The Master of Science in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies provides students with opportunities to engage in integrated and applied research and acquire professional skills. There are three options for MS degrees in the Department of CARRS. The MS-A option is a research-based degree and requires completion of a thesis. The MS-B option emphasizes professional or managerial development and requires a professional capstone project. The Peace Corps Masters International program includes two-years of Peace Corps service as part of the MS program.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, students must meet the requirements specified below.
- Degree Requirements
Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree or comparable degree requirements from a recognized educational institution. Relevant experience and strong academic credentials in the natural, physical, or social sciences are encouraged for applicants to the Master of Science program in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies. All applicants for admission are required to submit scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). All applicants from countries whose official language is not English are required to submit current TOEFL scores (or equivalent, as outlined on the Michigan State University Graduate School web site, page 4 of http://www.msu.edu/user/gradschl/prospect/gradappintl.pdf ). Collateral courses or English language courses may be required to overcome deficiencies. Such courses will not count toward the master’s degree.
Applicants for the Master of Science program must specify their intent to pursue either the Plan A (research degree, with thesis) or Plan B (practitioner degree, without thesis) degree. Applicants interested in the Peace Corps Masters International program (with integrated Peace Corps experience) should apply simultaneously to the Peace Corps and the CARRS Master of Science program.
See the department’s web site for a complete list of required application materials. All applicants must explain why they are interested in a multidisciplinary degree rather than a discipline-based degree. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty to explore possible common interests.
The student may select either
- Plan A (with thesis) or
- Plan B (without thesis)
Plan A emphasizes integrated and applied research and is designed as the foundation for doctoral study or other independent post-graduate, research-related work.
Plan B focuses on the acquisition of well-defined professional skills, appropriate for a terminal degree and for professional employment.
A minimum of 30 credits is required for the degree under Plan A and Plan B. The student’s program of study must be developed in cooperation with and approved by the student’s guidance committee and must include the requirements specified below.
Requirements for all MS students
- Both of the following courses must be taken during the student's first fall semester (6 credits):
ACR 800 , Foundations of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (3 credits)
ACR 802 , Survey of Research Methods (3 credits) ; must be taken during the student's first fall semester.
- A minimum of 15 credits of course work in a focal area, which may coincide with one of the department’s four focal areas, an interdepartmental specialization, or developed in consultation with the student’s guidance committee. At least 6 credits of this focus area must be in CARRS courses.
Additional Requirements for Plan A students
- A minimum of 3 credits of quantitative or qualitative methods, to be selected in consultation with the student’s guidance committee.
- A minimum of 6 credits of ACR 899 (thesis/research credits).
- Completion and defense of the master’s thesis.
Additional Requirements for Plan B students
- A minimum of 3 credits of a techniques or skill-building course relevant to the student’s academic and career goals, to be selected in consultation with the student’s guidance committee.
- Both of the following courses:
ACR 895 , Case Studies in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies
ACR 898 , Master’s Professional Project
- Completion and defense of a paper based on the master’s professional project.
NOTE: Students in the Masters International program will participate in their two-year Peace Corps experience between their first and last years of coursework at Michigan State University.
The guidelines and policies governing the Master of Science program in Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS) are provided in detail in the Graduate Handbook.