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Washington State University

Master’s Programs

The School of the Environment places great importance on preparing our M.S. graduates with strong disciplinary knowledge, but also the skills and training to effectively collaborate across numerous scientific disciplines.

We provide opportunities for innovative scientific studies, typically emphasizing fieldwork, that supports the education and broad background required for diverse work opportunities in agencies, the private sector, or pursuing a future PhD program.

Our students are financially supported through research assistantships and teaching assistantships that cover tuition, health insurance and a living stipend. We also have multiple opportunities for scholarships.

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree and being mentored and advised by one of our faculty members start by visiting their individual faculty website and contact them directly.


M.S. Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences

The M.S. degree program for Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences has built-in flexibility for research in ecology, ecosystem science and management, ecological planning, wildlife research and management, conserving endangered species, wildlife habitat and nutrition, aquatic organisms, restoration and conservation, land and water conservation, water quality management, nutrient management, storm water management, and more.

(Photo credit: Ph.D. student Edwin Jacobo setting up nodes in Riparian Forest at the Kern River Preserve in Weldon, California. Courtesy of Edwin Jacobo/Jaime Nidia)
geology field trip

M.S. Geology >>

The M.S. degree program in Geology offers opportunities for research in geochemistry, geophysics, and structure of the Earth; hydro- and biogeology, including biogeochemical cycles, geologic and environmental hazards, and watershed biogeochemistry and hydrology.

Your Graduate Experience

In consultation with your faculty mentor and graduate committee, you will develop a customized program of study that outlines the courses that will be required for completion of the degree and to help you as an individual develop the specific skills you will need to succeed in your chosen future career.

Your coursework program includes SOE 501 Graduate Skills Seminar and will include academic studies from a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses offered in your area of emphasis.

If you are accepted into the graduate program with undergraduate degrees other than in areas such as Biology, Geology, Environmental Science, Forestry, Natural Resource Sciences, Wildlife, or similar you may need to complete additional courses to cover any academic deficiencies in preparatory training. Courses taken to satisfy foundational deficiencies cannot be included in the program of study.


Current Students: Your Checklist for Success

Before Your First Semester Registration:

  • Meet with faculty advisor to plan course of study for first semester

During Your First Semester:

Before Your Second Semester Registration:

  • Establish Your Graduate Committee
  • If you are working with animal subjects, make sure you have IACUC approval before beginning your research.
  • If you are working with human subjects, make sure you have  IRB approval (human subjects) or IACUC approval (animal subjects) before beginning your research.
  • Check with your thesis advisor if you are unsure about whether these approvals (IRB or IACUC) are already in place.
  • Submit your program of study to Graduate School

Your Third Semester:

Your Final Semester:

  • Enroll for at least 2 research credits (or more depending upon your program of study)
  • Apply for graduation within myWSU as early as possible this semester
  • At least 14 calendar days before scheduling final examination, submit final draft of thesis to committee members
  • Schedule your final oral exam
  • 10 business days before your final exam date:
    • submit your completed scheduling form to the SOE graduate student coordinator and CC by noon the day it is due
    • Upload a complete draft of your thesis to ProQuest using the Graduate School directions to submit.

Within 5 Business Days Of Completing Your Final Exam:

  • Upload a PDF document of your thesis title page, abstract, and signature page to myWSU using these directions.
  • Email your completed Hold Harmless & Copyright Acknowledgement Form to
  • Update your ProQuest submission with your completed and revised thesis. This must be the final version with all revisions. This is a graduate school requirement, and until this is done they will not clear you for graduation.

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