Master's Program at Gorongosa National Park
The Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology Program was created in 2017 by the Gorongosa Project with a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in order to prepare Mozambicans to advance conservation in their biodiverse nation. The program is the first and only M. Sc. in conservation biology in Mozambique, and it is the only master’s program in the world to be conducted entirely in a national park. It offers a truly unique educational experience in which students are fully immersed in conservation—interacting with biologists, rangers, and community outreach and ecotourism professionals. By studying, conducting research, and living in Mozambique’s flagship national park, students gain much more than an academic education – their entire lifestyle revolves around the practice of conservation in protected areas.
In this two-year program, students complete academic credit hours through intensive short-term courses taught by an invited faculty of professors from around the world. The scope of our courses is comparable to conservation biology M. Sc. programs at traditional universities, but the Gorongosa program emphasizes field work and practical knowledge, preparing students for future careers as scientists, natural resource managers, and community outreach specialists.
Beyond formal courses, students also conduct independent research, advised by the invited faculty and Gorongosa scientists. They write and defend formal master’s theses, and are expected to publish their work in internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journals. Students’ research topics have ranged from natural forest regeneration under shade-grown coffee to the differential effects of mammals and insects on vegetation dynamics to population genetics of understudied species to the microbiome of soils under different fire regimes. This exciting variety of topics is made possible by living and working in an incredible environment—Gorongosa National Park.
The Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology Program functions as a consortium comprised of Gorongosa National Park and three Mozambican institutions, the Universidade Lúrio, Universidade Zambeze, and the Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica. With our partners, we are ensuring excellence in academics and research. To learn more about our academic program, faculty, or our students follow the links here and the tabs on the left hand side of the page. We accept new cohorts of students every two years.
For more information on our academic program click on the tabs to the left, or the links below.