Master of Science in Range Management

Head Faculty Advisor: Professor of the Graduate School James Bartolome

image of cows next to a pond

Photo by Lynn Huntsinger

The Master of Science in Range Management prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in resource management or related disciplines to pursue advance study of rangelands and range management. Graduate study in range management serves as the basis for a professional career in rangeland livestock production systems, grassland, savanna, wetland and/or shrubland ecology and management, native plants, rangeland rehabilitation, conservation easements, wildlife habitat, water quality issues, working landscapes, and rangeland economics and policy.

Two types of programs lead to the M.S. degree in ESPM.

  • Plan I: requires course work and a thesis
  • Plan II: requires course work and an oral examination.

Course Requirements

Doctoral work in range management may be pursued as part of the doctorate program in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Plan I (Thesis Plan):

Consists of 20 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, at least 8 of which must be in graduate-level courses in the major subject. A substantial part of the coursework will be designed to acquire in-depth knowledge relevant to the thesis. Before starting thesis research, the student must have a research plan approved by the guiding professor and the graduate advisor. The thesis may be on any subject selected by the student with the approval of the chair of the graduate advisors and the Graduate Division.

Plan II (Non-thesis Plan):

Consists of 24 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, at least 12 of which must be in graduate-level courses in the major subject. This plan requires that students pass a comprehensive oral exam before the degree can be awarded. The examination will emphasize the student’s program of graduate study, but the student must also demonstrate an understanding of other principles and issues related to the study of Range Management.

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Course Requirements

In addition to the core courses, the program of study might include courses in resource economics, hydrology, wildlife, plant ecology, fire ecology, remote sensing, GIS, biogeochemistry, policy, soils, etc. Course requirements must be completed with a GPA of at least 3.0

The minimum core courses required for completion of the M.S. in Range Management include:

  • ESPM 116B: Range Ecology, Improvements, and Management (3)
  • ESPM 186: Management of Grasslands and Woodlands (4)
  • ESPM 109: Range Plants (3)
  • IB 102 & L: Introduction to California Plant Life (2,2)

Choice of two of the following courses:

  • ESPM 268: Rangeland Ecology (2)
  • ESPM 278: Rangeland Assessment (3)
  • ESPM 279: Seminar on Pastoralism (3)
  • ESPM 280: Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy, Bartolome (3)

One course in western land use policy, such as:

  • ESPM 252: Seminar in Forest and Wildland Resource Policy, and Analysis (3)
  • CRP C253: Environmental Law and Resource Management (3)
  • CRP 252: Land Use Controls (3)
  • LAEP 239: Public Land and Resource Planning and Administration (4)
  • Geog 203: Nature and Culture
  • ESPM 280: Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy, Huntsinger (3)

One course in statistics, such as:

  • EPS C120: Analysis of Environmental Data (4)
  • PH 142A-B: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health (4,4)
  • PH 245: Introduction to Multivariate Statistics (4)
  • ESPM C205: Quantitative Methods for Ecological and Environmental Modeling (3)
  • ESPM 210: Spatial Data Analysis for Natural Resources

All Range Management students are strongly encouraged to participate in a semester or summer internship, which will provide practical field experience in range management, or work directly with a faculty member on research. The student’s major professor and Range Management Advisor will work with students to set up this aspect of the program.

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