The Professional Science Master's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration (PSMFWA) provides advanced training for recent graduates of undergraduate programs looking to enter the workforce and early-career professionals employed by natural resources agencies, non-government organizations, and other entities with a need for expertise in fisheries and wildlife science. The PSMFWA also provides an opportunity for employers to meet their workforce planning goals and contribute to the self-improvement of current employees.
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:
Core knowledge in fish or wildlife biology, ecology, and management;
Professional skills and abilities;
Human dimensions of natural resources management;
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.
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)
Current students should use the term they were admitted to determine their appropriate curriculum (below).
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.