Built on the legacy of Wisconsin’s environmental leaders, the UW–Madison Master of Science in Environmental Conservation is a condensed and immersive program. You gain the skills to address global conservation challenges—and to advance your career.

Is this Program Right for You?

As a future conservation leader, you need solution-oriented, interdisciplinary expertise to tackle complex conservation decisions in a changing world. The UW–Madison Master of Science in Environmental Conservation is not a traditional master’s degree—our program is about networking and real-world experience as much as it is about acquiring knowledge.


Work directly with our alumni and colleagues in conservation organizations and agencies that answer local, regional, and global environmental challenges. Apply principles and tools from conservation planning, environmental policy, and sustainable development. You will use financial management, institutional governance, GIS, and environmental monitoring tools while you synthesize interdisciplinary topics like conservation science, social systems, and policy management.


We attract applicants from around the world and from a variety of backgrounds. Our program is designed to provide opportunities that develop your expertise and expand your contacts in the conservation sector. We strive to prepare our students for leadership positions in non-governmental organizations, federal or state agencies, and related businesses.


In this condensed and blended program structure, you will complete courses on campus throughout the first summer and fall semesters. Our spring distance learning courses are delivered online, giving you the flexibility to participate from any location. In your final semester, complete a summer leadership experience, which can take place anywhere in the world. We encourage you to be independent and resourceful in seeking your leadership experience, but we have a large network of contacts—from small NGOs to large international organizations—who are eager to offer opportunities to our students.


What You Learn

  • Apply concepts and tools in conservation biology, spatial planning, environmental policy, and social systems to real-world challenges facing the environmental community
  • Craft solutions to local, regional, and global issues in biodiversity and environmental protection
  • Match your interests and develop your leadership potential with our alumni and colleagues in the United States, China, Central Africa, South America, or in other countries or regions around the globe

Where & How You Learn


  • Face-to-face with online and distance learning components


  • Earn your master’s degree in just 15 months
  • Attend our Summer Conservation Institute, where you will meet leading conservation practitioners, and take courses on campus in fall; then complete distance learning courses in spring and participate in an individual leadership experience in summer, here in Madison or anywhere in the world
  • Work with a cohort while matching your specific skills and interests with the needs of organizations and agencies working on critical conservation challenges related to your own career aspirations
  • Through our leadership placement network, gain expertise and build relationships that will enhance your career

Apply Now

All applicants must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale; international applicants must have the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree; Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not needed for students with a 3.00 or higher GPA; applicants with a GPA below 3.00 may be considered under special circumstances and must also submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores
  • Submit your professional credentials/résumé, reasons for graduate study or statement of interest, two letters of professional recommendation, and two official copies of undergraduate transcripts; applications received by December 1 of each year will be given preference for admission

Apply now or visit program website.


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