Natural Resources

Natural Resources

Degree Type
Bachelor of Science
Honors Bachelor of Science
College of Forestry


When you study natural resources at OSU’s campus in Bend, you join one of the world’s top forestry schools. OSU’s College of Forestry is internationally recognized for its ground-breaking research and for preparing graduates who can take on the complex challenges that face our natural world.

In this interdisciplinary degree, students study science, management and policy topics with expert faculty who have experience in research, public agencies and industry. You’ll study complex interactions that take place in the natural world — and how humans can impact them. Your courses will include ecology, fish and wildlife, watershed management, habitat restoration, environmental ethics and law, sociology, and resource policy.

Our graduates are prepared to make the natural world better in careers in resource ecology, land use, water resources, environmental policy, resource technology and natural resource education — or even to apply to graduate school.

You'll have millions of acres of national forest and public lands at your doorstep. It’s a natural laboratory where we explore, develop leadership skills, take field classes and discover innovative conservation and preservation methods.


Program Information

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Option

This option prepares students for a career in the broad arena of natural resource and wildlife conservation. It emphasizes understanding the relationship between animal species and their habitat requirements and the ability to apply this knowledge to the management of ecosystems as a means of conserving fish and wildlife.

Individualized Specialty Option or Ecampus Specialty Option

The Individualized Specialty Option (ISO) is a student-designed option that allows a student to tailor their academic program to specific goals or interests. In consultation with their academic advisor, students will develop a program of study that meets their goals, as well as program requirements. The student is required to submit a proposal for approval by the Natural Resources Program Director. Students should contact their assigned academic advisor for information on developing an Individualized Specialty option.

A total of 180 quarter credits are required to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits. Requirements include:

  • Baccalaureate core: 24-28 credits
  • Natural resources major requirements: 73-88 credits
  • Specialization option: 37 credits (students must select an option)
  • Electives as needed to meet 180 total college credits

Degree Checklist and Advising Guide

Natural Resources Checklist and Advising Guide

Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Conservation Checklist, NR3 (PDF)
Natural Resources General Checklist, ISO or Ecampus Options
Natural Resources Advising Guide

Transfer Guides

OSU-Cascades COCC Transfer Guides
College of Forestry Transfer Guides for Oregon Community Colleges

Four-Year Sample Plan

A degree pathway is important to student success. To help you explore your major coursework and for you to begin the process of creating an individualized academic plan, we have created a sample four-year plan for the Natural Resources major. These plans also include academic and co-curricular opportunities ideas for each academic year.

This is a sample plan intended for informational purposes only. Students will work with their OSU academic advisor to create degree plan that works best for each student based around unique interests, goals and transfer work.

Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife Four-Year Plan

Using the following course forecast information students will plan ahead and work with their advisor to create and update academic plans.

OSU Course Catalog

OSU Class Search

Natural Resources Courses by Term

Upon successful completion of the program, students will meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Describe ecological processes, including human impacts that influence ecosystem change, natural succession and the future sustainability of natural resources. 
  • Characterize natural resources and be able to quantify at least one of these resources.
  • Envision desired future conditions in an area to achieve a set of natural resource-related objectives, prescribe management actions needed to achieve those objectives, and evaluate success of these actions.
  • Describe how the use, management, and allocation of natural resources are affected by laws, policies, economic factors (both market and non-market), and characteristics (including demographic, cultural, ethnic, and “values” differences) of private and public resource owners and users.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, with audiences of diverse backgrounds.
  • Work effectively with, and within, interdisciplinary and diverse groups to resolve management problems and achieve management objectives.

Natural Resources Minor (27 credits)

Students majoring in other programs at OSU-Cascades can choose to complete the natural resources minor. The minor is intended to provide a broad exposure to the natural resources field. It offers course work that integrates a number of natural resources disciplines.

Natural Resources Minor Curriculum Checklist



One of the best colleges offering degrees in natural resources & conservation
College Factual


OSU's College of Forestry is ranked second in the world


National forests and public lands in Central Oregon form our 2.5 million-acre classroom

Conservation at 7,800 feet

Whitebark pine trees on top of mountain peaks are critical to our water-challenged region. They harness precious snowpack which creates late-season stream flows. They also create habitats and provide food for wildlife. But increasing numbers of these trees are threatened by fungus, beetles and climate change. Instructor Seth Ganzhorn and student researchers are working with the Forest Service to better understand the genetic identity of whitebark pines. They climb up mountains, collect needles, extract DNA and identify differences between healthy and diseased trees. They hope to use their results to enhance alpine ecosystems.

American Pika and Northwestern Bat Hub

In the Human and Ecosystem Resiliency and Sustainability Lab, you can study how populations of plants and animals are responding to changing environmental conditions. The Lab has established long-term monitoring programs focused on American pika and bat species in the Pacific Northwest.

Sample Courses

  • Forest Types of the Northwest
  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Managing Natural Resources for Future
  • Wildland Plant Identification
  • Desert Watershed Management
  • Sustainable Communities
  • Aquatic Entomology
  • Endangered Species
  • Management of Pacific Salmon
  • Rangeland Management
  • Environmental Politics and Policy

Course Listing

Where do our grads work?

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Coast Range Timberland Management, Inc.
  • GSI Water Solutions, Inc.
  • Sustainable World Coalition
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Weyerhaeuser


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We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.