Environmental Science, M.S.

Degree:Master of Science (M.S.)
Major:Environmental Science
Specializations:Environmental Science (Thesis)
Environmental Science (Non-Thesis)
Department:Earth and Environmental Sciences
Building 13, Room 206
College:Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering
CIP Code:03.0104
Semester Hours Required For Degree: 30

The M.S. in Environmental Science provides advanced research and educational opportunities in the earth and environmental sciences. Departmental areas of concentration include coastal science, paleoclimatology, landscape ecology, geographic information science, aquatic biogeochemistry, and soils science. The program includes both thesis and non-thesis tracks. The non-thesis track provides a foundation for employment in the private and public sectors of the environmental fields. In addition, the thesis track prepares students for advanced study leading to the doctoral degree. Contact the department for information regarding the graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Admission Requirements

In addition to the University graduate admission requirements described in the Admissions section of the catalog, the applicant must meet the following minimum departmental admission requirements for regular admission:

  • Submission of a formal letter of interest, background, and professional goals
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation by individuals in professionally relevant fields (waived for graduates of the UWF Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Submission of current curriculum vitae (CV)/résumé
  • Completion of the Foundational Proficiencies as a condition of admission to the program

In addition to general University requirements, students seeking the M.S. in Environmental Science must meet the requirements listed below.

Foundational Proficiencies

  • A college-level course in chemistry
  • Two upper-level science courses in the geo-, earth, or environmental sciences
  • Two upper-level techniques courses (e.g., GIS, aerial photo interpretation, remote sensing, field methods, analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, etc.)
  • An upper-level course in statistics or quantitative methods

Students without the equivalents of any of the above courses will be advised to enroll in a suite of appropriate foundational courses prior to being considered for admittance to the M.S. program. Students having some of the foundational proficiencies may be admitted to the M.S. program with the understanding that the missing courses be taken during the first year of graduate study. 

Of the foundational proficiencies, only statistics (GEO 5165 Geostatistics or STA 5176 Statistical Modeling) may be taken for graduate credit and be included in the graduate program of study.

Degree Requirements

Students accepted into the M.S. program should select, ideally by the end of their first semester, their graduate advisor and graduate committee members. At least two committee members must be Earth and Environmental Sciences faculty. Students also need to select the thesis or non-thesis track following consultation with their graduate advisor. Detailed graduate guidelines will be provided to the students by the department. A grade of B- or better is required for all course requirements. 

Environmental Science - Thesis Track

Core Requirements (9 sh)

EVR 6930Special Topics in Environmental Sciences3
GEO 6936Graduate Seminar3
Choose one of the following:3
Sampling and Analysis in Environmental Sciences
Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Science
Total Hours9

Thesis Requirements (21 sh)

The thesis track entails a total of 30 sh (including the courses in the Environmental Science core), of which 15 sh must be at the 6000 level and may include up to 6 sh of thesis. The remaining hours must be at the 5000 level or higher.

EVS 6971Thesis (Course offered 1-6 sh per semester)1-6
Advisor-approved graduate course work15-20
Total Hours21

Environmental Science - Non-Thesis Track

Core Requirements (9 sh)

GEO 6936Graduate Seminar3
GEO 6118Research Design3
EVR 6930Special Topics in Environmental Sciences3
Total Hours9

Non-Thesis Requirements (21 sh)

The non-thesis track entails a total of 30 sh (including the courses in the Environmental Science core), of which 15 must be at the 6000-level and may include up to 3 sh of internship. The remaining hours must be at the 5000-level or higher. As many as three courses may be from outside the department, including two from outside the University. The detailed program of study will be determined by the graduate advisor in consultation with the student.

Advisor-approved graduate coursework21
Total Hours21