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NREM Master of Science Degree Program

It is expected that the academic preparation for students admitted into the MS program in NREM will be the same, be equivalent to, or exceed the core requirements for the BS degree offered in NREM.

NREM offers three options for MS degrees.

Plan A is a thesis-driven, research degree and a student will only be accepted into this plan if a faculty sponsor has agreed to advise the student.

Plan B is a course driven, professional degree that also requires an integrating capstone experience.

Plan C is only for students with exceptional prior work experience which requires a minimum of two semesters of full time resident study at UHM and a final written and oral comprehensive examination.

Once admitted, MS students must select a specialization (Plan A) or concentration (Plan B) area with the approval of their advisor. To meet the integrative, interdisciplinary intent of the NREM program, a set of graduate level courses (the Primary MS Core) will be required of every student, regardless of his/her selected Plan option or specialization area.

Requirements of MS Degree

Plan A MS

Ohia at Kokee. Photo: JB Friday

In addition to the Primary MS Core, a set of electives and thesis credits are required for a total of 30 credits. Electives provide background in research methods and depth in the student’s area of specialization. The remaining credit requirements will be met with thesis credits (NREM 700) for conducting the research project. Once the thesis topic is finalized, a research proposal must be approved by the committee. An oral defense of the proposal in front of the thesis committee is also required for final approval of the thesis topic. A public thesis defense is also required, and an announcement with thesis abstract, defense date, and location must be sent to the graduate program chair, departmental secretary, and Graduate Division at least 2 weeks in advance.

Primary MS Core (9 credits)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Electives (15 credits)

  • Course in graduate research methods (3)
  • NREM graduate courses (6); 500-level or above
  • Other graduate courses for specialization from within or outside of NREM (6); all 6 credits can be satisfied by 400-level course credits.

Thesis Option (6 credits)

  • NREM 700 Thesis (6)

For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

Plan B MS

Green sea turtle. Photo: C. Lepczyk

Plan B is a course-driven professional degree that requires a total of 36 credits. Students are required to declare a concentration from one of four possible concentration areas (see below). Courses include the Primary MS Core (9 credits), research methods (3 credits), a minimum of 9 elective credits from the chosen concentration area, a minimum of 3 elective credits from each of the other three concentration areas, and a 6 credit capstone experience.

Primary MS Core (9 credits)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Research Methods (3 credits)

  • Course in graduate research methods (3)

Plan B Concentration Areas (total 18 credits)

Plan B students will select a concentration area from one of four options: (a) Geospatial Analysis & Modeling, (b) Environmental Policy & Economics, (c) Applied Terrestrial Ecology, and (d) Land & Water Resource Management. They are required to take a minimum of 9 credits from their concentration area and 3 credits from each of the other areas. Of the 18 elective credits required: (i) at least 12 credits must be NREM courses; and (ii) a maximum of 12 credits of upper-division undergraduate course credits (400-level) are allowed. Course substitutions will be considered via a petition by a faculty advisor to the curriculum committee.

Below is a list of courses that are approved for the four M.S. Plan B Concentration areas:

For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

Plan B Capstone Experience (6 credits)

A capstone experience is required for all Plan B students. The capstone experience consists of: (i) NREM 695 (1 cr), to be taken when the student is preparing their proposal; and (ii) NREM 696 (3 cr) and NREM 699 (2 cr; register with faculty advisor), to be taken when the student has completed their capstone experience and is writing up their final document. All capstone experiences require approval from the Plan B Capstone Panel, which consists of the faculty advisor, the NREM 695 course instructor, and an at-large Panel member.

The Capstone Experience requirement may be fulfilled in a number of ways, based on each individual student’s interests. In as much, it will vary from student to student, but typical capstone experiences will involve: (i) an internship/coop/special field experience; (ii) an investigation of a special topic; and/or (iii) development of a project, directed readings/study, or a research project. Each student is expected to take the primary role in identifying and organizing their capstone experience. In meeting this requirement, it will be important for students to demonstrate that they are getting an “integrative” experience in natural resources and environmental management. Each student will be required to give a public proposal and defense presentation, and provide a written proposal and final document on their capstone experience, both of which will be evaluated by the Plan B Capstone Panel.

Plan C MS

Aalii, Dodonaea viscosa. Photo: JB Friday

Plan C is for students with exceptional prior work experience. Requirements include residence for two semesters of full-time study, a minimum of 18 graduate credit hours, and a final examination (written and oral). This option is only available to students who are mid-career professionals, having at least 5 years of relevant work experience in natural resources and environmental management.

Primary MS Core (9 credits)

  • NREM 600 Evaluation of Natural Resources Management (3)
  • NREM 601 Economic Analysis of Natural Resource Management (3)
  • NREM 605 Research Skills (2)
  • NREM 701 Research Seminar in NREM (1)

Electives (9 credits)

  • NREM graduate courses (9 credits of 500-level or above, and no more than 3 credits of NREM 699)

For additional course applicability criteria, refer to:
http://manoa.hawaii.edu/graduate/content/course-applicability.

For additional information, refer to the Graduate Student Guide.