Natural Resources AMP

All students must meet the Requirements for the Accelerated Master’s Degree Pathway


The Accelerated Master’s Degree Entry Pathway (AMP) in Rubenstein is designed to give select UVM undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources in 5 years. This option is only available for the thesis, and not the project-based Masters in Natural Resources. 

Following admission to the Graduate College, students may earn up to 9 graduate level credits toward the M.S. degree in Natural Resources during their B.S./B.A. that also count toward their B.S./B.A. The remaining 21 credits will be fulfilled after completion of the B.A./B.S. when the M.S. degree becomes the primary curriculum.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

Students should apply for admission into the Accelerated Master’s Degree Pathway (AMP) in the Rubenstein School in the Fall semester of their Junior year, but can apply on alternative timelines as well. As of 2018, the Rubenstein School no longer requires a GRE exam for admissions. Consideration for admission requires the following:

  •  A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
  •  Identification of a RSENR graduate faculty research advisor.
  • Completion of the Graduate College Application form: 
    • Three letters of recommendation from UVM faculty members, or other academic/professional references: one letter may be from the proposed MS advisor in the Rubenstein School, one may be from another UVM faculty member, and one may be from the program director. 
    • Address the work to be conducted as part of your statement of purpose to the Graduate College

Students must be admitted thought the Graduate College before taking any courses that will count toward their MS degree requirements. AMP students will be eligible to take 5000- or 6000-level courses. Students are expected to start their M.S. research in the summer/semester following their undergraduate graduation. Students who graduate in January (and not May) can begin their Master’s research in the Spring semester and are expected to continue research in the summer.

Minimum Degree Requirements

The Master of Science requires from 15 to 24 credits of course work in related fields, at least 6 of which must be at the 6000-level or above. This includes NR 6070: Applied Ecology, Environment and Society, and NR 6060: Envisioning a Sustainable future (NR 6060 will be optional for RSENR students that completed their B.S./B.A. in RSENR). A public research seminar presented at the annual graduate student symposium, a research proposal, a comprehensive examination, 6 to 15 credits of thesis research, and an oral defense of the thesis are also required.

Comprehensive Examination

A written comprehensive examination is required for all master's students. Generally taken during a student's third or fourth semester, the examination will cover broad knowledge of the student's discipline. The questions and content of the examination and its form (written or oral or both depending on the requirements of each concentration) are decided upon by the Studies Committee and will be discussed with the student well in advance of the exam.

The format of the exam will be as follows: 

  • In no instance will the written exam period be less than 2 days or more than 7. The committee members will specify whether the student will have access to outside materials such as books, lecture notes, articles, reading notes, etc., to develop responses. In order to encourage succinct and focused writing, committee members are encouraged to specify a maximum page length for answers to each question.
  • The primary advisor will collect the questions from each committee member and provide the student 1 set of questions per day (day defined as 8-12 hours). The student will send the answer(s) to the full committee at the end of each day.
  • For those concentrations requiring an oral exam, the oral exam will focus on the subject areas from the written exam, particularly any weak areas. The oral exam, when applicable, will follow within 1 month of satisfactory completion of written exam. The underlying intent is an opportunity to provide clarity to weak areas of the written portion of the exam.  Therefore, questions are limited to the subject areas originally designated and seek to discern if students have the knowledge that is essential to understand information in their field of study.
  • The oral exam, as applicable, shall be presided over by the Chair of the Studies/Dissertation Committee. Its recommended duration is 2 hours and should not exceed 3.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Successful completion of any required courses, and at least 15 graded graduate credits earned in compilation of the graduate GPA. A GPA of 3.00 or greater is also required. After successfully completing both the Thesis Proposal and Written/Oral Comprehensive Examination, students will be advanced to candidacy for the M.S.