Graduate and Professional

Graduate Education

Instructor Tammy Wilbert leads lab work during the Non-Invasive Genetics Techniques in Wildlife Conservation Course. Photo by Alexis Glenn/Creative Services/George Mason University.

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation graduate courses offer in-depth explorations of advanced and highly specialized topics in applied conservation studies.  Courses cover a diverse selection of topics focusing on biodiversity conservation, ranging from adaptive management to statistics in ecology and conservation, to non-invasive genetic techniques. All current courses take place as intensive one or two-week sessions and participants are in residence on the SMSC grounds in Front Royal, VA.

Prospective students holding at least a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university are eligible to apply to earn graduate credit through George Mason University.   Although the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation does not presently offer a graduate degree, coursework may be applied to George Mason University’s M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy concentration in Conservation Science and Policy.  (Graduate students from other institutions may be able to apply coursework to their current programs with prior approval of their home institutions.)

In many cases, graduate students will have the unique opportunity to learn alongside conservation professionals currently working in the field.  The unparalleled resources at the facilities draw researchers and practitioners from around the world, and this offers a rare opportunity for students and professionals to interact to mutual benefit in a hands-on situation and to receive informal mentoring from experienced practitioners.

Click HERE to view the graduate courses now open for enrollment!

Professional Training

Participants learn skull morphology and small mammal taxonomy from Dr. Kris Helgen, curator-in-charge at the Division of Mammals, National Museum of Natural History.

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation professional training courses offer in-depth explorations of highly specialized topics in biodiversity conservation.  Specific courses cover a diverse selection of topics ranging from effective conservation leadership to applied climate change to designing and implementing a biodiversity action plan.  All courses take place as intensive one- or two-week sessions in residence on the SMSC grounds in Front Royal, Virginia.

Professional training courses are designed for current conservation professionals and are not offered for academic credit.  However, in many cases, participants in professional training courses will interact with graduate students.  Many participants enjoy these opportunities to get to know the next generation of conservation professionals, and to share their experience informally.

Click HERE to view the professional training opportunities now open for enrollment!