The Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science prepares students for environmental science research, doctoral study, community college teaching, and technical positions in universities, industry, or governmental agencies. The degree offers four options: Environmental Biology, Environmental Engineering Science, Environmental Hydrology, and Geospatial Sciences. The Environmental Biology Option emphasizes basic research into such areas as conservation, pollution, and global change. Environmental Engineering Science Option treats similar issues (i.e., air, soil, and water pollution and sustainability) from the perspective of engineering solutions. The Environmental Hydrology Option emphasizes fundamental problems of the hydrologic cycle, including water pollution issues, wetlands and watershed hydrology, and hydrologic modeling. The Geospatial Sciences option emphasizes both theoretical and analytical skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing data processing.
The Degree Offers Two Training Experiences
The Professional Experience is designed for students who want to conclude graduate studies with a master’s degree and immediately seek employment in government agencies or industry.
The Research Experience is designed for students who want to continue on to a doctoral program for further preparation for work in academia, agencies or industry.
Admission to the Program
Applicants must possess a BA or BS degree from an accredited institution in biology, chemistry, civil engineering, environmental engineering, environmental science, geography, geology, or a related field. Applicants with a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units who are admitted by the Environmental Science Program are admitted to the degree program in Conditionally Classified standing. Promising applicants with GPAs in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units between 2.5 and 2.74 may be admitted as Special Action students. Special Action students must achieve an overall grade point average of a B (3.0) for four qualifying courses (approved in advance by the student’s graduate advisor). The qualifying courses should be completed by the end of the second quarter of graduate study. Students who do not have a BS degree or a BS degree in the option chosen may be required to take a set of pre-requisite courses (e.g. chemistry, physics, calculus, biology etc.) with an average GPA of 3.0 or above.
In addition to submitting a University Admissions Application through Cal State Apply, applicants must also apply separately to the Department. Application forms are available on the Department of Geosciences and Environment website (http://www.calstatela.edu/academic/geos/graduates.php). Completed application, personal statement, three recommendation letters, TOEFL or Equivalent (if needed–for International Students only), and unofficial transcripts must be submitted to the Department of Geosciences and Environment.
Applicants interested in doing the Research Experience must have contacted two potential faculty research mentors before submitting his/her application. This is a key first step in the application process. Please note that acceptance into the program for the research experience is contingent on confirmation of acceptance into a research laboratory.
All materials must be received by the Department of Geosciences and Environment on or before the deadline stipulated on the Graduate Studies Office website (http://www.calstatela.edu/graduateadmissions). Official transcripts must also be sent to the Graduate Studies Office, ADM 702, before the set deadline.
Requirements for the Degree (30 units)
A minimum of 30 units are required for the degree with at least 50% from 5000-level courses. A grade point average of 3.0 (grade of B) or better is required in all courses taken to satisfy the requirements for the degree. For Professional Experience students, at least two courses must be selected from the three foundation areas listed below. Courses used to satisfy the foundation requirement cannot be used to satisfy the option requirement (see below). A student may substitute equivalent courses as foundation courses upon approval from the Primary Advisor, the student’s graduate committee, and the Program Director.
Foundation Areas: (6 units)
1. Spatial Information and Computer Actuated Databases:
2. Statistical Analyses and Experimental Design:
3. Public Policy and Environmental Management:
Students must then choose one of four options:
Option 1: Environmental Biology (15 units)
Provides preparation for a career within academics or agencies in specific research areas such as conservation, pollution, and global change. Professional Experience and Research Experience students must take a minimum of 16 units. Select courses from the list below. Other courses may be substituted with prior advisor approval.:
Option 2: Environmental Engineering Science (15 units)
Provides preparation for a career in engineering research or applications. Professional Experience and Research Experience students must take a minimum of 15 units, 8 of which must be in Civil Engineering. Select courses from the list below:
Option 3: Environmental Hydrology (15 units)
Provides preparation for a career in hydrology and water quality. Students must take a minimum of 15 units. Select courses from the list below. Other courses may be substituted with prior advisor approval.
Select additional hydrology courses from the list below:
Option 4: Geospatial Sciences (15 units)
Provides preparation for doctorial study or professional career in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which may be applicable to very diversified fields including urban planning, environmental consulting, remote sensing, cartography, applied research, geospatial applications, etc.
Select courses from the list below with prior advisor approval.
Culminating Experiences: Thesis, Reports, Presentations, Exams (9 units)
Professional Experience students must complete the two courses listed below (9 units). For ENVS 5950, the student must complete a part- or full-time internship experience of at least one and a maximum of three semesters. Professional Experience students also are expected to present a seminar following completion of their internship.
Research Experience Students
Research Experience students must complete the one course listed below (4 units). As part of their culminating experience, students are expected to present a seminar upon the conclusion of their research.
Both Research and Professional Experience students have to complete the following course:
Research Experience students will enroll in five (5) units of ENVS 5990 during which time they must prepare a Master’s Thesis for submission to their Advisory Committee for approval. They must also pass an oral exam given by their Advisory Committee based upon their Master’s thesis research.
Professional Experience students will enroll in five (5) units of ENVS 5990: Thesis or Project. Based on their internship experience, Professional students will be required to submit a written report. This report will be approved by their Advisory Committee, which consists of their primary advisor, graduate committee members, and internship advisor(s). They must also pass an oral exam given by their Advisory Committee. The content of the exam will be based on the student’s course of study and topics relevant to the internship experience. Professional Experience students will complete nine (9) units as part of their culminating experience.