Ecology BS/Integrative Conservation and Sustainability MS

The Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development M.S. program has attracted outstanding students and produced exceptionally talented ecological scientists, many of whom are now leaders in the field. Our alumni have used the CESD master’s program as a foundation to obtain positions with government agencies working at the global, national, and local levels, including U.S. AID, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Park Service, as well as nongovernmental organizations such as The Nature Conservancy. Many have used the CESD M.S. program as a portal to Ph.D. or other advanced degree programs. In many cases, the M.S. thesis products of CESD alumni have provided specific services to communities in need.

Several graduates have been successful in developing collaborations with conservation and development agencies in the U.S. and abroad which have led to employment opportunities following graduation. Profiles of some of our alumni can be found on the Odum School CESD website:

Admission to Program

Ecology majors may apply to the B.S. Ecology/M.S.Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development Double Dawgs program in the fall semester of their junior year. Students who meet the following eligibility requirements specified below should arrange to meet with both the undergraduate coordinator Jasmine Crumsey ( and the graduate advisor Julie Gunby ( early in the semester to discuss program feasibility and to be advised on coursework.

To be eligible for the Ecology B.S./M.S.-CESD Double Dawgs pathway, students must:
- have completed at least 60 credit hours before the start of their junior year
- be on track to complete a minimum of 12 hours of their 3000-level and above Ecology major coursework by the end of their junior year
- have a minimum GPA of 3.2 at the time they apply to the Double Dawgs pathway


Graduate-level courses that may be used to satisfy undergraduate and graduate program requirements.

Any 6000, 7000, or 8000-level ECOL course may be used towards the undergraduate Ecology degree (maximum 12 credit hours). If applicable, students may enroll in the 6000-level option for courses from other departments that are listed as Group B Major Electives for the B.S. Ecology degree (see the UGA Bulletin for complete list).

Additional requirements that are unique to this Double Dawgs program:

Specific courses required for the Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development Graduate program:

ECOL 6080 - Principles of Conservation and Sustainable Development (4 credits)
ECOL 8400 - Perspectives on Conservation and Sustainable Development (2 credits)
ECOL 8710 - Environmental Law Practicum (4 credits)
ECOL 8990 - Problems in Ecology (2 credits)

Additional graduate-level electives in Ecology and related departments are listed on the CESD website:

Admission to Graduate Program

Applicants to the Double Dawgs M.S. in Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development must provide the same documentation required by prospective students applying to the graduate program directly, with the exception that one of the three letters of recommendation must come from the prospective faculty advisor in the School of Ecology. The graduate committee will review applications on a rolling basis using the same acceptance criteria as for traditional applicants to the program. Specifically, applicants should have:
- a competitive undergraduate GPA at the time of application
- three letters of recommendation, one of which must be a support letter from the prospective M.S. faculty advisor
- a statement of purpose detailing the proposed research

Program Advisor

  • Name: Amanda Rugenski
  • Email:
  • Phone: 706-542-2968
  • Address: Ecology Building, Rm. 103

Undergraduate Major Information

  • Major: Ecology B.S.
  • Department/College: Odum School of Ecology

Advising Contact

  • Name: Misha Boyd
  • Email:
  • Phone: (706) 542-0800
  • Address: Ecology Building, Rm. 18

Graduate Major Information

  • Major: Integrative Conservation and Sustainability M.S.
  • Department/College: Odum School of Ecology

Advising Contact

  • Name: Catherine Pringle
  • Email:
  • Phone: (706) 542-1120
  • Address: Ecology Building, Rm. 133