About the Online Program

Very far-of view of people in a river delta with mountains in the background

The Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) online M.S. program provides students around the world the opportunity to study with outstanding scientists in fields related to natural resource management and environmental sciences.
The degree can be completed online with no required trip to the Urbana-Champaign campus. 
We know what we’re doing when it comes to providing a high quality online education. While we were approved to advertise the program as "online" beginning in 2008, NRES has offered an off-campus M.S. program since 1999. Our real-time course delivery method means that students get the best of both worlds: 
You can enroll in a program that is geographically distant from your home, yet still attend class with other people, engaging with the faculty member and other students in class discussions, assignments, and projects.
As a student, you will benefit from a rigorous, yet flexible program you can tailor to fit your needs and interests. Some of our elective courses are even offered in a blended format, with class meetings online mixed with field trips or laboratory experiences. These give students who are able to travel a few times during the semester the opportunity to interact with the faculty and other students in-person and to gain hands-on experience.
If you are looking for a career change and are concerned you don’t have the background experience to dive into our MS program, don’t worry. We are happy to work with prospective students and can help you find the courses you need in order to be successful in the program
You can also try the program out before making the commitment of applying for admission. You can take up to 12 hours as non-degree seeking students to see if the program is going to meet their needs or to build a strong academic record that will increase their likelihood of being admitted.
If you would like more information about the logistics of being an online student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, review What You Need to Know.

If you have questions specifically about our program, you can contact NRES Student Services.

To hear how graduates from the program have found the degree to be useful, you can read our alumni testimonials.