photo by Jonny Armstrong

The Professional Science Master's in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration (PSMFWA) is offered to working professionals with at least five years of experience who want to accelerate their fisheries and wildlife-related careers. This program is offered both online through Ecampus and through Corvallis campus.

Learner Outcomes for PSMFWA Students: The PSMFWA degree is an integrated curriculum designed to provide advanced, professional training in four areas: (1) core knowledge in fish or wildlife biology, ecology, and management; (2) natural resources policy; (3) human dimensions of natural resources management; and (4) professional skills and abilities. In addition, each student will participate in an intensive internship experience engaging students in real world work situations involving technical problems, teamwork, communication skills, and decision‐making. For more details, please review the specific learning outcomes for the each of the major components of the PSMFWA degree.

Why Should I Get a PSM?

Fisheries and wildlife resource conservation is a challenging profession involving biological, ecological, management, policy, and social systems. Although many professionals obtain entry-level positions with B.S. degrees, mid- and upper-level positions typically require additional training in biology, quantitative methods, and business and communication skills. The PSM in Fisheries & Wildlife Administration prepares you to become a thoughtful, innovative leader in the science and management of fisheries and wildlife.

The PSMFWA degree is an integrated curriculum designed to provide advanced, professional training in four areas:

  1. Core knowledge in fish or wildlife biology, ecology, and management;
  2. Professional skills and abilities;
  3. Human dimensions of natural resources management;
  4. Natural resources policy. 

In addition, you will participate in an intensive internship experience engaging students in real-world work situations involving technical problems, teamwork, communication skills, and decision-making. 

Read more about the specific learner outcomes of the Professional Science Masters in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration.

PSMFWA Curriculum

The 45-credit PSMFWA curriculum is organized into four main sections:

  • Biophysical sciences core (20 credits)
  • Social sciences core (12 credits)
  • Business communication and management skills core (6 credits)
  • Internship (6 credits)

PSMFWA Curriculum

PSMFWA Requirements

Professional Internship Requirements

Current students should use the FW Course Offerings document to help plan their future term schedules. Courses offered during OSU's summer Natural Resources Leadership Academy are also accepted toward PSMFWA degree requirements. Other OSU courses related to your program of study may be accepted with approval of the Program Director - please contact the Graduate Program Coordinator to request a course substitution.

Current PSMFWA Students

A full-time course load for a graduate student ranges from 9 to 16 credits per term. A minimum of 9 credits per term is required of most international students to satisfy visa requirements. Half-time enrollment for Financial Aid eligibility is usually 5 credits minimum. A minimum enrollment of 3 credits per term is required under OSU's Continuous Enrollment Policy and to complete your final exam. This rule does not apply to summer term. If you plan to not enroll during any term (other than Summer term), you must file a Leave of Absence request no later than 15 working days prior to the start of the term, so there is time to obtain signatures and file with the Graduate School. Leave of Absence request must be filed for EVERY term in which you are not enrolled.  

Please note that you also must to be currently enrolled for a minimum of 3 credits in your last term, when you plan to defend and complete your degree. You will be expected to present results from your internship experience as a seminar open to all graduate students and department faculty (remote connection is fine), which will be followed by a closed defense examination with your committee.

Make sure that you share your final internship report with your major professor (first drafts) and graduate committee members (final draft) at least a few weeks in advance of your final examination to allow time for feedback and revisions. We also advise you to share a draft of your presentation with your advisor to ensure good preparation for the defense seminar. 

Graduating and looking for a Job? 

Students looking for a job can peruse our Job Board list, check our FW Job Board and sign up for our OSU FW job listserv that is distributed as a weekly digest to subscribers.

Learning Outcomes: 

The PSMFWA degree is an integrated curriculum designed to provide advanced, professional training in four areas: (1) core knowledge in fish or wildlife biology, ecology and management; (2) natural resources policy; (3) human dimensions of natural resources management; and (4) professional skills and abilities. In addition, each student will participate in an intensive internship experience engaging students in real world work situations involving technical problems, teamwork, communication skills, and decision‐making. Specific learning outcomes for the each of the major components of the PSMFWA degree are listed below.

Biophysical Sciences

Through their chosen coursework, Graduates of the PSMFWA will have an in‐depth understanding of:

  • complex interrelationships among biological, physical, and human components of ecosystems;
  • spatial and temporal variation in ecosystem structure and processes;
  • application of ecosystem principles in development and implementation of holistic, synthetic approaches to management;
  • information requirements to support application of conservation principles and develop approaches for specific ecosystems or specific organisms within these ecosystems; and
  • application of quantitative tools for evaluation of scientific data and tools to assess the status and future of natural resources.
Social Sciences

Through their chosen coursework, Graduates of the PSMFWA will be able to:

  • identify interactions between human ecology and nature;
  • incorporate social information (e.g., demographics, environmental policy, economic systems) in development of conservation plans and natural resource decision making;
  • understand fundamental operations and assumptions of human institutions, including politics, economics, culture, history and social/value systems; and
  • understand how natural resources are affected by actions dependent on human philosophy, ethics, world views, religion, and psychology.
Professional Skills and Abilities

Through their chosen coursework and Internship Project, Graduates of the PSMFWA will have an understanding of:

  • concepts in communications, group organization, and conflict resolution in fisheries and wildlife management;
  • library research skills and effective written communication;
  • the effectiveness of agency or organization structure and project management;
  • ethical issues in scientific and social settings; and
  • how to apply scientific knowledge in a variety of settings and by working as part of a multidisciplinary team
Learn more: 

For more details about the PSMFWA program and instructions on how to apply, please visit our Ecampus page.

If you have other questions about the Professional Science Masters in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Degree: 
Fisheries and Wildlife Administration
Level: 
Professional Science Master (PSM)
Department: 
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
Class Location: 
Corvallis Campus
Ecampus (Online)