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    Dec 03, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Natural Resources Major, Dept. of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries, PhD


The doctoral program with a major in natural resources emphasizes interdisciplinary research approaches toward the understanding and management of natural resources in a broad context. Areas of study include forest, wildlife, and fisheries biology, ecosystem function and structure, natural resources economics and policy, human dimensions of natural resource management, wood sciences, and multidisciplinary natural resources management. Students are not required to declare a concentration.

Concentrations (Optional)

Bio-based Products and Wood Science and Technology
Natural Resource Economics  (offered by the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics  faculty)
Wildlife Health

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Applicants to the PhD program must have a bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent, or have a professional degree in either medicine (including veterinary medicine) or law. Generally, individuals who possess a master’s degree in addition to a bachelor’s or professional degree will be given preference over those without a master’s degree. These additional requirements apply.
    • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
    • Completion the general Graduate Record Examination with minimum scores required.
    • A statement of professional goals, natural resource management philosophy, and reasons for applying to the program.
    • Three letters of reference from individuals capable of evaluating the applicant’s potential for graduate work in interdisciplinary natural resource management.
    • Submission of the online application, application fee, official transcripts, and scores from the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Natural Resources Major, including concentrations (optional) Bio-based Products and Wood Science and Technology or Wildlife Health

The Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries offers a doctorate with a natural resources major. Students may complete the degree without selecting one of the three concentrations: bio-based products and wood science and technology; wildlife health; or natural resource economics (see the information provided at Natural Resources Major, Natural Resource Economics Concentration, PhD ) offered in conjunction with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (See Department of Agricultural Economics  catalog entry for detailed information).

The bio-based products and wood science and technology concentration is designed to prepare graduate students for analytical, research, and academic careers in the public, private, and university sectors. This concentration is intended to accommodate students with interests in the traditional field of forest products and wood science, as well as the more contemporary fields of bio-based materials (including bio-energy and biofuels), nanotechnology, and industrial process control.

The wildlife health concentration is designed to prepare students for wildlife health-related service and research careers in the public and private sectors, and to prepare students interested in pursuing further professional training.

Credit Hours Required

  • 72 graduate credit hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree
    • Forty-eight credit hours must be in graduate coursework approved by the student’s doctoral committee.
    • Up to 24 credit hours of master’s-level coursework may be applied to the 48 credit hour requirement.
    • A minimum of 50% of required credit hours taken at UT (excluding dissertation hours) must be graded A-F.

Required Courses

  • Students electing to major in Natural Resources complete the following requirements for the major without a concentration or for the Bio-based Products and Wood Science and Technology concentration or the Wildlife Health concentration (variations for Wildlife Health are given below). The student’s doctoral committee will assist the student in developing a program of graduate coursework that will meet these requirements.
    • FWF 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours)
    • Research Methods and Analysis, 18 credit hours (9 credit hours in at least two of the subject areas)
      • Research/Experimental Design selected from appropriate courses in Forestry (FORS), Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF), Wildlife and Fisheries Science (WFS), Animal Science (ANSC), Plant Sciences (PLSC), Statistics (STAT), Mathematics (MATH)
      • Statistics/Econometrics/Biometrics selected from appropriate courses in Statistics (STAT), Agriculture and Resource Economics (AREC), Mathematics (MATH)
      • GIS/Remote Sensing selected from appropriate courses in Forestry (FOR), Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF), Wildlife and Fisheries Science (WFS), Biosystems Engineering Technology (BSET), Geography (GEOG)
    • Core Subject areas
      • 33 credit hours selected in consultation with the major professor and doctoral committee including Forestry (FORS), Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF), Wildlife and Fisheries Science (WFS), Animal Science (ANSC), Entomology and Plant Pathology (EPP), Environmental and Soil Sciences (ESS), Biosystems Engineering (BSE), Biosystems Engineering Technology (BSET), Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication (ALEC), Agriculture and Resource Economics (AREC), Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR), Plant Sciences (PLSC), Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB), Statistics (STAT), Geography (GEOG), Economics (ECON), Political Science (POLS), Sociology (SOCI)
      • Wildlife Health Concentration requires a minimum of 12 of the 24 credit hours post-master’s (or 30 of the 48 if no master’s or professional degree) credit hours be from wildlife health-related courses (WFS 501 , WFS 530 , WFS 531 , WFS 550 , CEM, or VMD)
    • Of the Research Methods and Analysis and Core Subject Area coursework, a minimum of 6 credit hours must be taken in university courses at the 600-level, exclusive of FWF 600 , dissertation hours.
    • Professional Development (5 credit hours)
      • Teaching – All students will be expected to complete FWF 601  (3 credit hours) and assist in teaching a course during their tenure in the program.
      • Professional Communication – All students will be required to complete FWF 612  (1 credit hour), twice as part of their program of study.

Non-Course Requirements

  • A doctoral committee consisting of at least four faculty members must be identified by the student and major professor.
    • At least one of the committee members must be from the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries and one member must be from an academic unit other than Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries.
    • Three of the committee members, including the major professor, must be approved by the Graduate Council to direct doctoral research.
    • The committee should be formed during the first year of the student’s program.
  • All students are required to successfully complete an oral and written examination on all coursework completed as part of the Doctor of Philosophy requirements.
    • The written exam is scheduled when the student has completed no fewer than 28 credit hours of approved study.
    • The oral exam is scheduled when the student has completed all or nearly all of the coursework.
    • The doctoral committee will determine the content, nature, and schedule of the comprehensive exam and will certify the results.
  • During the first year, the student should develop a research prospectus that outlines the research problem to be addressed as part of his/her doctoral research.
    • The prospectus is presented to the student’s committee and the committee will approve the research topic and approach.
  • All students are required to complete, present, and defend a dissertation.
    • The student should provide each member of the committee with a copy of the completed dissertation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled defense.
    • All students are required to present a seminar on their dissertation as part of the degree requirements.
    • The seminar can be part of the dissertation defense or presented before the formal defense.

Natural Resource Economics Concentration (Optional)

  • Students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the area of natural resource economics may do so with a concentration in natural resource economics  . The student’s doctoral committee will assist the student in developing a program of graduate course work that will meet the requirements for the concentration under the natural resources PhD major, while drawing heavily from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the Department of Economics. (See Department of Agricultural Economics  catalog entry for detailed information).