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Ecological restoration has been defined as “the return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance” (NRC, 1992). According to the Society for Ecological Restoration, ecological restoration is “the process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity”. Ecological integrity is related to biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical contexts and sustainable use (SER, 1999). Thus, ecological restoration can be considered as human intervention to recover nature’s integrity; to restore the environment to its natural state.

A sound science-based ecological foundation is needed for developing and implementing restoration projects. In order to train our graduate students effectively as future resource managers, environmental scientists, and restoration ecologists, we need to equip them with skills and science-based principles that are transportable from one system to another. They also need to learn that good restoration requires a view above and beyond the technical details and should include historical, social, cultural, political, aesthetic and moral aspects, so these ideas are addressed in the technical courses developed for this program.


Students completing the MS non-thesis with concentration in Ecological Restoration will develop or strengthen their knowledge and skills allowing them to:

  • Understand theoretical and technical knowledge from ecology, soils and other bio-physical sciences that form the intellectual foundation of ecological restoration environmental sciences.
  • Design restoration projects (upland and bottomland forests, wetlands, prairie, and dune) that consider knowledge areas outside students’ current area of expertise and in an interdisciplinary team environment.
  • Analyze critically and synthesize relevant primary information sources, such as technical reports and scientific publications.
  • Learn various techniques used in ecological restoration, and evaluation and monitoring.
  • Understand and appreciate the socio-economic, ethics, laws, policy and political dimensions of ecological restoration.
  • Approved Courses for MS Ecological Restoration

    • FOR 5157, Ecosystem Restoration Principles & Practices (Required)
    • FOR 5159, Ecology & Restoration of Longleaf Pine Ecosystem
    • FOR 6934, Ecology & Restoration of Invaded Ecosystems
    • FOR 6934, Agroforestry of the Southeastern US
    • FOR 5615, Natural Resource Conservation & Management Policies & Issues
    • FNR 6628, Watershed Restoration & Management
    • HOS 6932, Plant Materials for Conservation & Restoration

    Final Examination
    Academic programs are required to give a final examination to students as part of their MS graduation requirements. The examination format (e.g., written or oral), length, breadth, location, and subject matter will be determined by the Major Advisor plus an additional SFRC faculty member in concert with the student. The content will be centered on subject matter drawn from the student’s coursework. A second SFRC faculty member, to be identified by the Advisor and student working together, will be required to participate in the student’s examination. The examination should be taken during the last semester of enrollment, but no later than one month prior to the end of the term.

    USA requirements for international students

    Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

    After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

    Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.

    University requirements

    Program requirements

    Admission to the SFRC graduate programs is conditional on securing a faculty advisor for your studies; the best methodfor contacting potential advisors via email with an attachment of your CV/resume.Once you have identified an advisor, visit the University of Florida Office of Admissions website to begin the formal application process. You will need to provide the following in addition to the online application:$30 application fee, paid to the Office of Admissions.Official transcripts of all previous academic work. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 is expected.GRE scores – general test only, taken within five years. Typical combined scores range from approximately 295-305.Three letters of recommendation from relevant academic or employment colleagues.Letter of intent/statement of purpose detailing the areas you wish to study and/or your background.Curriculum Vitae or Resume. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6 TOEFL paper-based test score : 550 TOEFL iBT® test: 80

    Funding Opportunities for Current or Prospective Students

    • Funded PhD in harbour seal ecology
    • Student Trainee Biological Science
    • WSG Science Communications Fellowship
    • New York Tree Trust Municipal Forestry Internship
    • Assistantships, Ph.D or M.S. in Forest Health
    • Urban Forestry Internship Program
    • Sea Delight Ocean Fund Intenship for Graduate Students
    • Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship in Water Rights, Land Use, and Climate Change
    • Senior Associate, U.S Oceans, Southeast


    The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and thus all UF degree programs carry this accreditation (and are held to very high peer-review and administrative/bureaucratic approval processes during the development of courses and programs).

    The SFRC

    Since 1937, the School of Forest Resources & Conservation has been developing new knowledge and educating students and citizens about the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources. We emphasize integrative, interdisciplinary approaches spanning three main programs: (1) Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences emphasizing sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic ecology and health; (2) Forest Resources and Conservation including the biology, ecology, economics, policy and human dimensions associated with sustainable management and conservation of forests; and (3) Geomatics specializing in modern geospatial sciences such as surveying, mapping, remote sensing, satellite imagery, GIS and GPS.


    The SFRC is part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences with four missions: undergraduate education, graduate education, research and extension. Our programs provide: (1) a rich personal educational experience for students; (2) new discoveries and applications that enrich lives, communities and natural resources; and (3) lifelong learning opportunities for professionals, policy makers, landowners, youth and the general public.

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