How to Apply

Graduate Application Deadlines:

M.S. / Ph.D. Candidates

Reach out to faculty with whom you wish to study; their decision time may vary with funding. For best consideration, complete your application by February 1 for Fall semester and October 1 for Spring semester.

Master of Natural Resource
Stewardship Candidates

Completed applications are due April 1 for Fall and September 15 for Spring. Decisions on admission are expected by May 15 for Fall and October 15 for Spring.

Only the Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship specialization admits students in the summer term; the deadline is April 1st.

Frequently asked questions

Can I still be considered for these graduate programs if my undergraduate degree is not in natural resources?

M.S. and Ph.D.: Yes, it is up to the faculty who will serve as your advisor to determine if your undergraduate preparation is sufficient for their research program. They may require you to take more prerequisite courses to compensate, and in some cases faculty may ask an applicant to take more coursework before being accepted into the program.

MNRS: Students who have not taken college-level ecology or statistics will be required to take these courses. This can be done before or after admission to the MNRS program.

What kind of job can I get with a graduate degree from the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department?

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees prepare students for careers in natural resources management, research, or academia. The MNRS degree prepares students for careers in natural resources management.

Alumni of our programs are employed by:

• Public land management agencies at the federal (USFS, BLM, NPS, and FWS), state, county and city level

• Non-profits such as local land trusts and local, regional and national conservation organizations

• Consulting companies

• Private industry (e.g. private range management)

Are GRE (Graduate Record Exam) Scores required?

No, GRE scores are not required to apply to any of our graduate degree programs.

Do I need to send transcripts if I didn’t get a degree at the college, if the subject area was unrelated to the program I am applying for, if it was a very long time ago, or if it is a foreign university and difficult to get transcripts from?

Yes! We require official transcripts from every institution you have attended, regardless of how long ago it was, how relevant the material studied is to your current interests, and whether or not you completed a degree at that institution. This includes any dual credit and community and technical colleges. There are two exceptions:

1) You do not need to submit Colorado State University transcripts with your application.

2) If you participated in a study abroad program through a U.S. institution, transcripts are required from the foreign institution only when the U.S. school does not list the course names, credits and grades on its transcript.

We do not need copies of your high school transcripts.

Can I send a photocopy of my transcripts?

No, we must have official copies of all your transcripts.

Is there a form for the letters of reference?

No, there is no form for the letters of reference. CSU will email submission instructions to your references.

How do I get an assistantship?

Whether or not you are offered an assistantship is dependent on your advisor. When a faculty member offers to serve as your advisor, ask them if they have funding available for an assistantship.

How will I know when my application is complete?

Applicants can view the status of their application at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

For additional questions contact:

M.S. and Ph.D. applicants explore faculty research interests

Find faculty members who have similar research interests. When you contact them, ask if they are accepting students and have funding for the term you wish to start.

Maintain contact with faculty that expressed interest and please be mindful of their schedules. If they aren’t accepting graduate students when you wish to begin, please explore other options.

NameResearch Interests
Srijana BaralForest and Natural Resource Economics
Dominique David-Chavezindigenous and community-based natural resource stewardship
Sandra Durántrait-based ecology, remote sensing and ecosystem function
Seth Davisforest and woodland entomology
Sarah Hartapplied forest ecology and silviculture
Caroline Havrilladryland ecology and management
Chad Hoffmanwildland fire science
Troy Ocheltreeplant physiological ecology
John Molaapplied ecology, conservation, and plant-insect interactions
Mark Paschkerestoration ecology
Courtney Schultznatural resource policy and governance
Camille Stevens-Rumannfire and disturbance ecology
Jeremy Sueltenfussrestoration and wetland ecology
Yu Weilandscape forest management

Required Application Materials

Statement of Purpose

M.S. & Ph.D. Applicants: Be focused. Include your educational and long term career goals, and how the M.S. or Ph.D. program will contribute to both.

Master of Natural Resources Stewardship applicants should compose a short response (250 words or less) to each of the prompts below. Your narrative and written communication skills will be evaluated by faculty in the Master of Natural Resources Stewardship program.

A) Describe your motivation for completing this degree. How will this coursework-intensive degree program contribute to achieving your goals?

B) How will your past experiences benefit and inform the specialization to which you are applying?

C) Success in graduate school takes commitment, time management, the ability to collaborate with others, and the ability to self-reflect on your own performance.  Describe your strengths and weaknesses in these areas, how you would apply these in graduate school, and what steps you plan to take to help you grow in these areas.

D) Describe your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including your past learning and contributions and/or future plans to support the CSU community commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We encourage you to share specific example(s) of how you have helped create an environment where differences are valued, encouraged and supported.


Outline professional employment, collegiate work, volunteer activities, and any publications, exhibitions, service activities, prizes, awards and other recognitions.

Official Transcripts

Request official transcripts from every institution you have attended even if unrelated to the program(s) you wish to pursue.  When requesting electronic transcripts use institution code 4075.

A GPA of 3.0 or above from the highest, most recent degree earned is required for admission into CSU Graduate School. All international transcripts must include a certified translation into English.

There are two exceptions:

1. You do not need to submit Colorado State University transcripts.

2. If you participated in a study abroad program through a U.S. institution, transcripts are required from the foreign institution only when the U.S. school does not list the course names, credits and grades on its transcript.

Application materials that cannot be uploaded electronically should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University- Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO USA 80523-1062

Three References

Provide contact information (email and phone number) for three references. CSU will contact these individuals and explain how to submit a letter of recommendation. The references should come from at least two of the following categories (for example, one college professor and two supervisors):

• Previous or current college/university instructors
• Previous or current immediate professional supervisors
• Observers other than supervisors who can verify the specific impact of your professional or intellectual expertise.

Note: Letters from friends, relatives or character witnesses are only supplemental to the three required reference letters.

*International Applicants

Please include the following additional materials in your application as applicable.

Immigration Document Request Form

This is required for international applicants to on-campus programs. This is not required for applicants to online degree programs who do not intend to move to the U.S. for school.


An official report of your TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores is required for all international applicants from non-English speaking countries. CSU requires a minimum TOEFL score of 213 (computer based), 550 (paper based), or 80 (internet based), IELTS score of 6.5 or better, or a PTE score of 58 or better for admission without condition.

Send TOEFL scores from ETS directly to Colorado State University. If you did not initially request that your scores be sent to CSU, you can order additional reports by contacting ETS. We generally receive your results within 4-6 weeks of your testing or request date.  Also see the IELTS and PTE websites to request scores.

The CSU Graduate School will only accept TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores taken within two years prior to admission. Copies of score reports issued to you or another party are not acceptable, but you only need to submit your official scores to CSU once regardless of the number of programs, departments, or colleges you are pursuing for admission.

Apply online and pay the application fee

Application fee:

$60 for domestic applicants
$70 for international applicants

Some students may be eligible for an application fee waiver. See the Graduate School’s Application Fee Waiver Request page for the full list of eligible programs.