Prospective Students

CONS: A unique and dynamic approach to conservation in the 21st Century

The CONS program is known for its professional development and multidisciplinary flexibility. It is a very tight network of individuals who come together in order to gain the necessary training before following their dreams and assuming leadership roles in organizations across the globe. This network continues even after graduation as CONS alums assist and support recent graduates and students as they determine the best career path for their future.

What Do Graduates Do With A Degree From The CONS Program?

CONS graduates have usually taken one of three different career paths:

International Work

One group, consisting mostly of international students, has returned to their home countries where they have resumed teaching careers, begun work for NGOs, or done consulting work. This group includes faculty from Mexico and Venezuela, NGO workers in Panama, India, and Ecuador; it also included the first woman (Bernadetta Sugardjito) appointed Director of a national park in Indonesia (who met an untimely death in an accident en route to the park). One American graduate went on to a job as Park Development Officer in Botswana, working in a national park to develop environmental education programs with local village schools and conservation/community groups.

Ph.D. Studies

Nirmal BhagabatiA second group of graduates pursues advanced graduate work (Ph.D. programs), in fields ranging from molecular genetics to resource economics, to geography, and policy. CONS graduates have completed Ph.D. programs at University of Minnesota, Cornell University, Michigan State University, Washington University (St. Louis), North Carolina State University, University of Maryland, and others. All of these students were offered financial support, and several received prestigious fellowships.


Professional Careers

The largest group of CONS graduates has gone into the work force. Many work for NGOs such as The Nature Conservancy, Biodiversity Support Program, Wildlife Conservation Society, Friends of the National Zoo, Santa Barbara Zoo, and International Crane Foundation. Others work in consulting firms, and a few work in government agencies (e.g., Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service).

CONS Degree Programs

Students enroll in one of three degree programs:

  1. Standard CONS Program - CONS Progress Checklist (39 credits, 2-3 yrs)
  2. Dual Degree CONS and Public Policy Program - PPCN Progress Checklist  (60 credits, 3 yrs)
Participation in the CONS program includes four main components:
  1. Core courses in ecology, conservation biology, resource economics, public policy, and interdisciplinary problem-solving; (**Thank you for your patience. The core corse document is being updated and will be posted soon.)
  2. Elective courses from a wide array of disciplines, including BEES, BIOL, GEOG, MEES, PLSC, PUAF, URSP, etc.  Students may choose a specialty or "CONSentration" (.pdf);
  3. An internship experience for one semester relevant to the student's career interests;
  4. A scholarly paper that uses readily available data to analyze a conservation or development project from the perspective of biological conservation and economic benefits and leads to policy recommendations.

Contact the CONS program

Telephone: 301-405-6938
Fax: 301-314-4139