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Aquatic Resources

Student working in a lab

Texas State’s proximity to the San Marcos River and Spring Lake, the Aquarena Center and the Freeman Aquatic Biology Building provides students with a unique opportunity for study and research. The location also offers students access to a diversity of exceptional aquatic ecosystems throughout the Texas Hill Country and the Edwards Aquifer.

The aquatic resources program is a multidisciplinary program of study and research based on aquatic sciences and aquatic resource management.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Astrid Schwalb
Freeman Aquatic Biology (FAB), Room 206

“For the caliber of faculty, the location of campus and the resources allotted, Texas State cannot be beat. The people I’ve met and worked with here will better prepare me for my career in aquatic resources.”

— Zach Shattuck, M.S. ’10

Course Work

The Department of Biology at Texas State offers a master of science with a major in aquatic resources, a thesis-based degree that requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work. Students can select one of two areas of concentration: aquatic biology or aquatic systems. Students in the aquatic biology concentration focus on the biology and ecology of aquatic organisms and the dynamics and management of aquatic ecosystems. Students in the aquatic systems concentration focus on understanding the structure and functioning of aquatic systems as integrated physical, biological, and socio-economic entities. The program emphasizes practices aimed at protecting, maintaining, and restoring the health and sustainable use of these resources.

Degree Concentration Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.S. Aquatic Biology 30 Thesis No minor
M.S. Aquatic Systems 30 Thesis No minor
Supple science building

Local resources give students the ability to study habitats for threatened or endangered species, develop and promote programs and techniques to ensure sustainable water resources and work in modern facilities.

Program Mission

The overall mission of the aquatic resources program is to:

  • pursue questions related to aquatic resources at all levels of organization, from molecules to the biosphere, across a diversity of fields, including ecology, geology, hydrology, molecular and organismal biology, resource management, the social sciences, and toxicology
  • improve collective knowledge and literacy in the science of aquatic resources through experimental, theoretical, and field research and disseminate this knowledge to the general public, academics, government, and non-governmental organizations
  • utilize knowledge of aquatic sciences and resources to address environmental, biological, and societal issues the world currently faces

Visit program website ›

Related Programs

Program Faculty

Faculty, as well as students, conduct research in the 30,000-square-foot Freeman Aquatic Biology Building which overlooks experimental ponds and the San Marcos River. It contains laboratories, a wet lab, and an array of instruments for aquatic studies. The wet lab is equipped with holding troughs, artificial stream systems, and aquaria for laboratory studies. Artesian well water from the Edwards Aquifer is continuously supplied to the wet lab and bioassay lab, ensuring a constant supply of high-quality water for research.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

M.S. aquatic resources graduates enter careers in the fields of aquatic resource management, aquatic biology, and hydrogeology. Graduates are also able to find research-oriented positions in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or the private sector. The program prepares students to teach at the community college level or to continue their education by pursuing doctoral studies.

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority February 1 February 1
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring October 15 October 1
Summer I April 15 No Admission
Summer II No Admission No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree in biology or a related field from a regionally accredited university. Read additional information about background course work.
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE scores not required


  • mentor recommendation letter from a current Texas State faculty member in the Department of Biology. Visit the faculty list for current faculty and their research interests and contact information. Your mentor must email their letter of support directly to The Graduate College at This letter must be on file before the program's deadline.
  • resume/CV
  • statement of purpose describing your professional aspirations and rationale for pursuing graduate study
  • three letters of recommendation addressing the substance and quality of your preparation for graduate study

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Background Course Work
You will be required to take leveling courses if you lack sufficient background course work. Any required leveling course work must be completed with grades of B or better prior to admission.