Here are some of things you can do with an M.S. in Rangeland and Wildlife Management: 

  • wildlife habitat management
  • plant use and management
  • grassland, savanna, wetland and/or shrubland ecology and management
  • native plant management and restoration
  • rangeland rehabilitation or restoration
  • rangeland livestock production and management
  • conservation policy
  • carbon sequestration and soil science
  • management for biodiversity
  • water quality assessment and protection
  • working landscapes programs
  • rangeland economics and policy
  • indigenous use and management of grasslands and woodlands.
  • prescribed burning and grazing for wildfire hazard reduction
  • meet requirements applicable to becoming an Associate or Certified Range Manager (

Students graduating from the program work for public lands agencies, local and regional parks, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Resource Conservation Districts, University of California Cooperative Extension, the Department of Defense, conservation organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, international development programs, and environmental consulting firms.  Students work with their advisors to develop a program to meet career goals, including desired certifications and qualifications.  They should inquire before applying to find out if the program will meet their needs.

Prospective Applicants:   It is possible to work with any related faculty to earn a range masters.  Let us know by putting the name of your desired mentor or mentors in your statement.  The faculty you are applying to work with, if not on the drop down menu, should know about your application.  You may need to inform them about the range program and tell them to contact me for further information.  You can also contact me and can pick me from the drop down menu.  We will make sure your file gets to the right place.  Please also understand than this program ends with the Masters Degree.  Although some of our graduates go on to earn PhD degrees at Berkeley and other institutions, this program is not designed as a prelude to the ESPM PhD program --Head Grad Advisor, Lynn Huntsinger

For related undergraduate programs,  please go to

Our program

Head Faculty Advisor (HFA) and primary contact: Lynn Huntsinger

Other contacts:  Rangeland  Management and Wildlife Steering Committee 

Please visit the Berkeley Academic Guide for a more complete list of faculty.

The Master of Science in Rangeland and Wildlife Management prepares you to pursue advanced study of rangelands and wildlife management. We emphasize professional and academic preparation for a career managing rangelands and stewarding rangeland resources (grasslands, woodlands, and shrublands). We work with you to develop a program of study that fits your goals and background.  We encourage our students to get practical field experience in rangeland and wildlife management and research by participating in an internship, or working directly with a faculty member on research.  Your major professor and the Rangeland and Wildlife Management Head Faculty Advisor  (HFA) will help you set this up.

Rangeland and Wildlife Management is an interdepartmental group and includes faculty from more than one department. Many other faculty participate besides those on the Steering Committee. The Head Faculty Advisor (HFA) can guide you to participating faculty in the rangeland and wildiife program--email Doctoral work in rangeland and wildlife management may be pursued as part of the doctorate program in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.  Students in our program have many different programs.  Those interesting in certification as a range manager will want to review the requirements and plan accordingly.

Course Requirements

Two types of program plans lead to the M.S. degree in Rangeland and Wildlife Management. Most rangeland and wildlife students participate in ongoing research during their studies, and generally follow Plan II (non-thesis/comprehensive exam), however Plan I (thesis) is also available with  Head Faculty Advisor consent. Students work with their advisors to develop a program to meet career goals, including desired certifications and qualifications.   Plan II students completing 3 or more of the upper division core courses as undergraduates may be able to finish their MS in one year with careful planning with their advisorStudents must be sure to meet the unit requirements for their choice of plan:


M.S. PLAN                                                 

Category        A  of courses       

Categories B and C of courses  (minimum one  course from each category)     

Independent study (ESPM 299)

Total units

I  (Thesis-requires HFA approval)

12 units

or 8  units

8 units

or 12 units

4 units 

4 units


II  (Exam-most common)

11 units 

or 12 units

13 units

or 12 units 



The minimum core courses required for completion of the M.S. in Rangeland and Wildlife Management include courses from each of Categories A, B, and C, as indicated in the above table, and listed below.  With Head Faculty Advisor approval, the program of study may substitute courses for those on the 3 lists to help the student meet specific career goals.  These can include courses in  resource economics, hydrology, wildlife, plant ecology, fire ecology, remote sensing, GIS, biogeochemistry, policy, soils, and so forth depending on student interests and preparation and in compliance with the upper division and graduate course balance specified in Plans I or II. Course requirements must be completed with a GPA of at least 3.0.  Students should meet with the HFA as soon as possible after arrival on campus to discuss their plans, and if they are doing a thesis, they need to have their 3 person committee approved by their guiding professor and the HFA before the end of the second semester.

Category A:  Tools

  • ESPM 116B: Ecology of woodlands and grasslands with lab (4 units) 
  • ESPM 186: Management of Grasslands and Woodlands (4 units)
  • IB 102 & L: Introduction to California Plant Life (4 units) or equivalent
  • ESPM 181A: Fire Ecology (3 units)
  • ESPM 173 or 174: Statistics for Ecology, or equivalent as appropriate for field of study (4 units)
  • PBHL 164: Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health
  • ESPM 106: American Wildlife: Management and Policy in the 21st Century (3 units)
  • ESPM 114: Wildlife Ecology (3 units)
  • ESPM C115C: Fish Ecology (3 units)
  • LD ARCH 188/GEOG 188: Geographic Information Systems
  • ESPM 233: Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Science and Management Course
  • ESPM 164: GIS and Environmental Science
  • ESPM C172:  Remote sensing of the Environment (3 units)
  • ESPM 111: Ecosystem Ecology (4 units)
  • ESPM  134: Fire, insects, and disease in wildland ecosystems (3 units)
  • EPS 101: Field Geology and Digital Mapping (4 Units)
  • INTEGBI: 157: Ecosystems of California (4 units)

Category B:  Depth

  • ESPM 268: Rangeland Ecology (2 units) 
  • ESPM 278: Rangeland Assessment (3 units) 
  • ESPM 279: Seminar on Pastoralism (3 units) 
  • ESPM 280: Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy, Bartolome (3 units)
  • ESPM 287: Seminar in Wildlife Biology and Management (2 units)
  • ESPM 290-27: Special Topics in ESPM: Working lands and Conservation (3 units)
  • LD ARCH 221 Quantitative Methods In Environmental Planning
  • ESPM 265: Seminar on Fire as an Ecological Factor (2 units)

Category C:  Breadth

  • ESPM 252: Seminar in Forest and Wildland Resource Policy, and Analysis (3 units) 
  • CRP C253: Environmental Law and Resource Management (3 units) 
  • CRP 252: Land Use Controls (3 units) 
  • LAEP 239: Public Land and Resource Planning and Administration (4 units)
  • GEOG 203: Nature and Culture: Social Theory, Social Practice, and the Environment (4 units)
  •  ESPM 277: Advanced Topics in Conservation Biology (2 units)
  • ESPM 280: Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy  (3 units)
  • ESPM 258: Race, Science, and Natural Resource Policy (3 units)
  • GEOG 250: Seminar in the Sociology of Forest and Wildland Resources (3) units
  • ESPM 298: Wildlife & Conservation Biology Seminar (1 unit)
  • IB C156: Principles of Conservation Biology (4 units)
  • ESPM C170: Carbon Cycle Dynamics (3 units)
  • CYPL291: Buzz Studio: Special Topics in Planning

The two MS plans at UC Berkeley are as follows:

Plan I : Coursework and Thesis

Plan I is used infrequently in our program.  It requires a minimum of 24 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, and completion of a thesis. A minimum of 40% of units must be graduate courses in  the 200 series courses in the student’s major subject, including 4 units of supervised independent research (299). 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 HFA. The thesis may be on any subject selected by the student with the approval of the HFA and their guiding professor. Students must have a properly constituted thesis committee of three members, two of whom must be Academic Senate members from the student’s major.  It is preferred, but not required, that students following Plan I have on the thesis committee an outside member, an Academic Senate faculty member outside the student’s major field. If a proposed committee member does not belong to the Academic Senate, a request for an exception must accompany the application for advancement to candidacy.   Please see:

Plan II: Coursework and Exam

Plan II is the most frequently used plan in our program. It requires a minimum of 24 semester units of upper division and graduate courses. Of the 24 units, a minimum of 12 units or 50% must be in 200-level graduate courses in the student’s 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 Rangeland and Wildlife Management. 

Meeting required units:

Courses in the 300 series or higher do not count toward the unit requirements for either Plan I or Plan II Masters degrees. For either the 20-unit Plan I or 24-unit Plan II, a maximum of 6 units of 299 course work may be used toward fulfilling degree unit requirements. For degree programs requiring more than 24 units, up to 25% of the unit total may be units in 299 courses.

Please see: for more information about  Masters Degree programs at Berkeley.