Doctor of Philosophy in Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management
Attainment of a Ph.D. brings the expectation that the individual can serve as a faculty member or research scientist. Therefore, the Ph.D. candidate is generally involved in generation of original ideas, proposal writing, and funding negotiations.
The Ph.D. student must show considerable command of the scientific literature, creativity at hypothesis formation, skill at research design, the ability to solve a problem, and competence in data analysis. The major professor and graduate advisory committee do not solve the details but serve as advisors and critics to give the student a taste of the peer review system used in science. The outcome is judged on its originality and contribution to science and whether it is substantial enough to merit publication.
The doctoral graduate program is directed by a major professor and a graduate advisory committee. The major professor chairs the graduate committee. The major professor and student work closely together on all aspects of the student's graduate degree program. PhD students undergo a preliminary assessment (oral or written or both), define an original research problem, and write a detailed proposal. The proposal should consist of a title, a statement of the problem and rationale for gathering original research data, a statement of objectives including hypotheses to be tested, a review of the literature, and a detailed description of the design, data analysis, and procedures of the study.
Ph.D. students are required to complete from 60 to 80 hours (exclusive of dissertation NRM 8000 credits) beyond the B.S. with at least 15 hours from outside the Department. Only classes numbered above 5000 are acceptable for graduate credit. All Ph.D. students must complete one semester of teaching practicum (NRM 7210) and at least 1 experimental design class. No more than 6 hours of credit will be given for independent study (600X) or research (7000) classes.
Ph.D. candidates are also required to take a set of written (and possibly oral) comprehensive examinations prepared and conducted by the graduate committee. The purpose of these examinations is to determine whether or not a candidate possesses a depth of knowledge in their area of specialization, a breadth of knowledge in supporting areas, an understanding of the scientific method, and the ability to communicate knowledge in an organized and scholarly manner.