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Graduate Program - Master of Wildlife Conservation

UMaine’s Master of Wildlife Conservation is a non-thesis degree for students who wish to focus strongly on the course work portion of a degree rather than a thesis. It has allowed past students with undergraduate degrees in subjects such as history, sociology, political science, geology, and theology to develop a foundation in ecological sciences and natural resource management. All of our MWC graduates have found rewarding careers. For example, they have included:

  • An environmental planner for one of Maine’s Native American tribal governments.
  • The founder of an environmental group on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
  • The policy and development director for a conservation organization in Vermont.
  • The founder of a consulting firm that undertakes non-lethal management of beavers all over North America and abroad.
  • Two conservation managers for The Nature Conservancy.
  • Director of one of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s sanctuaries.
  • Two staff members of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

MWC students may focus their courses within three general focus areas: conservation biology, fisheries, or wildlife management and science. Given that everyone has a different background and interests each student’s set of courses will be unique. Although MWC students must meet the same set of course requirements as all of our graduate students (see link to Program Requirements), these requirements are quite broad and allow significant latitude for individual choice.

One part of the MWC program is a small independent project or internship designed in collaboration with an advisor. A project might consist of undertaking a task that will be useful to the work of a conservation organization or agency such as performing an inventory of a new protected area. It could involve writing a creative, synthetic paper on a conservation issue. A traditional research investigation could be undertaken although it would have to be highly focused to be completed in one semester.

Financial support such as stipends and tuition waivers are not readily available for our MWC programs. Occasionally limited support may become available (e.g. working as a research technician during the summer) but these opportunities are highly unpredictable. Thus students must be responsible for both their cost of living and tuition, which varies depending on residency (Maine, New England, Canada, or elsewhere). Click the Financial Information link on the Graduate School home page for details on tuition and fees.

Applications for September admissions are reviewed between January 1 and March 31. Open houses may be organized during this period for candidates who would like to visit campus and meet our faculty and other grad students.


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