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University Bulletin

Graduate Degree Programs

Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE)

Co-Chairs, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology and Department of Geography

 

Degrees Conferred:

Students electing the dual-title intercollege program in HDNRE through participating majors may earn a degree with dual-title at both the Ph.D. and M.S./M.A. levels, i.e., Ph.D. in (graduate program name) and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, or M.S./M.A. in (graduate program name) and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment.

The following graduate programs offer dual-title degrees in HDNRE: M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology and HDNRE; M.S. and Ph.D. in Energy and Mineral Engineering and HDNRE; M.S. and Ph.D. in Forest Resources and HDNRE; M.S. and Ph.D. in Geography and HDNRE; M.S. and Ph.D. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and HDNRE; and M.S. and Ph.D. in Rural Sociology and HDNRE.

 

The Graduate Faculty

 

The Program

The HDNRE dual-title intercollege degree program is administered by the HDNRE Program Committee. The committee maintains program definition, identifies appropriate faculty and courses, and recommends policies and procedures for its operation. This dual-title intercollege degree program is offered through graduate major programs in four colleges: Agricultural Sciences, Earth and Mineral Sciences, Health and Human Development, and the Liberal Arts. HDNRE enables students to attain and be identified with the content, techniques, applications, methods, and policy implications of an interdisciplinary focus on Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, while maintaining a close association with areas of application.

Through participation in HDNRE, student programs of study will emphasize integrated, multidisciplinary approaches designed for improving their understanding about and management of natural resources. Areas of study will reflect the faculty adviser's home department and disciplinary thrust. To pursue a dual-title intercollege degree under this program, the student must first apply and be admitted through one of the existing graduate programs that offers the dual-title degree in HDNRE (Anthropology; Energy and Mineral Engineering; Forest Resources; Geography; Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management; or Rural Sociology).

Admission Requirements

HDNRE requirements include: (1) a minimum baccalaureate Jr/Sr grade point average of 3.0 out of a 4.0 scale; (2) a statement of professional goals, natural resource management philosophy, and reasons for applying to the program; and (3) three letters of reference from individuals capable of evaluating the applicant's potential for graduate work in interdisciplinary natural resource management. TOEFL scores are required of all students for whom English is a second language.

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not received a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) and submit the results of that test with the application for admission. A TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test, a score of 213 on the computer-based test, or 80 points on the new Internet-based Test with a minimum of 20 points on the speaking portion; or the IELTS module with a minimum composite score of 6.5 is required for admission.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for a dual-title intercollege degree, students must satisfy the requirements of the major program in which they are enrolled, including the communication/foreign language requirements, if any. In addition, they must satisfy the minimum requirements in the HDNRE dual-title intercollege program described here. Final course selection is determined by the student and her/his respective graduate committee. All dual-title intercollege degree candidates must enroll in HDNRE 590 in each of their first two semesters.

M.S./M.A. Degree: A candidate for the dual-title intercollege M.S./M.A. in HDNRE must complete 17 credit hours of HDNRE coursework beyond the bachelor's degree in addition to curricular requirements for the masters degree in the student's primary program. The HDNRE requirement includes four common courses in the HDNRE curriculum – i.e., HDNRE 590 Colloquium (two credits), HDNRE 574 Integrated Perspectives in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, HDNRE 575 Ethical Issues in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment, and RSOC 555 Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. In addition, each HDNRE student will take either ANTH 559 Behavioral Ecology (to be changed to Human Ecology – name change proposal at Department) or FOR 565 GIS-Based Socio-Ecological Landscape Analysis, and one additional course selected in consultation with the student's graduate committee. The HDNRE Colloquium must be taken in each of the first two semesters of enrollment in the dual-title intercollege degree program. In addition, 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research (in the student's home graduate degree program) are required if the candidate is writing a thesis. Particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the HDNRE dual-title intercollege program. All courses must be approved by the student's M.S./M.A. committee.

The thesis supervisor and chair of the student's graduate committee shall be a member of the student's major program, and a member of the dual-title program. All members of the committee must hold Graduate Faculty status or secure the same before serving on the committee.

The culminating experience (e.g., thesis, scholarly paper, project) must incorporate an HDNRE interest together with the primary field of study. All students are also required to successfully complete an oral defense of the M.S./M.A. project completed as part of the master's requirements if required by the participating program.

Ph.D. Degree: A candidate for the dual-title intercollege HDNRE Ph.D. must complete, in addition to curricular requirements for the doctoral degree in the student's primary program, a minimum of 18 credit hours of HDNRE coursework. This includes the required courses for the HDNRE M.S./M.A. program. The HDNRE Colloquium must be taken each of the first two semesters of enrollment in the dual-title intercollege degree program, and once more prior to graduation. In addition, 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research (either in the home department or in HDNRE) are required. Particular courses may satisfy both the graduate major program requirements and those of the HDNRE program. If an HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary course work must be selected, with the approval of the student's doctoral committee. As well, a continuing doctoral candidate must take 3 credits of HDNRE 590 (each student must enroll the first two semesters and then once more prior to graduation).

All Ph.D. students will be required to complete, present, and defend a dissertation that incorporates a topic related to HDNRE, in addition to the participating program.

All participating primary programs (Anthropology; Energy and Mineral Engineering; Forest Resources; Geography; Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management; and Rural Sociology) have agreed to incorporate the dual-title program within the student's dissertation work.

Student Aid

Forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Primary Programs of Study

All students (M.S./M.A. and Ph.D.) in the dual-title intercollege graduate degree program in HDNRE are expected to complete the common series of courses (HNDRE 590 – 2 credit minimum for masters students and 3 credit minimum for doctoral students, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, and RSOC 555). As well, each student is required to take either ANTH 559 or FORS 565 and one additional course selected in consultation with the student's graduate committee. All students must complete the required course of study in their primary program. Further, all HDNRE Ph.D. students will be encouraged to assist in teaching at least one course as part of their training and education in the dual-title intercollege graduate degree program.

Rural Sociology

M.S.

  • M.S. – minimum of 30 credits (400, 500, 600 level) plus thesis
  • Research Methods (AGEC 525 or its equivalent)
  • Statistics – two semester sequence (AG 400 or RSOC 573 or their equivalent)
  • Two or more of the following courses for Rural Sociology (RSOC 444, 452, 501, 502, 508, or 516)
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research
  • A final oral defense of thesis
  • M.S. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.

Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. – no specified minimum credit requirements plus dissertation
  • RSOC 502
  • Either RSOC 516 or 517
  • Two of the following (includes untaken course from above; RSOC 501, 508, 525, 530, 552, 555, 597A-E)
  • Research Methods (AGEC 525 or its equivalent)
  • Statistics – two semester sequence (AG 400 or RSOC 573 or their equivalent)
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research
  • Comprehensive examinations in four areas (Rural Sociology; Methods/Statistics; two additional areas. These areas of concentration are developed in consultation with major professor and others. One of these areas must be HDNR.)
  • A final oral defense of dissertation
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Forest Resources

M.S.

  • M.S. – minimum of 30 credits (400, 500, 600 level) plus thesis
  • 12 credits in 400 and 500 level courses appropriate to field of interest
  • 6 credits of graduate level statistics
  • 2 graduate seminar colloquium credits
  • At least 6 and no more than 15 credits of Thesis Research
  • At least 18 credits total must consist of 500- or 600-level course series, and only 6 thesis research credits (600) are applicable
  • A final oral examination
  • M.S. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.

Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. – no specified minimum credit requirements plus dissertation
  • Candidacy Examination
  • 2 credits of 590
  • 1 credit FOR 602 credit (Supervised Experience in College Teaching)
  • Satisfy Language or Culture requirement
  • Comprehensive Examination
  • A final oral defense of dissertation
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Energy and Mineral Engineering

M.S.

  • M.S. – minimum of 30 credits (24 course credits + 6 credits of Thesis Research)
  • 15 credits representing physical (EGEE 500 – 3 credits) and chemical (EGEE 510 -3 credits) interactions, quantitative skills (EGEE 520 -3 credits), integrative design experience (EGEE 580 – 5 credits), or equivalent substitution in these main programmatic areas, and Colloquium (EGEE 590- 1 credit)
  • A final oral defense of thesis
  • M.S. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.
  • Ph.D. – minimum of 15 credits of 500-level courses plus dissertation
  • Candidacy examination
  • Comprehensive examination
  • A final oral defense of dissertation
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management

M.S.

  • M.S. – minimum of 36 credits including thesis
  • 9 credits RPTM core courses (RPTM 501, 527, 545)
  • Research Methods (RPTM 530)
  • Statistics – one statistics course at 400 or 500 level
  • 5 credits of RPTM electives
  • 6 semester credit hours of thesis research
  • A final oral defense of thesis
  • M.S. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.
  • Ph.D. – no specified minimum number of credits plus dissertation
  • 12 credits RPTM core courses (RPTM 501, 527, 545, 597)
  • Research Methods (RPTM 533 plus a qualitative methods course)
  • Candidacy and comprehensive examination
  • Statistics – three statistics courses beyond master's coursework
  • 6 credits of RPTM electives
  • Dissertation research (no specified minimum of credit hours)
  • A final oral defense of dissertation
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Anthropology

M.A.

  • M.A. – minimum of 30 credits (24 course credits + 6 credits of Thesis Research)
  • 12 credits in Anthropology (including ANTH 408 and ANTH 456)
  • 6 credits of graduate level statistics
  • At least 6, but no more than 15 credits of Thesis Research
  • At least 18 credits total must consist of 500- or 600- level course series, and only 6 thesis research credits (600) are applicable
  • A final oral examination
  • M.A. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.

Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. – The M.A. requirements as noted above (or equivalent)
  • 18 additional graduate level credits
  • Satisfy foreign language requirement
  • Comprehensive Examination
  • A final oral defense of dissertation
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Geography

M.S.

  • M.S. –Thesis option or two-paper option: thesis option minimum of 30 credits, plus thesis; paper option minimum of 35 credits, plus two papers, one of which must be associated with a seminar. Geography 500 and 502, 3 credits of 501, 2 credits of 590, and a minimum of 3 other 500-level seminar credits from the Department required. Proposal defense required of both options;
  • Illustrated Paper presentation required at end of 2 nd year.
  • M.S. – 17 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course).
  • 6 semester credit hours of Thesis Research if a thesis is required.

Ph.D.

  • Ph.D. – Geography 500 and 502, 2 credits of 590; no other course or credit requirements, plus dissertation
  • Proposal defense a minimum of two weeks before comprehensive exam; final oral defense of dissertation.
  • Ph.D. – 18 credits in HDNRE program (HDNRE 590, HDNRE 574, HDNRE 575, RSOC 555; either ANTH 559 or FORS 565; plus one course). If a HDNRE M.S./M.A. student continues into the HDNRE Ph.D. program, 15 credits of interdisciplinary courses must be selected with the approval of the student's doctoral committee.
  • 9 semester credit hours of Thesis Research

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE ENVIRONMENT (HDNRE) course list

 

Last Revised by the Department: Fall Semester 2008

Blue Sheet Item #: 36-07-009

Review Date: 6/17/08

Faculty linked: 6/20/14