecampus students.  However, these scholarships are awarded solely on the basis of FAFSA scores – there is no application process to apply for scholarships for Ecampus programs at this time. 

What will be my tuition rate? What if I take a mixture of Ecampus and Corvallis Campus courses?

Ecampus (same price for Oregon residents, out-of-state residents, and international residents)
Corvallis Campus
Summer Session (all tuition is in-state)

See the Tuition Comparison Chart to compare Ecampus and Corvallis Campus rates. Students taking a mixture of courses pay separate tuition and fees for each campus and those are added together. This can end up being quite expensive so students should talk to an advisor if they are unsure what to do.  

I have been out of school for a while, who should I request references from?

References can be obtained from many sources, including current and former work supervisors, project leaders of internships and volunteer experiences you may have participated in, colleagues with a knowledge of your writing and academic ability, as well as ‘formal’ academic references. Letters from family members and close personal friends are not considered acceptable professional references.

Can I use the credits I earn for the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate toward a Master’s degree?

Yes, as long as your courses are a part of the curriculum for the Master’s program you’re interested in pursuing. OSU offers two online Master’s degree programs that incorporate any the courses in the Fisheries or Wildlife Certificate curriculum to satisfy a portion of their Master’s program requirements: the Professional Science Master’s in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration (PSMFWA) and the Master’s of Natural Resources (MNR).  Fisheries or Wildlife Certificate courses are full graduate-level courses and may also be used for other graduate degree programs at OSU and other institutions.

Can I transfer credits that I have taken for another program or as a non-degree student to the Graduate Certificate?

Up to 6 credits of approved coursework can be transferred.

Will I have a faculty advisor?

Because the Graduate Certificate is not a formal degree, you will not have a faculty advisor. For academic program advice, you can contact the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Graduate Program Coordinator. Capstone projects are guided by a mentor that you identify from a local agency, college, or other organization, and are overseen by the Certificate Program Director.  If you are not able to find a local mentor, our program advisors will help identify an agency or University-affiliated scientist to provide you with feedback for your project. 

What should I do if I don’t have the prerequisites I need for some of the courses in the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate program?

For graduate level courses, OSU does not enforce prerequisites.  This means that you will be allowed to register for a course with prerequisites without a check of your previous coursework.  However, you should use the listed prerequisites to determine whether you have the necessary background to succeed in the course.

If you feel that you need a prerequisite course to prepare you for the graduate level class, you may enroll in the preparatory course as a part of your Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate program of study.  You will not be able to count the preparatory course toward your 18 credit Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate requirements, but you may count it toward your minimum enrollment requirements for financial aid.  For example, if you take one graduate level course and one “background” undergraduate course in a term, you will qualify as a half time student for financial aid purposes, even though only one of the courses is a part of the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate curriculum.

Are there specific class times for the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate Ecampus courses?

The online courses offered for the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate are taught through OSU’s Blackboard system.  Most courses are based on readings and assignments posted on Blackboard, and student deliverables are due within a given timeframe. There is usually a discussion board where students engage on course topics, and these discussions are often a part of the course grading.  Some instructors offer real-time or recorded lectures or other multimedia components, but these are structured so that students who are not able to attend in real time are not disadvantaged.

In the future, OSU may offer “hybrid” courses that combine some onsite course components with online coursework.  Both OSU’s Corvallis campus and Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon are involved in efforts to expand hands-on opportunities for our Ecampus students. Courses with an on-site component will be clearly indicated in the course catalog.

How many courses am I allowed to take each term?

Graduate students may take up to 16 credits each term.

What is the minimum number of courses each term?

To meet the University’s minimum enrollment requirement, you must take at least 3 credits each term (except summer term).  If you find that you need to take a term off, please notify the Graduate Program Coordinator at least two weeks prior to the start of the term for which you are intending to take leave. You must complete your Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate program of study within 7 years of enrolling.  

Is there flexibility in what courses I take for the Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate?

We have chosen courses for the Graduate Certificate that meet our desired learner outcomes, and have provided a list of several course options for each component of the Graduate Certificate. However, new courses are added to OSU’s curriculum every year, and there may be a course that meets our requirements for the Graduate Certificate but is not on the list. Such a course may not be eligible for financial aid. You should check with the Program Director before taking an unlisted course to petition for inclusion in your Fisheries or Wildlife Management Graduate Certificate Program.

Where can I find out which courses are offered each term?

The Fisheries or Wildlife Graduate Certificate Course Matrix shows the terms each course in the curriculum are offered over the next academic year.  Specific information on each course can be found in the OSU course catalog (enter the course number you’re looking for in the QuickJump box).  Additional online course information and syllabi are available through the Ecampus website.

What does the notation, “Does not meet Graduate School's stand-alone requirement” on a course listing mean?

The notation that a course “does not meet the Graduate School’s standalone requirement” is only relevant for Master’s and PhD students.  It means that the course it taught as a “slash” course, with both undergraduate (400-level) and graduate (500-level) students in the same class.  The Graduate School limits Master’s and PhD students to no more than 50% “slash” courses in their program of study.  This rule does not currently apply to Certificate students.

Is a project or thesis required for the Fisheries or Wildlife Graduate Certificate?

Yes, a Capstone Project (FW 506, 3 credits) is required. This is a research paper or outreach product that you will work on independently, with assistance from a local mentor. For more details and samples of student projects, see our capstone project accordion.

When should I enroll in the FW 506 Capstone Project course?

Most students enroll in FW 506 Capstone Project at the end of their Fisheries or Wildlife Certificate program of study.  However, you may take FW 506 at any point in your Certificate coursework.  Options for completing your project include producing your entire project in one term or engaging in data collection and research while enrolling in other courses in your program of study and later enrolling in FW 506 while completing your final report.

What should I do before signing up for FW 506 Capstone Project?

Before enrolling in FW 506, you should submit a summary of your project proposal and the name of your proposed mentor to the Graduate Program Coordinator.  This will allow us to provide input on your proposal.  It will also notify us to grant you the course registration approval required to register for FW 506. 

What if I don’t finish my project by the end of my FW 506 course?

If you enroll in FW 506 and then find that you cannot complete your project in a single term, you can take a grade of Incomplete and finish your project the next term. Please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for more details.  You will also need to submit a Request for Incomplete form at least two weeks prior to the end of the term and have it approved by the course supervisor.

For answers you didn’t find here, please contact Lisa Pierson, Graduate Program Coordinator, at fw.gradadvising@oregonstate.edu.

Learn More

View a webinar about the online Fisheries Management Graduate Certificate through Ecampus:

Contact Us

For questions about either program, contact Lisa Pierson, Graduate Program Coordinator. Or, learn more about How To Apply to the Fisheries Management Graduate Program.