Accessible Navigation.
International Conservation & Development

Curriculum & International Opportunities

The ICD Option involves completion of a core curriculum (total 13 credits), additional coursework in a specific area of academic and professional interest, and completion of an international assignment with either the Peace Corps or an international conservation and development organization.

The core curriculum includes:

  • NRSM 571: International Conservation and Development (3 cr)
  • NRSM 575: Sociology of Environment and Development (3 cr)
  • FORS 532: Forest Ecosystem Analysis or other approved ecology course (3 cr)
  • research methods (quantitative and/or qualitative, 3 cr) 
  • FORS 595: Graduate Seminar (1 cr)

Specialized coursework is available in any of the fields of study available in the College of Forestry and Conservation. This includes protected area management, rural and environmental sociology, forest management, watershed management, wildlife biology, range management, recreation management, and remote sensing/geographic information systems. Students can also complete coursework in any other field on the UM campus, such as Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, and Sociology.

ICD courses are small, seminar in format and provide opportunities to pursue independent projects in preparation for international assignments. Students work with faculty advisors to identify and develop specific field projects and benefit from interacting with other graduate students pursuing similar studies.

ICD students can pursue either the M.S. professional paper option (36 credits) or the M.S. thesis option (30 credits); the professional paper option is recommended due to its greater flexibility. Students are expected to complete two semesters of coursework prior to their international assignments (24 credits), and one semester afterwards to complete the professional paper or thesis.  Academic credit (1 credit/semester) is available for international work.  Individuals who have already served in the Peace Corps or have other international experience may build upon their previous international work in their M.S. studies. Approximately half of ICD students complete international assignments in conjunction with the Peace Corps Masters International Program while the others have developed independent assignments with international conservation or development organizations.