Getting Started

 Welcome to the OSU ONLINE Natural Resources Program!

You're joining an extremely diverse group of students from all over the U.S. and around the world working on their Natural Resources degree!

The Natural Resources Website is full of information including FAQs, petition forms, the College of Forestry Student Handbook, important web links, a step by step guide to getting started, as well as the most recent version of the Student Advising Guide. Please take the time to read through the information and bookmark this website as you will be coming back to it frequently! Most of the questions you will have will be answered on this website.

 It will be very important for you to bookmark these webpages as well…

Academic CalendarImportant deadlines that you should be aware of each term.
Ecampus Schedule of Classes or the OSU Online General CatalogSearchable Course schedules and descriptions.
Video Tutorials – The Registrar’s office has created several tutorials on using the registration system, MyDegrees and other helpful topics.
MyOSU portal – A one-stop login portal that connects you to all things OSU including adding/dropping classes.

Step 1: Preparing for your Advising Appointment

It can take up to 6 weeks for the Admissions department to articualte your transfer cources. (after you pay the Advanced Tuition Deposit). However, you can still get registered because there is plenty of coursework for the Natural Resources major that will not duplicate your previous courses.

Review the Student Advising Guide. This Guide will be your road map to completing your degree.  We are here to help you, but we expect you to steer your own boat. The Guide is updated frequently so look for an updated version sent from your advisor each term prior to registration. You can always find the most current copy on the Natural Resources Program website, and a link is in the Natural Resources Major block in MyDegrees.


Step 2: Plan your first term
Use the Student Advising Guide to assist you in planning your courses each term. You do not need to finish the work in the Baccalaureate Core before starting the Natural Resources major courses. However, make sure to check the course descriptions carefully for prerequisites! Not all prerequisites are enforced but are always highly recommended.


There is no enforced sequence of courses that is required for the Natural Resources major. However, it is STRONGLY recommended that you complete your biology, chemistry, math, statistics and economics requirements during the first year of the program. These courses are often prerequisites for other classes and it is best to get them done as soon as you can. We expect you to make these courses a priority when planning your terms.

 Also, if you struggle with these types of subjects, you may be more comfortable and do better in a traditional classroom setting close to home.  You should check with your advisor to get preapproval on courses taken outside of OSU.

Many of our students participate in OSU’s Degree Partnership Program (DPP), which may allow you to complete some of your coursework more affordably and in smaller classroom environments. The DPP allows you to be jointly admitted and enrolled at Oregon State University and one of Oregon’s community college partners who also offer online courses in many subject areas. Enrolling in the DPP may be very important to your success and your financial health if you are receiving federal financial aid. It’s free to join even if you never use it.

 Before taking courses locally send your advisor the course descriptions/institution and we will let you know if the courses will be appropriate for transfer. Substitutions for OSU courses may require a petition so please contact your advisor if you are considering taking courses at a different institution so we can begin that process as well. It is best to take transfer work early in your academic program so that it does not impact your graduation requirements for residency and receipt of transcripts.

Here are a few important things to know about biology and chemistry requirements…

 One year (minimum of 12 credits) of lab Biology  which covers cellular, plant and animal biology is required. The recommended series is BI 204, BI 205 and BI 206 (offered online) at OSU but we do accept BI 101,102,103 (not online) and BI 211,212,213 (not online). Specializations in Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Ecological Restoration, Wildland Fire Ecology and Urban Forest Landscapes may require that you have taken the “biology for science majors” (either of the 200 level series). Some federal and state jobs in certain fields also require a biology for science majors series.

 You must have completed CH 121 Introductory Chemistry before BI 205 and BI 206. The courses do not have to be taken in order but it is recommended that you do. You can also take CH 121 concurrently with BI 205 or BI 206 if you have a lot of time available for studying. If you have previously taken a chemistry course that did not transfer as equivalent to CH 121 you may need to petition for that course to be accepted as a prerequisite. Talk to your advisor about the petition process!

 BI 370 General Ecology is a required prerequisite for many Fish & Wildlife and Forestry classes. The 200 level biology is the required prerequisite for BI 370. Specializations options that require BI370/BI2XX series are Ecological Restoration, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Forest Ecology (not online), Urban Forest Landscapes, Wildland Fire Ecology.

 To get you started we have listed a few classes below. These are good “starters” that don’t have prerequisites and give you a taste of the kind of coursework you will complete for the NR major.

 AEC 250 *Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy (3)  OR ECON 201 *MicroeconomicsPrerequisite for most Resource Economics courses.
ENT 300/HORT 330
*Plagues, Pests and Politics (3) – Political Issues
FES 240
* Forest Biology - Forestry
FES 365 *Issues in Natural Resource Conservation (3) – Ethics and Philosophy
FES 342 Forest Types of the Northwest (3) – Forestry and some specialization options
FW 251 Principles of Fish and Wildlife Management(3) – Wildlife Management and some specialization options
FW 323 Management Principles of Pacific Salmon in the Northwest (3) – Fisheries and Marine Science
FW 325 *Global Crises in Resource Ecology (3) – Social Issues
FW 340 *Multicultural Perspectives in Natural Resources  (3) – Ethics and Philosophy
FW 350 *Endangered Species, Society and Sustainability (3) – Political Issues
GEOG 300 *Sustainability for the Common Good (3) – Social Issues
HST 481 *Environmental History of the United States (4) – Political Issues
NR 201 Managing Natural Resources for the Future (3) – Required Introductory Course! Take ASAP!
PHL 443 *World View and Environmental Values (3) – Political Issues and some specialization options
PS 475 Environmental Politics and Policy (4) – Political Issues and some specialization options
RNG 341 Rangeland Ecology and Management – Range
RNG 355 Desert Watershed Management (4) – Land and Water
SUS 103 *Introduction to Climate Change (4) – Climate Science
SUS 350 *Sustainable Communities (4) – Environmental Assessment and Planning
TRAL 251 Recreation Resource Management (4) – Social Issues
TRAL 352 Wilderness Management (3) – Political Issues or Social Issues and some specialization options
TRAL 493 Environmental Interpretation (4) – Advanced Communications and some specialization options

Earth OR Soil Science
Students choose take an Earth Science or Soil Science class that best pairs with their chosen area of specialization. These courses may also be required prerequisites in some options. Check the Advising Guide.
Earth Science: NR Education (GEO 101), Landscape Analysis
Soil Science: Ecological Restoration, Forest Ecosystems, Urban Forest Landscapes, Wildland Fire Ecology
Either: Conservation Law Enforcement, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Human Dimensions, Policy and Management, Integrated Conservation Analysis (could be either depending on the area of disciplinary depth that is pursued).

CSS 205 *Soil Science (4) – Soil Science
GEO 101 *The Solid Earth (4) – Earth Science
GEO 201 *Physical Geology (4) – Earth Science
GEO 221 Environmental Geology (4) – Earth Science
GEOG 102 *Physical Geography (4) – Earth Science

Not all classes are available every term, but I’ve listed enough that you should be able to find a few classes to get you started. You are free to choose any other available class that appeals to you from the Student Advising Guide and for which you have completed the prerequisites. TIP: Save the syllabus for each class you take as these can be helpful later if you need to petition a course!

 You should also look for courses that can double count between the Baccalaureate Core and the Natural Resources major. These are listed in the Student Advising Guide on page 14 or see the Natural Resources website for a chart of Baccalaureate Core classes and where they can count in the NR major. No double counting is allowed within the Natural Resources major requirements or specialization options. (The “*” next to a course number always means it is a  Baccalaureate Core approved course which means it can double count there.)

 Before you schedule your appointment you should make a list of the courses you are interested in.

 Step 3. Schedule an appointment

You will be assigned an Academic Advisor from the College of Forestry who will guide you through your academic program. Your advisor will send an introductory email and request that you schedule an initial orientation appointment to go over the program, discuss your goals and make a plan for the future terms. The link to your Advisor’s Appointment Calendar will be included in the email. Your advising appointments will be more efficient if you can be at your computer with your MyDegrees audit accessible (see below for more information on MyDegrees).

 Do your homework before making an appointment! You should be prepared for your appointment by having read this information thoroughly, reviewed the attached Student Advising Guide, and have a few classes that you are interested in as well as a few "back ups".