Earn a Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management

The certificate provides students and professionals with training and expertise in the key topics related to wilderness management. Courses cover the history and philosophy of the wilderness system, wilderness law and policy, wilderness recreation management, wilderness ecosystem conservation and resource monitoring, and wilderness planning. Taken together these courses provide the necessary foundation for students to pursue careers in wilderness management. Courses are offered via distance learning (online and correspondence) through the Wilderness Management Distance Education Program in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation.


To earn a Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management, students must successfully complete the following courses:

Course Credits
NRSM 560 American Wilderness Philosophy and Policy 4
NRSM 561 Managing Wilderness Ecosystems 4
PTRM 562 Managing Recreation Resources in Wilderness Settings 3
NRSM 563 Wilderness Planning: Theory, Management Frameworks, and Application 3

NRSM 560, 561, and PTRM 562 can be taken in any order, but NRSM 563 serves as a capstone and cannot be taken until the other three courses have been completed. In total, 14.0 academic credits are required.

Note: Each graduate course requires students to submit an original research paper.

Students registering for a graduate level course need to request a copy of their undergraduate degree transcript and have it sent to Jessica Winters, University of Montana Graduate School, at

Upon successful completion of the four courses at the graduate level (500) for the Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management you will be required to:

  1. Apply for Graduate Non-degree Admission, UM Graduate School, University of MT. The application fee is a non-refundable $60.00 Fee.
  2. There is a $45.00 fee for the graduate certificate application due the UM Graduate School.
  3. You will also need to complete Distance Only form and that will exempt you from the immunization requirement.

    If you have questions, please call the UM Graduate School at (406)-243-2572.