Application Process

Conservation Science logo with title at bottomOur Outstanding Applicants will have:

  • Undergraduate or masters-level training in natural resources, environmental sciences, or human dimensions of natural resources
  • Lower and upper-division coursework in biophysical sciences, social sciences, math, and statistics
  • Public service experience (e.g., Peace Corps or Americorps volunteer)
  • Experience in civil society organizations
  • A passion or desire to work in the conservation, public land management, or related profession, or past/current experience in this profession

Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents to receive support, and must be seeking a M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

Application Process

Step 1. Contact Potential NRT Faculty Advisors
The NRT graduate program is very competitive and selective. We encourage you to contact potential NRT faculty advisors to inquire if they are accepting new students and/or have funding opportunities, prior to submitting a formal application. You should try to match your own areas of interest with those of your potential faculty advisor. A listing of NRT faculty may be found here.

Step 2. Complete a Formal Application
If you are encouraged to apply by a potential NRT faculty advisor, please follow the application instructions provided by the University of Maine Graduate School. Be sure to indicate NRT-Conservation Science in your personal statement as part of your UM graduate application.

Step 3. Apply for NRT Fellowship
Once you have submitted your application to The University of Maine Graduate School, please complete an NRT fellowship application form by February 4. Our NRT students will work in interdisciplinary groups with faculty and community partners to pursue their research, so this information will help us consider the makeup of the cohort.

Step 4. NRT Faculty Advisor Selections & Review
Once your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the NRT program selection committee. We will verify that an NRT faculty has agreed to be your advisor. Then we will evaluate your undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) grade point averages, scores on the general Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), three letters of recommendation, relevant training and experience in conservation or environmental sciences, and individual potential for achievement.

Step 5. Admission & Funding Decisions
We attempt to make admission decisions within 6-8 weeks of your application. Our admission decision is forwarded to the Graduate School, which will send you an official letter of admission. Funding is arranged through your NRT faculty advisor and any funding offers will come from them.

Additional Considerations

Recommended Qualifications
NRT typically admits students with a GPA greater than 3.5 during their undergraduate career. Our students also tend to have scored higher than the 50th percentile in two out of the three GRE test areas (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). The NRT research interests, personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation are also important, and will weigh heavily in admission and funding decisions for students not meeting the recommended GPA and GRE benchmarks.

Prerequisite Coursework
We recognize that students come from varied backgrounds and have differing aims in their graduate training. Any prerequisite coursework will be specified by your NRT faculty advisor. Incoming students who lack coursework in an area deemed important by your NRT faculty advisor (e.g., chemistry, economics, physics, mathematics, biology) may be asked to make up these deficiencies in addition to the course of studies required for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree.

Deadlines and Timing
Most applications are for admission during the fall semester. While we may accept applications at any time, priority is given to those who apply by January 15th for full consideration for the fall. However, NRT faculty advisors may have funding to start during other semesters. For instance, starting in the spring or summer semesters may be advantageous for getting an extra field season of data collection.

Campus Tours
If you wish to visit the campus, you should contact your prospective NRT faculty advisor for assistance in arranging times to meet with him/her, see research facilities, meet current graduate students, and/or sit in on graduate seminars.