Range Management

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

The Master of Science in Range Management prepares students with a bachelor’s degree in resource management or related disciplines to pursue advanced study of rangelands and range management. Graduate study in range management serves as the basis for a professional career in rangeland livestock production systems; grassland, savanna, wetland and shrubland ecology and management; native plants; rangeland rehabilitation; conservation easements; wildlife habitat; water quality issues; working landscapes; and rangeland economics and policy.

The graduate program in range management is administered by an interdepartmental group of faculty members from the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM) and related departments at UC Berkeley.

Excellent laboratory and field facilities are available for student research. These include several experimental range properties as well as large wildland ranges easily accessible from Berkeley. The faculty is actively engaged in both theoretical and practical research.

Doctoral work in Range Management may be pursued as part of the PhD program in ESPM.

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Admission to the University

Minimum Requirements for Admission

The following minimum requirements apply to all graduate programs and will be verified by the Graduate Division:

  1. A bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution;
  2. A grade point average of B or better (3.0);
  3. If the applicant comes from a country or political entity (e.g., Quebec) where English is not the official language, adequate proficiency in English to do graduate work, as evidenced by a TOEFL score of at least 90 on the iBT test, 570 on the paper-and-pencil test, or an IELTS Band score of at least 7 on a 9-point scale (note that individual programs may set higher levels for any of these); and
  4. Sufficient undergraduate training to do graduate work in the given field.

Applicants Who Already Hold a Graduate Degree

The Graduate Council views academic degrees not as vocational training certificates, but as evidence of broad training in research methods, independent study, and articulation of learning. Therefore, applicants who already have academic graduate degrees should be able to pursue new subject matter at an advanced level without need to enroll in a related or similar graduate program.

Programs may consider students for an additional academic master’s or professional master’s degree only if the additional degree is in a distinctly different field.

Applicants admitted to a doctoral program that requires a master’s degree to be earned at Berkeley as a prerequisite (even though the applicant already has a master’s degree from another institution in the same or a closely allied field of study) will be permitted to undertake the second master’s degree, despite the overlap in field.

The Graduate Division will admit students for a second doctoral degree only if they meet the following guidelines:

  1. Applicants with doctoral degrees may be admitted for an additional doctoral degree only if that degree program is in a general area of knowledge distinctly different from the field in which they earned their original degree. For example, a physics PhD could be admitted to a doctoral degree program in music or history; however, a student with a doctoral degree in mathematics would not be permitted to add a PhD in statistics.
  2. Applicants who hold the PhD degree may be admitted to a professional doctorate or professional master’s degree program if there is no duplication of training involved.

Applicants may apply only to one single degree program or one concurrent degree program per admission cycle.

Required Documents for Applications

  1. Transcripts: Applicants may upload unofficial transcripts with your application for the departmental initial review. If the applicant is admitted, then official transcripts of all college-level work will be required. Official transcripts must be in sealed envelopes as issued by the school(s) attended. If you have attended Berkeley, upload your unofficial transcript with your application for the departmental initial review. If you are admitted, an official transcript with evidence of degree conferral will not be required.
  2. Letters of recommendation: Applicants may request online letters of recommendation through the online application system. Hard copies of recommendation letters must be sent directly to the program, not the Graduate Division.
  3. Evidence of English language proficiency: All applicants from countries or political entities in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. This applies to applicants from Bangladesh, Burma, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Middle East, the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, most European countries, and Quebec (Canada). However, applicants who, at the time of application, have already completed at least one year of full-time academic course work with grades of B or better at a US university may submit an official transcript from the US university to fulfill this requirement. The following courses will not fulfill this requirement:
    • courses in English as a Second Language,
    • courses conducted in a language other than English,
    • courses that will be completed after the application is submitted, and
    • courses of a non-academic nature.

If applicants have previously been denied admission to Berkeley on the basis of their English language proficiency, they must submit new test scores that meet the current minimum from one of the standardized tests. Official TOEFL score reports must be sent directly from Educational Test Services (ETS). The institution code for Berkeley is 4833. Official IELTS score reports must be mailed directly to our office from British Council. TOEFL and IELTS score reports are only valid for two years.

Where to Apply

Visit the Berkeley Graduate Division application page

Master's Degree Requirements (MS)

Two types of programs lead to the MS degree in Range Management, Plan I requires course work and a thesis, and Plan II requires course work and an oral examination.

Unit Requirements

Plan I (Thesis Plan)

Consists of 20 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, at least 8 of which must be in graduate-level courses in the major subject.

Plan II (Non-thesis Plan)

Consists of 24 semester units of upper division and graduate courses, at least 12 of which must be in graduate-level courses in the major subject.


In addition to the core courses, the program of study might include courses in resource economics, hydrology, wildlife, plant ecology, fire ecology, remote sensing, GIS, biogeochemistry, policy or soils. Course requirements must be completed with a GPA of at least 3.0.

The minimum core courses required for completion of the MS in Range Management include:

ESPM 116BRangeland Ecology4
ESPM 186Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems4
INTEGBI 102LFIntroduction to California Plant Life with Laboratory4
Select two of the following:
Seminar in Range Ecology [2]
Range Assessment [3]
Seminar on Pastoralism [3]
Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy [3]
Select one course in Western land use policy, such as:
Land Use Controls [3]
Quantitative Methods for Ecological and Environmental Modeling [3]
Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy [3]
Nature and Culture: Social Theory, Social Practice, and the Environment [4]
Select one course in statistics, such as:
Introduction to Probability and Statistics in Biology and Public Health [4]
Introduction to Multivariate Statistics [4]

Plan I (Thesis Plan)

A substantial part of the coursework will be designed to acquire in-depth knowledge relevant to the thesis. Before starting thesis research, the student must have a research plan approved by the guiding professor and the graduate adviser. The thesis may be on any subject selected by the student with the approval of the chair of the graduate advisers and the Graduate Division.

Plan II (Non-thesis Plan)

This plan requires that students pass a comprehensive oral exam before the degree can be awarded. The examination will emphasize the student’s program of graduate study, but the student must also demonstrate an understanding of other principles and issues related to the study of Range Management.

Internship/Field Work/Practicum

All Range Management students are strongly encouraged to participate in a semester or summer internship, which will provide practical field experience in range management, or work directly with a faculty member on research. The student’s major professor and Range Management adviser will work with students to set up this aspect of the program.


Range Management

Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Barbara H. Allen-Diaz, Professor and Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland Management.

Reginald H. Barrett, Professor. Environmental science, policy and management, introduced species, species and land use ecology, land use planning, terrestrial vertebrates, human impact on wildlife, tule elk, wild pigs.
Research Profile

John J. Battles, Professor.

Steven R. Beissinger, Professor.

Justin S. Brashares, Associate Professor. Wildlife, biodiversity, ecology, conservation, human livelihoods.
Research Profile

William E. Dietrich, Professor. Morphology, earth and planetary sciences, geomorphology, evolution of landscapes, geomorphic transport laws, landscape evolution modeling, high resolution laser altimetry, cosmogenic nuclide analysis.
Research Profile

Mary K. Firestone, Professor. Soils, environmental policy, environmental science, policy and management, wildlife, microbial biology.
Research Profile

+ Lynn Huntsinger, Professor.

N. Maggi Kelly, Professor.

Adina M. Merenlender, Adjunct Professor.

Arthur Middleton, Assistant Professor.

Mary E. Power, Professor. Freshwater ecology, food webs, trophic dynamics, northern California rivers, watersheds.
Research Profile

John Radke, Associate Professor. City and regional planning, landscape architecture and environmental planning, geographic information systems, database design and construction, spatial analysis, pattern recognition computational morphology.
Research Profile

Nathan Sayre, Associate Professor and Chair.

Whendee Silver, Professor.

Scott Stephens, Associate Professor.

Ian Wang, Assistant Professor.


Van Butsic, Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension.

Luke T. Macaulay, Assistant Specialist in Cooperative Extension.

Richard B. Standiford, Cooperative Extension Forest Management Specialist.

Emeritus Faculty

James W. Bartolome, Group Chair, Professor Emeritus. Plant ecology, grazing, biodiversity, grasslands, environmental science, rangelands, fire, mediterranean ecosystems.
Research Profile

Louise P. Fortmann, Professor Emeritus.

John A. Helms, Professor Emeritus.

William Z. Lidicker, Professor/Curator Emeritus.

+ Joe R. McBride, Professor Emeritus.

Dale R. McCullough, Professor Emeritus.

Jeffrey M. Romm, Professor Emeritus.

Thelma E. Rowell, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Range Management Program

137 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-1546

Visit Program Website

Department Chair

George Roderick

145 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-3788


Graduate Student Affairs Officer

Bianca Victorica

137 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-1546


Chief Administrative Officer

Carolyn J. Chee

143 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-642-2987


Department Assistant

Rachel Kidwell

145 Mulford Hall

Phone: 510-643-4554


Head Graduate Advisor

Damian Elias

VLSB 5028

Phone: 510-642-6396


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