RNR Doctoral Program

The School of Renewable Natural Resources offers a Graduate education to students who wish to discover the natural world and ways to improve the management of renewable resources, protect biodiversity, and promote conservation of diverse ecosystems. The two Graduate curricula (Masters and Ph.D.) are available that provide students with advanced education in five areas of concentration: Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry and Forest Resources, Forest Products, Watershed Science, or Wildlife.

The Graduate School website has all the current information for prospective students. Details for admission. Application Fees and current deadlines for the LSU Graduate School are available. The nonrefundable fee must accompany the application; no applications will be processed without it. All applicants for admission to the School of Renewable Natural Resources (SRNR) must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution*, be acceptable to a majority (51%) of the graduate faculty in the applicant's degree program, and have an identified major professor. Successful applicants to the SRNR Ph.D. program generally have undergraduate GPAs of at least 3.25, graduate GPAs over 3.75, and a minimum combined verbal/quantitative GRE score of 300.”

A new Graduate Minor has also been approved: "Graduate Minor in Interdepartmental Studies in Wetland Ecology and Restoration". The goal of this minor is to instill in students a strong understanding of concepts in wetland ecology and restoration as well as to demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of wetland ecology and restoration. This minor is intended for graduate students whose thesis or dissertation( in any of the areas or concentration) research addresses some aspect of wetland ecology or restoration. An interdepartmental wetland approach encourages graduate students to complete wetland courses within their department as well as wetland courses from other departments. Such mixing benefits students and faculty. More information is available below.

Doctor of Philosophy in Renewable Natural Resources

The Ph.D. Degree in Renewable Natural Resources is a new degree in the School of Renewable Natural Resources, which will result from the consolidation of two of the School’s historic Ph.D. degrees (Forestry-PFOR, Wildlife and Fisheries Science-PWFS). The Ph.D. degree in the School of Renewable Natural Resources is a unique degree program that is not offered at any other Louisiana university. 

Graduates of the Ph.D. program will pursue science-based careers primarily in academia, but will be qualified to become leaders in industrial organizations, local, state, and federal governments, non-governmental organizations, and consulting firms. Surveys of RNR graduates have shown that job demand is sufficient for successful placement of all graduates as natural resource professionals in Louisiana as well as nationally and internationally.

For the Ph.D in Renewable Natural Resources, five areas of concentration are also available: fisheries and aquaculture, forestry and forest resources, forest products, and wildlife (as for the Masters degree) plus the addition of Watershed Science . The Ph.D. in Renewable Natural Resources is also includes the availability of the Graduate Minor in Interdepartmental Studies in Wetland Ecology and Restoration. Information on all of these choices is available below.

Areas of Concentration

Graduate Minors

  • Fisheries
  • Forestry
  • Wildlife
  • Interdepartmental Studies in Wetland Ecology and Restoration

The minimum course requirement for the Ph.D. in Renewable Natural Resources is 34 semester hours of graduate credit (exclusive of RNR 8000 and RNR 9000) beyond the baccalaureate degree, plus 20 hours of RNR 9000 (dissertation research). Some of the required coursework can be transferred from graduate programs at other universities, subject to approval by the committee. The following courses or evidence of their equivalence determined by the full advisory committee must be completed for the Ph.D. degree:

Course Credit Hours Course Title
RNR 7001 3 Research Methodology
(taken the first available semester)
EXST 7004 or 7005 4 Statistical Techniques I
EXST 7014 or 7015 4 Statistical Techniques II
RNR 7070 (Fisheries) 1 Graduate Seminar (2 semesters required)
RNR 7071 (Forestry) 1 Graduate Seminar (2 semesters required)
RNR 7072 (Wildlife) 1 Graduate Seminar (2 semesters required)

Download the PhD Program of Study Form

For More Information:

William E. Kelso, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Graduate Coordinator
F.O. Bateman Professor of Renewable Natural Resources
School of Renewable Natural Resources
Louisiana State University Agricultural Center
118 RNR Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

wkelso@lsu.edu | lsu.edu | www.rnr.lsu.edu