Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?

Our application deadline is March 1. However, we will start accepting applications on October 1. We recommend submitting your application early, as we have a rolling admissions process. Additionally, CSU and Warner College scholarship applications are due March 1 and you must be already accepted to apply for those scholarships.

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

Acceptance to the program will be communicated to you by email no later than mid-March. We have a rolling admissions process and most admissions decisions are communicated within one month of submitting a fully completed application.

Do I need to find a Conservation Leadership advisor prior to being accepted?

No. Acceptance to the Conservation Leadership program does not require you to identify a Conservation Leadership advisor.

What is the duration of Conservation Leadership?

Conservation Leadership is an 18-month program, which includes two semesters of full-time coursework at CSU (9 months) followed by a capstone project during the summer (4 months). Time needed for completion of the project and deliverable(s) after the fieldwork portion varies from 2-5 months.

Do I need to have a certain undergraduate degree to apply?

No. An undergraduate degree is required to enter the program, but it does not have to be in a specific field. It is expected that you have some academic, professional or volunteer experience related to conservation topics, such as natural resources, environmental health, agriculture, or international development. Each applicant will be assessed on their individual academic record and experiences during the selection process.

What degree will I get upon completion of Conservation Leadership?

All Conservation Leadership students will receive a master’s degree in Conservation Leadership. Conservation Leadership is within the Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources (HDNR) in the Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR) at Colorado State University (CSU).

How are we different from the HDNR Master’s of Science degree?

The traditional Master’s of Science in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources is a research-based degree where you work with a faculty member or group of faculty members on a specific research project. In contrast, we are a cohort-based program with a focus on coursework and applied projects. Find out more about the traditional Master’s of Science Degree here.

Do I need to speak English to be accepted? Or a non-English language to go abroad?

All students from a country where English is not the official language will need to take an approved English exam, such as the TOEFL.

Some of the international project sites also require foreign language abilities to participate.
Students going to a country where Spanish language proficiency is required will be asked to take an online Spanish assessment, such as the DELE ( Typically a Level B score on the DELE will be expected for completing a capstone project in a Spanish speaking country.

What are housing options in Fort Collins?

Fort Collins has been consistently at the top of the list of “America’s Best Places to Live” by Money Magazine. Colorado State University has four apartment complexes on or near campus that offer 12-month or month-to-month lease options. The university apartments pride themselves on intercultural living and are home to many international students. For more information visit

There are also many off-campus, non-university related apartment complexes and homes for rent. Off-Campus Student Services provides many resources, such as rental listings and roommate requests at

Do I need a car when living in Fort Collins?

This depends on your transportation needs. Having a car in Fort Collins can make transportation easier, but there are other options too. CSU students can ride the local bus service, Transfort, for free. Fort Collins is also a platinum-rated Bicycle Friendly Community with bike lanes and paths throughout the City. For more information on biking in Fort Collins visit

Will I be able to have a job while enrolled in Conservation Leadership?

Many students are able to work 10-12 hours per week on average during the on-campus portion of Conservation Leadership. Students who consider part-time work (15-20 hours per week) should have exceptionally strong time management and priority-setting skills. On campus job announcements will be posted to the ‘Student Job Listing’ feature on Ramweb.

Can I take an elective course along with the Conservation Leadership coursework?

It is not recommended for Conservation Leadership students to take courses outside of the Conservation Leadership curriculum. During some weeks, students are away on field trips or participating in workshops for Conservation Leadership, which makes participation and success in non-Conservation Leadership courses difficult.

Can I visit the program before I decide to apply/enroll?

Yes, we encourage prospective students and applicants to come visit the program and sit in on a class session. For those traveling from out-of-town, we have put together a couple travel suggestions here.