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International Resources

Administered by the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

Students in this option focus on management of natural resources outside the US, typically emphasizing natural resource and environmental issues in developing tropical countries. In consultation with the advisory committee, each student builds a concentration by selecting a set of courses related to a chosen focus area, emphasizing either “science and technology” or “policy and economics.”

The focus area could be a geographic (e.g., South East Asia) or biogeographic (e.g., Tropical Dry Forests) region; a policy issue (e.g., carbon credits for reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, sustainable tourism certification); a planning problem (e.g., developing community-based ecotourism); a management technique (e.g., agroforestry, frameworks for evaluating effectiveness of protected area management); or a discipline (e.g., political economy, restoration ecology).

In addition, students are required to have substantial international experience as part of their degree program. This usually means writing the masters paper or thesis on an international topic. Subject to committee approval, this requirement can also be met through a study abroad program or other international experience.

Job Opportunities

Graduates pursue careers with non-profit organizations and consulting firms that focus on environmental issues in developing countries, companies that invest internationally in natural resources, and government agencies with international programs. Graduates can also bring their international experience and knowledge to bear on natural resource issues in the US through positions with state and local government. Several MS graduates of the program are now pursuing PhDs in various fields, including geography and applied economics.

Faculty Contacts



No prerequisites

Master of Natural Resources Core Curriculum

CourseDescriptionCredit Hours
NR 500Natural Resource Management3
NR 571Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy3
ST 5**A graduate level statistics course3
FOR 801FER Graduate Seminar (or equivalent seminar course)1
  Total Credit Hours10

Technical Option Core Curriculum

FOR 683 Seminar in Forest Research (1 credit hour) – students are strongly encouraged to take this course in their first or second semester in the program.

CourseDescriptionCredit Hours
FOR 803Seminar in Forest Research1
Track 1Choose 9 hours in selected track9
Track 2Choose 4 hours in other track4
  Total Credit Hours14

Additional Courses/ Requirements

Three hours of NR 695 Master’s Thesis Research or NR 693 Master’s Supervised Research are required. MS students may take an additional three hours of NR 695. MNR students are required to take 9 hours of elective course work (in addition to the required courses), as planned with and approved by their advisory committees.

Students are required to have substantial international experience as part of their degree program. This usually means writing the masters paper or thesis on an international topic. Subject to committee approval, this requirement can also be met through a study abroad program or other international experience.

Students who do not have a background in natural resources or a related field may be required to take up to 12 credit hours of undergraduate course work that cannot be counted towards the MNR degree program.

Technical Option Electives

Students choose between two tracks in the international option: (a) science and technology or (b) policy and economics. Students take at least nine credit hours (normally three courses) in their chosen track. In the other track, students take four credit hours, normally consisting of either one lab course, or one full course and one mini-course in a related skill area. Approved courses in the two tracks are listed below; other courses may be approved by the student’s committee.

Please note that most students take courses that do not appear on the lists below; there are too many courses to list here, and new or one-time courses are often relevant to programs of study. Students may take courses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Duke University at the NC State tuition rate. Students may also take up to six credit hours of 400 level courses in other departments at NC State.

Students who choose the policy and economics track should take at least one methodology course (qualitative or quantitative, e.g., survey methods (ST715), operations research (OR501), econometrics (ECG561), statistics (ST505, ST708), anthropology (ANT516 or ANT550), sociology (SOC707)).

Students who choose the science and technology track may be required by their committee to take electives that supplement the core 9 hours in this track.

Pre-approved courses in science and technology:
FOR 750 – Restoration Ecology
FOR 680 – Field Practicum in Tropical Forestry
FOR 583 – Tropical Forestry
CS 430 – Advanced Agroecology
AEC 761 – Conservation Biology
ENV 517 – Tropical Ecology (Duke)
OTS courses in Tropical Biology
Mini-courses in agroforestry, silviculture, physiology, forest measurement, and GPS

Pre-approved courses in policy and economics:
AEE 740 – Extension in Developing Countries
ANT 533 – Anthropology of Ecotourism and Heritage Conservation
ANT 544 – Cross-cultural Perspectives on Women
ANT 595 – Wealth, Poverty and International Aid
ARE 590 – Environmental Economics in Developing Countries
COM 523 – International and Intercultural Communication
ECG 540 – Economic Development
ENVR 685 – Water Policy in Lesser Developed Countries (UNC)
FOR 519 – Forest Economics
PRT 555 – Environmental Impacts of Recreation and Tourism
PS 533 – Global Problems and Policy
PS 536 – Global Environmental Law and Policy
PS 539 – International Political Economy
PS 543 – Latin American and Caribbean Politics
SOC 514 – Developing Societies
Mini-courses in forest policy, data management, qualitative methods, and grant-writing

Total Credit Hours

30 hours for MS
36 hours for MNR


Recent Project Titles:

  • Gonzalez-Jeuck, Grizel.  2014. Agroforestry technology transfer in Los Rios, Chile: Analysis of rural farmers’ response to outreach and education
  • Burnett, Cody.  2013. Evaluation of the conservation education program in Serra Malagueta Natural Park, Cape Verde
  • Cothren, Paula.  2013.  Understanding rural water supply and access on South Africa
  • Raimondi, Alicia. 2012. Determinants and impacts of tourism participation: Assessing ecotourism in a national forest of the Brazilian Amazon
  • Katie Caldwell 2007, Measuring Medicinal Plant Value and Indigenous Knowledge in Ghana, Africa

Links/ Additional Information

International programs in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources