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Gorongosa Master’s Program

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 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 MSc 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 MSc 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 in partnership with the Universidade de Lisboa. With our partners, we are ensuring excellence in academics and research. We accept new cohorts of students every two years.


Mozambican Students attend a workshop in the E.O. Wilson Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park. Mozambique


We aim to become an internationally recognized M.Sc. program dedicated to training competent and capable biologists and conservation leaders in Mozambique. Our students acquire comprehensive knowledge of conservation science, which allows them to become successful researchers and managers of the country’s biological resources.  Learn More.  


Registration for the Master in Conservation Biology in Gorongosa National Park closed on November 3, 2023. Thank you for your interest. 




The Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology faculty consists of a talented, knowledgeable team of professors who generously donate their time to teach intensive courses in the master’s curriculum. Faculty members also act as thesis advisors to students and help them in the design and development of their research. We are very grateful for our amazingly dedicated faculty from around the world! Learn More

Information for Faculty

Our incredible guest faculty make the Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology Program possible. We are extremely grateful for your time and dedication to promoting conservation through education. Learn More. 

Our Consortium Partners

The Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology Program is made possible through partnerships with three Mozambican institutions, the Universidade Lúrio, Universidade Zambeze, and the Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica, in partnership with the Universidade de Lisboa. Our consortium partners help ensure our academic excellence and provide the institutional and administrative support necessary to run a master’s program housed in a national park. Learn more. 

Student Life

Students in the Gorongosa Master’s in Conservation Biology Program have the rare privilege of calling Gorongosa National Park their home for two years. Learn more

Student Research

Our students conduct their thesis research on an impressive variety of topics in Gorongosa National Park and its buffer zone. See here for a list of current research projects. 



To become recognized nationally and internationally as a master’s program that prepares professionals capable of contributing to conservation through biodiversity research and effective management.


To provide master’s students the highest quality education possible in conservation biology in Mozambique. Students will graduate with ample scientific knowledge and will be capable of conducting research and working in conservation management. Graduates will be critical thinkers, have high ethical standards, and a strong sense of compassion. These qualities will guide them in their work in conservation and sustainable development.

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The Gorongosa Project – Generating prosperity and protecting biodiversity across 3 million hectares of Africa’s Great Rift Valley