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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 been contacted and has agreed to advise that student. Students should indicate in their application who their faculty sponsor will be. Applicants applying for Plan A should indicate if they would like to be considered for the Plan B degree if they are not admitted into the Plan A degree

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

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

Student applicants are required to specify in their application which option they would like to pursue within the MS program (Plan A, B, or C). 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.

Plan A MS

Ohia at Kokee. Photo: JB Friday

Plan A is a thesis-driven, research degree. In addition to the Primary MS Core, a set of electives are required for a total of 30 credits. Electives provide background in research methods and provide 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.

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)
  • Other graduate courses for specialization from within or outside of NREM (6); a maximum of 6 credits of upper-division undergraduate course credits (400-level) allowed.

Thesis Option (6 credits)

  • NREM 700 Thesis (6)

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. Courses include the Primary MS Core (9 credits), research methods (3 credits), a minimum of 9 credits from the chosen concentration area, a minimum of 3 credits from each of the other 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: Geospatial Analysis & Modeling, Environmental Policy & Economics, Applied Terrestrial Ecology, and 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. View MS Plan B Course Offerings here.

Plan B Capstone Experience (6 credits)

A capstone experience is required for all Plan B students (NREM 695 and NREM 696). All capstone experiences require approval from the faculty advisor, the capstone instructor, and an at-large panel committee 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 oral presentation and provide a written document on their capstone experience, both of which will be evaluated by a rotating, three member panel comprised of the capstone instructor, the student's advisor, and the at-large panel committee member.

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, a final examination (written and oral), and a final project. 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, with no more than 3 of NREM 699)

For additional information, refer to the Graduate Student Guide.