Natural Resources Institute - MNRM Program Information
This is an interdisciplinary program that includes both courses and a thesis or
practicum. While the thesis or practicum may take an ecological or sociological
perspective on a resource management problem, students will also take courses
in a wide variety of courses, such as ecological and human dimensions of natural
resources management, conservation biology, quantitative or qualitative
analyses, law, economic dimensions of natural resources management, policy,
environmental impact assessments and more. We believe that this broad
education is important in ensuring that graduates are prepared to make
responsible, respectful and informed management decisions.
This program is designed to be completed in approximately 2 years. Full-time
Masters students are encouraged to take at least 7 courses in the first 8 months
of their program, during which time most students will also initiate or complete
their proposal. The remaining time is normally focused on the thesis or
We believe that an interdisciplinary education is critical for making informed
management decisions. If you are considering the NRI for your graduate
education, you must ensure this balance of natural and social sciences, and
courses as well as a thesis or practicum, is right for you.
A central feature of the Master’s program is the Study Plan prepared and
developed by each student in consultation with a faculty advisor. The objectives
of the plan are: (a) to define a research direction; and (b) to organize the student’s course work in the framework for integration and synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge. The Study Plan should define an area of concentration, identify learning objectives, and set out a strategy for achieving those objectives. As the student’s ideas, interests, and learning evolve, the Study Plan is revised to reflect a program synthesis. Except in first year, students are not allowed to register in specific courses unless they have an approved Study Plan.
All students must have a specific faculty advisor throughout their academic program. Students usually select an advisor prior to applying for the program but may be assigned an advisor during the application process. When students enter the NRI, their advisor’s role is to facilitate development of the Study Plan. Students are strongly advised to discuss their research interests and program with their advisor prior to starting their program. Students will have more success if they ensure that their research interests match those of the supervisor. As such, we recommend students select a suitable advisor prior to starting their graduate program. Throughout the student’s time in the Institute, advisors act as program consultants for the student’s individual area of study.
Students in the Master’s program follow an individual Study Plan which includes:
- (a) 12 credit hours of required courses;
- (b) 9-18 credit hours of elective courses;
- and (c) a Master’s thesis or practicum.
The required courses in the curriculum are offered by NRI faculty members and drawing upon the expertise from faculty in a wide range of University departments and beyond. Four course offerings are required (NRI 7182, NRI 7222, NRI 7232, and either NRI 7262 (thesis stream) or NRI 7380 (practicum stream)).
The central academic agenda of the required set of courses is underpinned by the concept of economic, social, and ecological sustainability and includes:
- (i) assessment of the theoretical foundations and practical applications of progress toward sustainable management of natural resources;
- (ii) understanding of ecosystems as self-organizing and responding systems;
- (iii) examination of conventional and alternative social arrangements, including institutions and tools of governance, as means of improving human well-being and environmental responsibility.
The elective courses provide opportunities for in-depth examination of different issues related to sustainable management of natural resources. Selection of elective courses by students will be aimed at strengthening particular areas of expertise. Most of the NRI electives are courses that have developed over time and have been offered at the Institute for many years. Field courses are offered most years. Students may also choose electives from courses offered in other Departments at the University.
The MNRM program is designed to be completed in 2 years. The time to completion varies with individual students and may exceed 2 years. In predicting the length of time it will take you to complete your program, you should consider the following issues that tend to lead to longer programs:
- (1) if you don’t have a project in mind when you enter the program
- (2) if you did not discuss research or practicum ideas or objectives with your
- selected graduate supervisor before applying to the program
- (3) if you take fewer than the recommended number of courses in your first year
- (4) if you are a part-time student
- (5) if you work 20 or more hours per week or get a full-time job before the end of your program
The minimum time for full-time students enrolled in the program is one academic year (in recognition of advanced standing). The maximum time allowed for the completion of the M.N.R.M. degree is 4 years, beginning with the date of first registration in the program. Student progress is assessed on an annual basis, with the right to register in any year being subject to satisfactory academic progress.
The Master of Natural Resources Management Thesis
Candidates for the Master of Natural Resources Management degree are required to complete a thesis, and as such the Thesis Regulations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies apply. For the Master of Natural Resources Management degree, the thesis is an interdisciplinary research project on a resource and environmental management problem. The thesis may entail cooperation with agencies in the community at large and with other Faculties at the University of Manitoba. A minimum of two years from the date of initial registration is generally required to complete the thesis.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies has defined general rules regarding thesis requirements which can be viewed on their website. In addition to these rules, the Natural Resources Institute has a document entitled Master of Natural Resources Management Thesis Process, which outlines the stages for completion.
The thesis is an independent written research document resulting from an interdisciplinary research project, which addresses a practical problem or issue in natural resources and environmental management. The thesis should show that the student has mastery of the specific field of natural resources and environmental management under investigation and is fully conversant with the relevant literature. The thesis should also demonstrate the candidate’s competence in completing a research project. The thesis may entail cooperation with agencies in the community at large and with other faculties at the University of Manitoba.
The Master of Natural Resources Management Practicum
The MNRM practicum is an independent, creative work whose scope, span, and rigour are
similar to that of a thesis. It differs from the MNRM thesis stream in that it is an exercise in the practical application of knowledge and skill to a problem or issue in natural resources and/or environmental management. Practicum refers to the process of developing a proposal to undertake an applied project, the undertaking of the project and the document that is produced as an outcome. The practicum demonstrates the candidate’s competence (knowledge & skills) to formulate and complete an applied project.
The Faculty of Graduate Studies has defined general rules regarding practicum requirements which can be viewed on their website. In addition to these rules, the
Natural Resources Institute has a document entitled Master of Natural Resources Management Practicum Stream, which outlines the stages for completion.
A minimum grade of C+ is required for credit in each course. In addition, a minimum cumulative grade point average of B is required to receive the M.N.R.M. degree. Subject to the approval of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, students receiving a grade of C may either repeat a course (with the permission of the Director) or take an equivalent substitute course. The Natural Resources Institute normally requires withdrawal of students receiving a grade of C or lower in more than 6 credit hours or course work during the program. All NRI courses (NRI 7XXX) follow a standard grading system as follows:
- A+ >90
- A 85-89
- B+ 80-84
- B 75-79
- C+ 70-74
- C 65-69
- D < 65
Students are advised that courses offered by other departments may not follow the above breakdown.
Courses taken outside of previous degree programs may be accepted for advance credit. These cases are considered on an individual basis with a recommendation made to the Faculty of Graduate Studies, providing the work completed is consistent with the requirements of the M.N.R.M. program. The decision to grant advance credit must be made at the time of admission. In such cases, the student must have the prospective courses approved by the Director prior to enrolment.