Academic Catalog

Environmental Science (M.S.)

The human impact on Earth’s environment over past two centuries is unprecedented. An incredible 300% increase in human population growth in the 20th century has led to an increase in energy consumption by more than 1000% since 1950. Never in the history of the Earth has such a drastic increase in the atmospheric CO2 occurred over such a short period of time. Education on the ‘science of the changing environment’ is at the forefront of human endeavor, and a significant fraction of the global GDP is currently being spent on addressing this science (e.g. increasing spatial extent of harmful algal blooms, ocean acidification, ever increasing amount of micro-plastics in fresh and salt water systems, effects of global climate change including flooding/drought and other weather-related catastrophic events, etc.). The master’s program addresses many of the anthropogenic environmental changes listed above. This inter-disciplinary program include courses from several branches of science including coastal and environmental geology, environmental biology, low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, environmental isotope geochemistry, biogeochemistry, remote sensing, big data analytics, climate science, toxicology, water quality, etc. 

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School. The minimum grade point average required for regular admission to the program is 2.75. Specific admissions requirements include: evidence of a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; college-level coursework in geology, biology, mathematics, physics, and chemistry; two letters of recommendation; and a one-page statement of purpose. 

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Environmental Science requires a minimum of 30 credits. This will include 8-credit of M.S. thesis (ESG 8999) and 1-credit of seminar (ESG 6100). This is Plan A option only.  All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The M.S. degree typically includes courses chosen from the following list.

ESG 5000Geological Site Assessment4
ESG 5120Environmental Geochemistry4
ESG 5150Soils and Soil Pollution4
ESG 5210Environmental and Applied Geophysics4
ESG 5360Hydrology and Water Resources4
ESG 5420Mathematical Methods in Earth Science4
ESG 5510Environmental Fate and Transport of Pollutants4
ESG 5600Special Topics in Environmental Science and Geology4
ESG 5650Applied Geologic Mapping4
ESG 5700Environmental Law and Policy3
ESG 6100Seminar: Environmental Science and Geology1
ESG 6160Applied Remote Sensing3
ESG 6165Biodiversity Changes in the Anthropocene4
ESG 6170Spatial Statistics and Analyses for Environmental Applications3
ESG 6180Environmental DNA for Ecosystem Monitoring and Conservation4
ESG 6190Environmental Microbiology4
ESG 6250Fluvial Geomorphology3
ESG 6300Emerging Organic Contaminants in Global Environment4
ESG 6320Coastal Geology and Processes in the Great Lakes3
ESG 6400Isotopes: Applications in Geological and Environmental Sciences4
ESG 8999Master's Thesis Research and Direction8
BIO 5040/7045Biometry4
BIO 5100/7110Aquatic Ecology4
BIO 5440/7440Terrestrial Ecology4
BIO 5490/7490Population and Community Ecology3
BIO 5540/7540Landscape Ecology3
BIO 5740/7740General Entomology4
BIO 6190Advanced Special Topics *3
BIO 6420 Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment3
BIO 7310Sustainability of Urban Environmental Systems2
CE 5230Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering3
CE 5610Advanced Highway Design3
CE 7995Special Topics in Civil Engineering II *3
ECO 5230Environmental Economics4
ECO 6800Advanced Urban and Regional Economics4
UP 5430Cities and Food3
UP 6470Environmental Planning3
ANT 5140Biology and Culture3
ANT 5060Urban Anthropology3
FPH 7420Principles of Environmental Health3
PS 5560Biopolitics4

Topics to be chosen in consultation with an advisor.

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