Masters in Environmental Science

Master of Science
Main Campus - Melbourne
Major Code: 8128 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction:  N Admission Status: graduate
Delivery Mode/s: classroom only Location/s: main campus
Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE

Program Chair
John G. Windsor Jr., Ph.D.

Today's increasingly complex technological society has placed new demands on our understanding of human interaction with the environment. In fact, the need has never been greater for highly skilled scientists capable of developing basic data from which far-reaching decisions can be made regarding the intelligent use and protection of our natural environment. Recognizing these needs, the environmental science master's program provides a thorough background in the biological and chemical fundamentals of natural environmental systems with specific areas of emphasis related to water and air resources, water and wastewater treatment, hazardous and toxic materials including nuclear wastes and basic processes governing the interaction of humans and the natural environment.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to the environmental science program should have undergraduate majors in the physical or life sciences with strong backgrounds in chemistry and biology. Students with bachelor's degrees in other scientific or engineering fields may need to complete certain preparatory coursework before starting the master of science program, and completion of such courses may require additional time. Any such requirements will be determined by the program chair and graduate faculty before admission. The prospective student will be advised of these requirements prior to acceptance. Applicants must submit Graduate Record Exam General Test scores for evaluation, a statement of interests, a résumé and three letters of recommendation.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Degree Requirements

A Master of Science in Environmental Science requires the satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours of required and elective credits based on an approved program plan developed in conjunction with the faculty advisor. Included in the total are 15 credit hours of core environmental courses as listed below and six credit hours of thesis research under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. Students are required to attend the graduate seminar. A student registers for graduate seminar each semester and makes an oral presentation of research results after completing thesis research. A nonthesis option is also available. In lieu of the thesis, the student completes an additional nine credit hours of coursework and must pass a written master's final program examination.

Core Courses
  • ENS 5000 Environmental Science Seminar
    (each semester)
    Credit Hours: 0
    Reports and discussions of current research and environmental events by graduate students, faculty and visiting scientists. Required attendance for all graduate students.
  • ENS 5010 Environmental Optics and Remote Sensing
    Credit Hours: 3
    Describes methods for collecting and analyzing field and laboratory optical data related to water and plant canopies in detail. The methods covered via lectures and assignments are related to their use in remote sensing of the environment.
    Instructor approval
  • ENS 5101 Introduction to Air Pollution
    Credit Hours: 3
    Origin, fate, effects and distribution of air pollutants. Includes dispersion modeling, legislation, source control and monitoring.
  • ENS 5700 Introduction to Water Resources
    Credit Hours: 3
    Stresses both descriptive and quantitative surface water and groundwater hydrology, particularly subjects of importance to environmental scientists such as hydrologic budgets, storm water management and groundwater quantity and quality.
  • ENS 5800 Limnology
    Credit Hours: 3
    Chemical, physical and biological dynamics of inland waters.
    Graduate standing in science or engineering
  • OCN 5210 Marine and Environmental Chemistry
    Credit Hours: 3
    The chemical composition and important reactions along the global water cycle including rain, soil and groundwater, rivers, lakes, estuaries and seawater. Includes weathering, redox processes, carbonate equilibria and nutrients, and lab exercises.

The remaining coursework in the master's program is normally developed by the degree candidate, his/her advisor and the program chair. A list of restricted electives is available from the department.