Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

Ecosystem Science and Management

College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources

Graduate Student Expectations, Timelines, and Assessment

Graduate Student Expectations

While we recognize that each student and each student's program is unique, there are common expectations for all.  These are outlined below:

  • Every graduate student should prepare a solid proposal of their work that is reviewed and accepted formally by their graduate committee. For PhD students, the proposal should be presented to the department in a formal seminar. This proposal should be finalized before the student begins collecting data.
  • Every graduate student should present their work at least once at an appropriate professional meeting.
  • Every PhD student should have at least 1 manuscript in review prior to graduating. Every MS student is expected to publish their research.
  • Every PhD student should have teaching experience prior to graduating.  MS students are encouraged to have teaching experience prior to graduating.  For students on state funded assistantships, being a teaching assistant is a requirement.
>>Click here to download the Graduate Student Handbook

Expectations of Graduate Faculty

  • Provide sound and timely advice and guidance to graduate students. It is expected that there will be more advice and guidance given to MS students and that PhD students will be given more latitude.
  • Ensure that new graduate students have the appropriate background for their field of study. For example, for a student undertaking a Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management degree, the student must either have an undergraduate degree in this field or take REWM 5000.
  • Ensure that students take courses appropriate to their field of study. This includes courses within and outside the department from other graduate faculty. There should be a minimal need for special topics or similar one-on-one types of courses.
  • Provide sound advice to graduate students on the makeup of their graduate committee, but not dictate who should be on it.
  • Graduate faculty should teach graduate-level courses. Expectations for graduate students in combined courses should be significantly higher than for undergraduate students.
  • Ensure that there is appropriate financial and time support for any graduate student whom they choose to be the major advisor.
  • Ensure that the students know coming in that writing a peer reviewed paper and submitting it for publication is an expectation.
  • Ensure that proper credit is given to fellow faculty members and other graduate students in any paper or presentation.
  • Be willing to serve on graduate committees, on departmental graduate committees, and participate in assessment of graduate programs and learning.
  • It is incumbent upon each faculty member and the department as a whole to ensure that we are providing quality programs.  Therefore, the expectations outlined above should be taken as the minimum to which each of us should aspire.

Expected Timelines to Complete a Graduate Degree

Most of the research conducted in the department is field based.  If you select a research project with field work, you can expect that it will take 2.5 years for an MS degree and 3.5 years for a PhD degree (assuming you enter with a completed MS degree).  This will vary based on research requirements, course work required, other commitments the student may have, and other such factors.  If a faculty member takes you on as a graduate student and provides a Graduate Assistantship, you should expect to be supported for these amounts of time.  The faculty member is expected to let you know of any funding issues prior to your acceptance and during your program.

>>Click here to download the Graduate Student Handbook

Assessment of Graduate Student Education

Every graduate student will be assessed following their final defense.  The major advisor is responsible for having all committee members fill out an assessment form that evaluates the student on oral communication skills, written communication skills, quantitative skills, logic and critical thinking abilities, breadth of knowledge, and professionalism.

Contact Us

Ecosystem Science and Management

Agriculture Building 2013

Department #3354

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2263


Ecosystem Science and Management
Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon