Skip to main content

MSc Fisheries Science

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Duration 4 semesters
Cost $43,515 USD (Non-resident tuition for 45 credit degree), $967 USD (Non-resident tuition fee per credit)

The Fisheries Science graduate program focuses on quantitative analysis of marine and freshwater fish populations, water quality, fish systematics, fish and invertebrate physiology, stream ecology, modeling of aquatic ecosystems, land use interactions, endangered species, and aquaculture.

Areas of Concentration in Fisheries

Aquaculture, conservation biology, fish genetics, ichthyology, limnology, parasites and diseases, physiology and ecology of marine and freshwater fishes, stream ecology, toxicology, water pollution biology.

Marine Research

Students can choose to spend one term at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, an extended campus facility located in Newport, where we have courses emphasizing the marine environment.

The Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit has active research programs funded in part by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Biological Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. The Agricultural Experiment Station, the Sea Grant program, Forest Science Laboratory and other organizations fund major research projects.

Structural components
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

A complete application packet includes the following:

  • OSU online application
  • A 1-2 page statement that outlines your research and professional interests, as well as your interest in the Fisheries Science or Wildlife Science program. Include information on specific major advisors that you would like to work with, or with whom you have corresponded.
  • Official transcripts of all previous academic coursework.
  • GRE scores. (OSU code 4586)
  • Three letters of reference.
  • International students: TOEFL scores.

Submit the application materials through the online application portal administered by the OSU Graduate School. Online submission facilitates sharing your application among potential advisors and checking to ensure that all your application materials (such as letters of recommendation) have arrived. Follow the submission guidelines and instructions outlined on the graduate school website. There is a $60 application fee.

Grant opportunities

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program:

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GFRP) is a national award program of prestigious fellowships given each year to a select group of master’s and doctoral students in science and engineering fields in recognition of their academic and professional excellence. Students who receive the NSF-GRFP benefit from a generous stipend, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education to which they are accepted.

Oregon State University offers competitive benefits meant to augment and support NSF Fellowships. In addition to the stipend provided by NSF, NSF Graduate Research Fellows who choose OSU as their affiliate graduate institution will receive full tuition and mandatory fee support and subsidized health insurance benefits under OSU's graduate assistant and fellow health insurance plan during their active tenure years. OSU will also reserve a portion of the annual cost of education allowance for the Fellow to use for research expenses.

Graduate Assistantships:

There are many reasons to become a graduate assistant, not the least of which is that an assistantship will provide necessary financial support for your education. In exchange for service, an assistantship provides a monthly salary, tuition remission, and an institutional contribution toward mandatory fees and the graduate assistant-only health insurance premium. Teaching assistantships (TAs) may include leading a discussion, delivering lectures, grading papers, or supervising a laboratory. Research assistantships (RAs) typically assist faculty in conducting research projects.

Graduate fellowships and awards:

Learning outcomes

Students will produce a professionally written thesis that meets peer-review publication standards. Students will be able to prepare and deliver a professional quality oral presentation. Students will be able to effectively communicate in discussions with peers and the general public. Students will demonstrate the ability to solve problems, evaluate evidence and recognize bias; ability to adjust conclusions/approaches in face of new data or interpretation tools. Students will demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the area of expertise and general breadth in the field. Students will demonstrate an understanding of ethical issues in fisheries and wildlife sciences.


Admission decisions are based on many factors, such as the quality of the applicant’s prior academic degree and record of accomplishment, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation from professors or others familiar with the applicant’s academic work, performance in aptitude and achievement tests, relevant work experience, preparation in the proposed field of study, and the connection of the applicant’s academic goals with the faculty’s research interests.

A four-year baccalaureate degree (or international equivalent), a professional degree (such as BPharm, BVsc, MBBS, MD, DVM, DPharm, etc.), or an appropriate U.S./Canadian alternative degree, from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, with a cumulative B average (equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale) on the most recent baccalaureate degree or any subsequent graduate degree from a regionally accredited (US) or recognized (International) college or university, plus all work completed thereafter.*

Applicants not meeting minimum requirements still may be considered for admission with the support of their academic program, plus review and approval by the University Graduate Admissions Committee. For these applicants, decisions may rely more heavily on non-cognitive criteria. However, the university encourages applicants whose overall cumulative undergraduate GPA of less than an equivalent 3.00 on a U.S. 4.00 grading scale to take the GRE.

ISCED Categories

Ocean Literacy