Jun 21, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Environmental Sciences, MS

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Please see the general statement of degree requirements for master’s degree programs in the “Academic & Administrative Policies ” section of this publication. Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours past the bachelor’s.  The Thesis (option “a”) and Non-Thesis (option “b”) tracks include coursework as well as research components. 

Required Courses

School for the Environment Seminar

All option “a” and option “b” MS students must attend seminar each week throughout their enrollment in the program.  Option “a” students are required to present a short research seminar in their second year. MS students are required to attend seminar each week during enrollment in their degree program, but can receive no more than 2 seminar credits towards their degree.

Thesis/Project Research

MS students must complete six thesis or project credits. More than six credits may be taken, but only six will be applied to the degree.


Science Elective

Choose one science course not already taken to meet degree requirements.

Policy Elective

Choose one policy, law, economics, or management course not already taken to meet degree requirements.

Additional Electives

Take enough courses and independent research hours to fulfill the 30 credit hour requirement.

Choose from any of the above courses not taken to satisfy core requirement or choose from additional 600+ level electives as approved by your faculty mentor.

The Graduate Committee

Each student’s program of study and research are guided by a graduate committee. By the end of his or her first semester, a student must select a major professor who will serve as chair of this committee. No later than the second semester, the major professor and the student together select one (non-thesis option “b”) or two (thesis option “a”) members to form the graduate committee which will be responsible for ensuring that heor she fulfills the requirements of the program and those of the Office of Graduate Studies.

Students choosing the thesis option must publically present and defend a thesis based on their research. A student choosing the non-thesis option must present the results of their project to their graduate committee.

The adequacy of each student’s progress toward the degree will be assessed at least once a year. Until the student’s graduate committee is formed, this assessment is made by the graduate program director in consultation with the faculty. The student’s committee, when selected, assumes the responsibility for the ongoing assessment of the student’s progress.

Criteria for adequate progress include performance in courses and thesis/project work. Students are expected to maintain, at minimum, a B average (3.0) in courses; students who fall below that mark will be placed on academic probation and be subject to dismissal. Normally, two grades of C or one grade of F will result in dismissal from the program.

Admission Requirements

Please see the general statement of admission requirements for all graduate studies programs in the “Admissions” section of this publication.

The graduate admissions committees for all programs and tracks recommend admissions on the basis of the completed application, official transcripts, Graduate Record Examination scores (aptitude tests only), letters of recommendation, and (when applicable) TOEFL exam scores (normal minimum: 600). It is highly recommended that prospective students contact one or more faculty advisors to discuss potential research topics prior to submitting an application.

A BS or BA degree is required for admission, with a major in the natural, physical, or social sciences, or in mathematics. Candidates who have completed a master’s degree are particularly welcome in the doctoral program.

Completion of at least one year each of college level mathematics (including calculus), biology, chemistry, physics and social sciences will generally be considered as minimum prerequisites for admission to study at the master’s or doctoral level. Applicants should consult with prospective advisors, as there may be additional prerequisites for specific specialty areas. Students are also advised to review the subject matter of the prerequisite courses before they begin the program.

At the discretion of the graduate admissions committee, and depending on the area of concentration an applicant chooses, academic deficiencies at the undergraduate level may need to be remedied before the applicant is admitted to either the master’s or the doctoral program. After admission, the student’s advisory or dissertation committee may also require that academic deficiencies be remedied. The stated interest of a prospective student must coincide to an acceptable degree with the faculty specialties represented within the program. Generally, prospective students should identify potential faculty advisors in their application.

To ensure applicants of full and timely consideration, completed applications should normally be received by December 15 for the upcoming fall semester and by October 15 for the upcoming spring semester; however, applications received after those dates may be considered. Notification of admission is made as soon as possible. In general, students who have been admitted will be notified of assistantship awards shortly thereafter.

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