Here are some of things you can do with an M.S. in Range 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.
  • 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.

Our program:

Head Faculty Advisor and primary contact: Professor of the Graduate School James Bartolome

Other contacts:  Range Management Steering Committee 

The Master of Science in Range Management prepares you to pursue advanced study of rangelands and range 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 range management and research by participating in an internship, or working directly with a faculty member on research.  Your major professor and the Range Management Head Advisor will help you set this up.

Range 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 Advisor can guide you to participating faculty in the range program--email Doctoral work in range management may be pursued as part of the doctorate program in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management.

Two types of program plans lead to the M.S. degree in ESPM. Most range students participate in ongoing research during their studies, and generally follow Plan II (non-thesis), however Plan I (thesis) is also available with advisor consent.  Students must be sure to meet the unit requirements for their choice of plan:

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. For the 24 unit minimum in our program, a minimum of 12 units must be graduate courses in  the 200 series courses in the student’s major subject, including 4 units of thesis research. 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: 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 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 Range Management.  

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 advisor.  This will require enrollment in the courses and completing the exam required as per Plan II. We encourage participation in  a range-related summer project.  Students interested in this program should discuss their plan with the graduate advisor before applying.

Course Requirements

In addition to the core courses below, the program of study might substitute courses in resource economics, hydrology, wildlife, plant ecology, fire ecology, remote sensing, GIS, biogeochemistry, policy, soils, etc 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.  The minimum core courses required for completion of the M.S. in Range Management include courses from each of the following three categories:

Category I:  11-12 units of undergraduate level core courses selected from the below, based on the student's level of preparation (those who have completed some of them as undergraduates will select other courses, graduate or undergraduate,  as per discussion with their advisor and in compliance with Plan I or Plan II requirements):

• ESPM 116B: Rangeland Ecology with plant lab (4) 
• ESPM 186: Management of Grasslands and Woodlands (4)
• IB 102 & L: Introduction to California Plant Life (4) or equivalent
• ESPM 173: Statistics for Ecology, or equivalent as appropriate for field of study (3)

Plan I: At least 8 units (9 if 11 units chosen above) from Categories II and III  below,  and 4 units of 299 thesis research with the thesis chair.

Plan II: At least 12 units (13 if 11 units chosen above) (Plan II) of 200 level courses from categories II and  III must be completed as per the requirements for Plan II, including:

Category II: Your choice of one or more of the following range graduate 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)

Category III:  Your choice of one or more course in western land use policy or applied social science, 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: Social Theory, Social Practice, and the Environment (4)
• ESPM 280: Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy, Huntsinger (3)
• ESPM 258: Race, Science, and Natural Resource Policy (3)
• GEOG 250: Seminar in the Sociology of Forest and Wildland Resources (3)

Courses may be subsituted with Advisor consent to meet specific needs, but in all cases will follow Plan I or Plan II.