Earning Your Master's in Environmental Science
The Master of Science in Environmental Science program is designed with flexibility in mind for both full‑time students and working professionals. The program requires that students complete 30 semester hours generally equivalent to 10 three semester hour courses. While most students take 1.5 to three years to complete the program, it can be completed in as fast as one year if four classes are taken in the fall and spring terms and two classes in the summer term. Typically, however, students take one to three courses per term including the summer. Students may earn a Masters in Environmental Science by satisfying the below requirements, or by satisfying the requirements in Civil Engineering emphases (Water Resources Engineering or Environmental Engineering).
Students enrolled in this program must successfully complete the following:
- 30 semester hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00
- Comprehensive Oral Examination (CIVL 690) or Master's Thesis Defense (CIVL 695)
- Completion of 500 level courses with grade of B or higher
- All core and elective requirements for the Environmental Science program or one of the Civil Engineering emphases (Water Resources Engineering or Environmental Engineering).
View our full program course catalog in the Environmental Science Program graduate bulletin.
Required Core Courses
- CIVL 601 Sustainable Water Quality and Resources 3 semester hours
- ENVS 605 Aquatic Chemistry 3 semester hours
- ENVS 606 Applied Environmental Microbiology 3 semester hours
- One of the following:
- ENVS 607 Environmental Engineering and Science Lab 3 semester hours
- ENVS 608 Contaminant Fate, Transport, and Remediation 3 semester hours
- ENVS 652 Spatial Data Analysis and Geographical Information Systems 3 semester hours
- ENVS 680 Engineering Geology 3 semester hours
- ENVS 681 Ecosystem Services in Urban Landscapes 3 semester hours
- ENVS 682 Urban Coasts: Habitats, Stressors, and Resilience 3 semester hours
- ENVS 683 Environmental Toxicology and Health Risk 3 semester hours
- ENVS 684 Climate Change and Impacts 3 semester hours
- ENVS 686 Climate Change Mitigation 3 semester hours
- ENVS 687 Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience 3 semester hours
- ENVS 688 Environmental Health 3 semester hours
- ENVS 689 Sustainability, Health, and Equity 3 semester hours
- CIVL 617 Water Treatment Processes 3 semester hours
- CIVL 618 Water Reuse and Desalination 3 semester hours
- CIVL 619 Advanced Integrated Water Treatment Systems 3 semester hours
- CIVL 625 Applied Fluid Mechanics 3 semester hours
- CIVL 626 Surface Water Hydrology 3 semester hours
- CIVL 627 Urban Water Systems and Stormwater Management 3 semester hours
- CIVL 628 Groundwater Hydrology and Sustainable Management 3 semester hours
- CIVL 629 Groundwater Contaminant Transport and Remediation 3 semester hours
- CIVL 647 Dams and Levees 3 semester hours
- CIVL 651 Remote Sensing with Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Applications 3 semester hours
- CIVL 653 Modeling Environmental and Water Resources Systems 3 semester hours
- CIVL 671 Air Quality, Control, and Management 3 semester hours
- CIVL 672 Sustainable Waste Management 3 semester hours
- CIVL 673 Economics of Water and the Environment 3 semester hours
- CIVL 674 Sustainable Engineering 3 semester hours
- Up to two ENVS 695 / CIVL 695 Master Thesis
- Up to one CIVL 699/ENVS 699 Independent Studies with director consent (up to 3 semester hours)
- Up to one 500- or 600-level course in another graduate program with director consent
Preparation of a master's thesis is optional in both the Environmental Science and Civil Engineering Master’s programs. Students electing to perform a master's thesis on a topic under the guidance of a faculty member must pass ENVS 696 or CIVL 696 Master's Thesis Defense (0 semester hours) in the semester they expect to complete their thesis. The defense is in the form of a written thesis and an oral presentation. A thesis committee determined by the student and primary research advisor determine if the student has mastered the subject matter of the thesis, understands the work done by others, and can critically assess that work and his/her own work. No later than two weeks prior to the thesis defense presentation, the student must provide their written thesis to their thesis committee for review. Formal requirements may be obtained from the program director. Please see our research page for further information on research opportunities.
Thesis students also have the option to enroll in a 3-semester-hour master's thesis independent studies (ENVS 695 or CIVL 695 Master Thesis) in any term. The master's thesis independent studies can satisfy an Elective requirement, may be taken a maximum of two times, and may be taken only once in a semester.
Change of Program
Students with non-engineering undergraduate or postgraduate degrees can change into the Civil Engineering Master’s Program (Environmental Engineering or Water Resources Engineering) at any time provided that they 1) meet all Civil Engineering admissions requirements and 2) are in good academic standing (3.00 GPA or better). Such students are also required to pass the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying Fundamentals of Engineering exam before their degree is awarded.
Student Learning Outcomes
The Environmental Science graduate program has established the following student outcomes:
- Apply scientific, mathematical, and sustainability principles to identify problems and analyze solutions in environmental science;
- Critically assess, evaluate, and understand sustainability, ethics, and social justice in environmental science; and
- Effectively communicate scientific principles related to the environment and sustainability.