The mission of the Master of Science program in Environmental Science is to provide a rich and rewarding setting in which students and faculty can develop and communicate innovative and practical solutions to present and future environmental challenges, with a focus on urban and coastal issues.
The university allows the opportunity for high-achieving undergraduate students to count a select number of graduate credits toward their undergraduate degree and thereby obtain a graduate degree at an accelerated pace. Students interested in the Fast Tracks in Environmental Science should see the undergraduate catalog.
Students will choose between thesis and professional (non-thesis) options. The professional option is designed for students who desire a greater breadth of understanding of environmental science than the thesis option provides. The curriculum will specially benefit individuals employed in scientific or technical fields who seek advancement or additional training to enhance their knowledge and skills. Professional option students must complete a professional research project with a written final report and seminar. The thesis option requires a thesis based upon original research, supported by the scientific literature, and analyzed statistically, when appropriate. The thesis master’s degree will allow a person to pursue advanced graduate study, or to obtain employment in most areas requiring a detailed knowledge of a specific aspect of environmental science.
Students following either option will be required to take a core of interdisciplinary courses to provide a broad background, and to select elective courses in consultation with their advisory committee to provide in-depth education in a particular area of emphasis related to environmental science. The elective courses may derive from one science discipline but they will often be interdisciplinary.
Applicants must comply with university procedures for admission to the degree program. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Persons seeking admission to the MS Program in Environmental Science should first contact the program faculty and identify a faculty member willing to serve as the graduate advisor. Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate advisor. Consult the Admissions section of this catalog for university requirements for admission. In addition to the documents required by the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, applicants must submit GRE general test scores, an essay of at least 300 words describing their educational and career interests, goals, and challenges, and three letters of evaluation from persons knowledgeable about their potential for success in graduate studies. Applicants may optionally submit other relevant materials, e.g., copies of published works or reports of past scientific research. All materials submitted will be considered. Applicants who already hold an earned graduate degree from a regionally accredited university need not submit GRE scores. The applicant will be notified by letter of acceptance or rejection.
Students accepted to the degree program in environmental science are expected to enter the program with undergraduate degrees in science or substantial undergraduate or graduate science background. Students accepted to the degree program with insufficient background in science, computer science, mathematics, or communication skills will be required to take undergraduate or graduate prerequisite courses prescribed by their advisory committees. These courses may or may not apply towards the total required for the master’s degree.
Teaching assistant positions are available to graduate students admitted as degree-seeking students. The completed Teaching Assistant Application and letters of recommendation should be submitted to the address indicated on the application. The deadline for submitting applications is February 1 for the following academic year.