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Subject: New M.S. in Conservation Biology at University of South Florida St. Petersburg starting Fall 2017

Applications are now being accepted for a new M.S. degree in Conservation Biology, that starts Fall 2017 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.  This new thesis-based degree provides graduate training in conservation, biodiversity, organismal biology, taxonomy and ecology to students interested in pursuing careers in research and management of natural resources.  The focus of our degree is on providing the academic and professional skills needed to study, protect and conserve biological and habitat diversity, with an emphasis on natural areas in southwest Florida.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the M.S. program requires: a) a B.S. in Biological Sciences, or a related discipline from a regionally accredited college or university, b) a 3.0 GPA for the final 60 credit hours of the undergraduate degree, c) a GRE (General Test), d) 3 letters of recommendation addressing academic and research potential of applicant.

Applicants that do not have an undergraduate Biology degree can still apply if they have completed at least 15 credit hours of upper-level undergraduate course work in biology relevant to a graduate degree in Conservation Biology (e.g. ecology, genetics, evolution, zoology, botany). Acceptance to the program also requires that a faculty member in the program has agreed to serve as a thesis advisor for the applicant. 

Degree Requirements

Graduation requirements include completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level core and approved elective course work, a minimum 3.0 graduate GPA, and the successful oral defense and publication-ready manuscript of the student’s thesis research. Students must complete all course work and thesis defense within 5 years of admission to the program.

Interested in learning more?

Please contact Dr. Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore, Chairperson, Department of Biological Sciences, for more information.  Please refer to the Faculty page for information on faculty research interests (

Interested in submitting an application?

Please apply by June 1st for consideration for graduate teaching assistant positions and tuition waivers.  Both are highly competitive.

Please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at USFSP

(727) 873-4567  or

Melanie Riedinger-Whitmore <>
Monday, March 20, 2017