The Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) Program offers a graduate-level (Master’s and Ph.D.) Certificate and Interdisciplinary Concentration at the University of Florida. The goal of these programs is to train students for careers in conservation and development research and practice by providing interdisciplinary knowledge and technical skills related to tropical conservation and development. To achieve this goal, the TCD program administers:

  • A graduate certificate program (12 credits for Master’s students and 15 credits for Ph.D. students) consisting of two to three required core courses, plus one course in tropical ecology and one social science course relevant to tropical conservation and development.
  • A graduate interdisciplinary concentration for students in participating academic units who complete the certificate course requirements and, in addition, focus on tropical conservation and development in their thesis, dissertation or final projects.

Program coursework includes social science theory, principles of tropical ecology, patterns and trends of tropical resource use and conservation, and research design. The TCD Practicum course provides academic credit for supervised professional activities outside the classroom, allowing students to build competence in essential practical skills. Throughout the curriculum, emphasis is placed on communication and presentation techniques, proposal writing, facilitation and conflict management, participatory methods for research and project implementation, and project design, analysis, and evaluation.

Graduates of the TCD academic program have an in-depth understanding of the relationships between biological conservation, sustainable resource use, and human well-being in the tropics, and they have the appropriate professional skills for a career in conservation and development research, field practice, or both.

Please note that PhD students seeking a second TCD certificate/concentration, in addition to one already received at the Masters level, cannot count any of their 4 Masters-level required TCD courses for their doctoral certificate/concentration.  As dictated by UF’s Graduate School, they must complete 5 different TCD required courses to receive an additional TCD certificate/concentration on their transcript at the doctoral level.