How to Apply

Graduate Certificate and Professional Science Masters Applicants:

Graduate Certificate applicants may apply as follows: Graduate Certificate in Fisheries Management application (Ecampus), Graduate Certificate in Wildlife Management application (Ecampus), Marine Mammal Graduate Certificate application (Graduate School).

Applicants interested in the Professional Science Masters in Fisheries and Wildlife Administration (PSMFWA) should start with an application to either of the Graduate Certificate programs linked above. Starting with a Graduate Certificate program allows you to determine if online learning is a good fit and allows you time to find a faculty advisor for the PSMFWA program. Up to 22 credits of graduate-level coursework taken during a graduate certificate can be applied towards the PSMFWA degree requirements. Please be aware that completing a Graduate Certificate does not guarantee admission to the PSMFWA. Final admission is contingent on the applicant being accepted by a member of the OSU Graduate Faculty with an appointment in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences.

Students who are currently enrolled in another OSU graduate program such as a Graduate Certificate should complete the Change of Degree/Major/Certificate form and not a full program application. 

Thesis Based MS and PhD Applicants: 

Before Applying

Our department uses a 'rolling' admission basis, and we admit students each term.  OSU operates on a quarter system, so there are four terms each academic year (summer, fall, winter, and spring).

Our Department's decision for admission is not the date of application but your acceptance by a faculty advisor.  You should complete your online application and submit your application documents only after you have been accepted by a faculty advisor.  As long as you meet the Graduate School's minimum standards for admission and your application passes review by our department's Admissions Committee, you will be admitted if you have a commitment from a faculty advisor and demonstrated funding for your degree program. 

If all documents required for admission must be received at least 6 weeks prior to the term you plan to start to allow time for review and processing, to meet Graduate Student Rules for contract writing, and to ensure you have time to register.  (Note:  international applications will require additional processing time if a student visa is required, so it is best to follow the OSU Graduate School's deadlines for international students.)

Finding a Faculty Advisor

You can learn more about our faculty's research interests by exploring our research themes and graduate faculty list. Be sure to check the faculty member's individual lab page for a letter to prospective students. Consider reaching out to their current graduate students to ask about their experience and advice. Once you have developed a list of prospective advisors, sending a current CV/resume, transcripts or degrees earned, a list of your publications (if any) and a statement of interest allows the faculty member to consider your potential fit within his or her research program. Sending GRE scores is optional. Your statement of interest should demonstrate that you have taken the time to review the faculty member's work and communicate how your skills and background can contribute to that work.

Communicate directly with faculty to determine the availability of research opportunities and assistantships before submitting a full application packet. Once you've secured a major advisor, you can begin the application process. Visit the Office of Admissions for minimum graduate admission requirements.

How Decisions are Made

After receiving notice of a faculty member's commitment to accept a student, the department's Graduate Program Coordinator will review the student's application materials for completeness. Once all required documents are received (e.g. all transcripts, application forms, statement of objectives, reference letters, and TOEFL score, if applicable), the application file will be forwarded to the department's Graduate Committee for review. The Graduate Committee will evaluate the application in relation to the department's admission standards (i.e. a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 on the most recent baccalaureate degree or any subsequent graduate degree, and TOEFL score, if required). The Committee will also consider the strength of the applicant's academic record, relevant coursework, letters of reference, research experience and relevant publications.

If the Graduate Committee recommends acceptance, the department transmits its recommendation to the Graduate School. Students who do not meet all of the minimum criteria may be recommended for conditional or provisional acceptance. (Conditional acceptance requires that the student maintains a grade of B in each course while enrolled; provisional requirements are tailored to address particular areas of weakness, such as specific coursework needed.) The Graduate School will examine the application to determine whether it meets the university's minimum standards for admission and send the applicant official notification of acceptance or rejection.

International Applicants:
To receive final acceptance, applicants from foreign countries must provide evidence that they have adequate funds for the proposed program of study (Certification of Finances). If a graduate faculty member indicates that he or she intends to provide the applicant with a Graduate Assistantship, the value of the annual assistantship stipend and accompanying tuition waiver can be included in the applicant's evidence of adequate funds. Financial documentation is not required at the time of application, but it must be received before the I-20 can be issued (for F-1 visas). You may scan and upload financial documentation with your application materials OR you may wait until after your application has been accepted by the department/program. If your application is accepted, the Graduate School will contact you via email to request the financial materials.

Apply Now

A complete application packet includes the following:

  • OSU online application
  • A 1-2 page statement that outlines your research and professional interests, as well as your interest in the Fisheries Science or Wildlife Science program. Include information on specific major advisors that you would like to work with, or with whom you have corresponded.
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic coursework.
  • GRE scores - ONLY if requested by prospective advisor. (OSU code 4586) 
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • Three letters of reference.
  • International students: TOEFL scores.

Submit the application materials through the online application portal administered by the OSU Graduate School. Online submission facilitates sharing your application among potential advisors and checking to ensure that all your application materials (such as letters of recommendation) have arrived. Follow the submission guidelines and instructions outlined on the graduate school website. There is an application fee.

Letters of Reference

We prefer that your letters of reference be submitted online through the Graduate School's online request system. Within two days of submitting your application, you will receive a link to the online reference management tool, where you can enter the names and email addresses of your references. They will receive instructions on how to submit letters and will receive reminders, if necessary. The FWCS department expects that these letters be from previous professional supervisor, academic advisors or professors. Your letters should not be written by the faculty member you are applying to work with at OSU. More information about online submission of letters of reference is available from the Graduate School.

Supplemental Information

Applicants are invited to submit optional supplemental information that may assist in evaluating their application. These could include a reprints of publications or other scholarly work. You can submit these documents as part of your online application through the Graduate School

Submission Dates

The FWCS department will accept applications at any time of the year, and accepted students can enroll during any academic term. You should complete your online application and submit your application documents only after you have been accepted by a faculty advisor. We highly recommend that you start the application process early. The following are suggested guidelines for when to begin your application:
For Fall - July 1 (deadlines are earlier for international applicants)
For Winter - October 1
For Spring - January 1
For Summer - March 1

GRE and TOEFL Scores

The Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Sciences does not require graduate applicants submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) tests.

The university requires that foreign applicants whose native language is not English demonstrate proficiency in English. TOEFL requirements are available at the Office of Admissions - International requirements.

The ETS Institution Code for Oregon State University is 4586. The Major Code of Fisheries Science is 1300 and of Wildlife Science is 1750.

MS & PhD Applicants

When to Apply

Our Department's decision for admission is not the date of application but your acceptance by a faculty advisor. Read more information in the Before Applying section. 

The ETS Institution Code for OSU is 4586

The GRE code for OSU is 4586