The Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Sciences combines interdisciplinary course work and research thesis or non-thesis project report. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the scientific process as they contribute to the generation of new knowledge.
The M.S. degree can also now be completed online (starting summer 2020.)
Students must complete at least 45 graduate credits from the following areas:
Upon completion of course work and thesis (or non-thesis) requirements, master's students will graduate with a major in Environmental Sciences, and would also qualify for a minor in Environmental Sciences. Students pursuing a master of science may also have the option to pursue other, existing minors relevant to environmental sciences.
To encourage the development of interdisciplinary graduate study programs, guidelines for course selection are flexible. In addition to the environmental sciences graduate core courses, students must complete methods and numerical skills courses and courses that constitute a science area of concentration (or track).
The graduate core consists of three courses, totaling 7 credits. The purpose of the core is to introduce new students to faculty, to give students a sense of programmatic identity, to foster interdisciplinary thinking among students and faculty, to expose students to the breadth of existing environmental science courses, to expose students to a specific area in environmental sciences, to give students the opportunity for academic exploration, and to teach research skills.
The three courses are:
Courses in research methods, experimental design, statistical analysis, and modeling ensure students have sufficient skills for environmental research. Six credits of course work is required for the M.S. degree.
Sets of courses that constitute an area of concentration have been established to give focus to study and research. Eight areas of concentration have been defined. New areas of concentration can be developed by groups of faculty and students. Areas of concentration consist of at least 15 credits for M.S. students. See the list of concentrations.
Elective courses are listed in the student's program of study, and agreed upon by the student and the advising committee. Courses may be selected to provide additional background, to explore new areas, and to add depth to a program.
A central purpose of the M.S. degree is to teach students the process of environmental research. A minimum of six credits are required for original research leading to a thesis, or project report, that complies with standards established by the Graduate School and the Environmental Sciences Graduate Program.