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Wildlife Ecology

Student working in a lab

The master’s program in wildlife ecology at Texas State University has a long history of cooperation with agencies such as Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and non-governmental organizations, providing students with access to contemporary wildlife research and potential employment opportunities.

Students learn to conduct scientific studies to address contemporary problems and increase knowledge in the field of wildlife ecology.

 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. Floyd (Butch) Weckerly
Supple Science (SUPP), Room 242

“Pursuing a master’s degree in wildlife ecology at Texas State University introduced me to the diversity of career and research opportunities available to wildlife professionals and allowed me to be successful and have an impact while doing what I love.”

— Sara Weaver, M.S. ’12, current Aquatic Resources Ph.D. student

Course Work

The master of science in wildlife ecology is a thesis-based degree with an emphasis on the application of ecological principles to studies in the fields of wildlife ecology and natural resource management. The degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours including core courses in statistics and experimental design, elective courses in the student’s area of interest, seminars, and thesis courses.

Research options include but are not limited to the following:

  • large mammal behavior, ecology, and genetics
  • threatened and endangered species ecology and conservation
  • ecology of turtles
  • toad biology
  • bat ecology
  • disease ecology
  • population sampling and estimation
  • population persistence and viability
  • community ecology
Degree Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.S. 30–31 Thesis No minor
Supple Science building

Students can take advantage of the excellent research opportunity to study wildlife in Texas and beyond due to the worldwide reach of Texas State faculty research.

Program Mission

Wildlife ecology, as an area of study and concern, has grown in the U.S. and Texas over the last 50 years to play a major role in developing decisions on land and water use, wildlife populations, and recreation. Wildlife issues are no longer confined to hunting, fishing, and agricultural pursuits, but also encompass much larger issues in energy sources, urban and suburban development, overpopulation of some species, threatened and endangered species, water use, and availability, and coastal development, among others. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Central Texas. The Wildlife Ecology program aims to find solutions to these issues.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

The research interests of the wildlife faculty are diverse, spanning such fields as disease ecology, genetics, and systematics, landscape ecology, vertebrate population ecology and management, parasitology, resource selection, estimating demography, and abundance of populations. Many studies are conducted on terrestrial vertebrates: mammals, birds, and herpes. Some faculty study invertebrate and aquatic vertebrate species that are species of concern or listed as threatened or endangered.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

Graduates of the master of science (M.S.) degree have pursued doctoral degrees or obtained employment in a variety of professions. Examples include employment as biologists with state and federal resource agencies, non-governmental agencies, and environmental consulting firms. Graduates have also pursued careers in education as high school biology teachers or instructors at community colleges.

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(s)

  • $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 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 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

  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.