Concentrations

The graduate program in environmental science is an interdisciplinary program with core courses taught by biologists, geologists and chemists. The program focuses on the most pressing environmental issues and problems currently faced by metropolitan areas.

students in lecture classroom

Students in the environmental science master’s program select one of the following areas of concentration, developed based on work force needs identified by regional environmental professionals.

You’ll complete 30 units of graduate work, including core courses and electives appropriate to your concentration. View admission and degree requirements in the Graduate Catalog.

Biological Resources Management Concentration

This concentration is designed for students who are interested in understanding and managing biological resources of natural and socio-ecological systems. Life science courses will prepare you for careers in environmental protection, wildlife conservation, natural resource management or ecosystem services assessment.

Environmental Spatial Analysis Concentration

This concentration is for students interested in understanding the theory, methods and technologies associated with using spatial data to analyze and manage environmental problems and processes. You’ll gain advanced skills in GIS and remote sensing.

Water Resources Management and Assessment Concentration

This concentration is designed for students who are interested in managing water quality and understanding related topics, including hydrology, geochemistry, limnology, and water resource protection and policy. If your career goals relate to water pollution, aquatic toxicology or other water-related regulatory issues, this concentration is a good choice.

Wetlands Assessment and Management Concentration

Choose this concentration if you are interested in identifying, understanding and managing ecosystem services provided by wetlands. Students in this concentration go on to careers in wetland delineation, restoration and management.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options 

Thesis Track

The thesis track is a more traditional master’s program. Students in this track select a faculty adviser and develop an original research project, with the goal of producing one or more peer-reviewed publications. If you are interested in the thesis track, please contact one of our faculty to discuss available projects prior to applying to the program.

Non-thesis Track

The non-thesis track is an attractive option if you are a working professional looking to further your career. Evening classes are offered, so you can attend while continuing to work. Non-thesis students complete their studies with a semester-long Research Practicum course. Developing and writing a research practicum paper involves synthesis of current thought from a variety of disciplines on an important environmental issue or problem. All students completing a non-thesis master’s degree demonstrate that they are able to develop and defend such a document. 

Internships and Research Opportunities

Through collaborations with local and regional environmental agencies and a number of international institutions, you’ll gain access to a range of internship and thesis research opportunities. National Science Foundation-funded projects and regional laboratories provide unique learning experiences for both thesis and non-thesis students. Many courses are taught by experts from the private sector and government who provide first-hand counsel and guidance.