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School of the Environment

M.S. Environmental Science

Program Description

The MS degree is an interdisciplinary program with the flexibility for elective classes in the student’s own area of specialization.  In consultation with their advisor, students may select classes from a wide variety of areas (i.e., ecosystem science and management, ecological planning, land and water conservation, air quality management, water quality management, energy and carbon policy, etc.).  Most students conclude their MS studies with a thesis, where the goal is a publishable contribution. The requirements are given below and are subject to completion after entering the masters program.

Program requirements (Thesis Option)

The thesis degree program must consist of not less than 32 hours of credit including 6 hours of thesis credit (ESRP 700) and a minimum of 26 hours of course work. The course work must include a minimum of 21 hours of graded course work, of which at least 9 hours must be 500-level. A minimum of 11 hours of 500-level courses must be included in the major.  The program may include up to 10 hours supporting work (exclusive of ESRP 700) taken outside the major area. No more than 6 hours of non-graduate credit 300- or 400-level courses may be included, and these can be only in the supporting work outside the major area.  Courses graded S/F, such as ESRP 600, may not be used for the major or supporting course work but can be included as additional work. Any course included in the advanced degree program in which a grade of C- or below is earned must be repeated but not on a P/F basis. The advanced degree program may not include courses graded P/F.  A final oral exam is required to test the candidate’s knowledge of Environmental Science with emphasis on the work presented in the thesis.

Program requirements (Non-Thesis Option)

After consultation with their advisor, some students may decide to produce a project rather than a thesis.  This option may be preferable for students who wish to take additional course work and want a more flexible format for the project report.  This option requires a final oral exam to test the candidate’s knowledge of Environmental Science with emphasis on the work presented in the project report.  The project requires 4 credits of ESRP 702 (rather than 6 credits of ESRP 700) and 2 additional hours of course work.  The requirements are given below and are subject to completion after entering the masters program.

The non-thesis degree program consists of not less than 32 hours of credit including 4 hours of special problem (ESRP 702) and a minimum of 28 hours of course work. The course work must include a minimum of 26 hours of graded course work, of which at least 12 hours must be 500 level. A minimum of 16 hours of 500-level courses must be included in the major. The program may include up to 10 hours of supporting work (exclusive of ESRP 702) taken outside the major area. No more than 6 hours of non-graduate credit 300- or 400-level courses may be included, and these can be only in the supporting work outside the major area. Courses graded S/F, such as ESRP 600, may not be used for the major or supporting course work but can be included as additional work. Any course included in the advanced degree program in which a grade of C- or below is earned must be repeated but not on a P/F basis. The advanced degree program may not include courses graded P/F.

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