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The PhD program in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology allows doctoral students to pursue an advanced degree in a wide variety of subjects involving fisheries and wildlife, including topics that overlap with environmental resources, forestry and other specialty areas supported by the College of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and College of Veterinary Medicine.

Past PhD student thesis topics in fisheries and wildlife have focused on such areas as:

Fox squirrel research being conducted at Fort Bragg, NC

Fox squirrel research being conducted
at Fort Bragg, NC

Requirements

The PhD program requires 36 to 54 credits of course work beyond the master’s degree, including two hours of seminar, FW 730 (Ethics in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology), and a dissertation. Exceptionally well-prepared students may petition to have their degree objective changed to PhD before completing the master’s degree. There are no language or minor requirements.

PhD students, regardless of the department in which they reside, must take at least two hours of FW801 and/or FW 802 seminar. Substitutions and/or additional seminar requirements must be approved by the student’s graduate committee. Students can take FW 802 a maximum of two times for credit, and additional times without credit.

PhD advisory committees must include four faculty members with appointments to the NC State Graduate Faculty. The chair must have an appointment on the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology Faculty and must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty. If co-chairs are designated, at least one of them must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty.

PhD students reside in the department of their major professor.

General requirements are listed below. All referenced PhD forms can be found in downloadable format online:

  1. Identify an advisory committee to be appointed by the Graduate Dean upon the recommendation of the DGP.
  2. Select a dissertation subject and submit an outline of proposed research to the advisory committee for review and approval.
  3. Prepare a Plan of Graduate Work with input from the advisory committee, to be approved by the DGP and submitted to the Graduate School for approval. This must be done as soon as is feasible after completion of 12 hours of course work.
  4. Pass written examinations in all major and minor fields (if required) no earlier than the end of the second year of graduate study and no later than one semester before the final oral examination. Results are reported to the Graduate School.
  5. Following satisfactory completion of all required written examinations, submit a Request for Approval to Schedule the Doctoral Oral Examination to the DGP at least two weeks prior to the suggested date. The student and examining committee will be notified once the Graduate School approves the request.
  6. Be admitted to candidacy after the DGP sends the report of the exam to the Graduate School and it has been passed without conditions.
  7. Obtain candidacy within six years of the start of the program.
  8. Submit a preliminary draft of their dissertation to the chair of the advisory committee for review.
  9. Give a dissertation to advisory committee members for review at least two weeks prior to the final oral examination.
  10. Submit a Request for Approval to Schedule the Doctoral Oral Examination, designating the final oral examination, to the DGP at least two weeks prior to its suggested date. This request should be submitted four or more months after admission to candidacy, and after the dissertation is complete (except for revisions triggered as a result of the final exam). Approval of this request must be granted by the Graduate School.
  11. Have the DGP send the report of the final oral examination to the Graduate School within five working days of the exam.
  12. Have the dissertation reviewed and approved by the thesis editor of the Graduate School to insure that the format conforms to the specifications prescribed in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide.
  13. Submit the dissertation in the format and time frame required by the Graduate School.
  14. Achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 to qualify for graduation.
  15. Complete all degree requirements within ten calendar years, beginning with the date the student commenced courses carrying graduate credit applicable to the degree program.