The Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) is a two-year program designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study on a full or part-time basis so that they can balance professional and personal goals.

Courses are primarily held in the evening and occasionally on Saturdays. With approximately 40 students enrolled, we stress personalized, individual attention to graduate student education and research. In-service teachers seeking a science-oriented M.S. degree are welcome.

UM-Dearborn MS in Environmental Science
The MS in Environmental Science offers state-of-the-art research facilities to students and faculty engaged in addressing critical environmental issues.
Professor Sonia Tiquia-Arashiro

The MSES program provides a choice between emphasizing the environmental aspects of biology, chemistry, or geology, or a more broadly focused approach involving courses in each of the above fields. Faculty and students are engaged in:

  • Brownfield investigation
  • Fate and transport of heavy metals
  • Spatial statistics and GIS
  • Stream geomorphology
  • Plant molecular biology
  • Marine and freshwater microbiology
  • Ecology of the Rouge River floodplain flora and fauna
  • Ecology of avian migration
  • Evolution and animal behavior
  • Analytical methods for environmental applications
  • Biomass conversion into useful commodity
  • Population genetic analyses of rare and declining species

More about the Program

  • The Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) is a two-year program designed for students who wish to pursue graduate study on a full or part-time basis so that they can balance professional and personal goals. 

    Regular admission to the program is extended to students with a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science biology, chemistry and geology from an accredited program who have completed all program prerequisites and a cumulative undergraduate GPA 3.1 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale).  The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required if these conditions have been met.

    Conditional or probationary admission to the MSES program is extended to students with an undergraduate degree in some other field if they meet other criteria (completed the GRE, have written a convincing letter explaining their commitment to the degree and have obtained strong letters of recommendation) and can complete program prerequisites within one year of acceptance. Minimum program prerequisites include one year of general chemistry and one upper division course in chemistry – typically quantitative methods analysis or organic chemistry, introductory courses in biology and geology, a field course in either biology or geology, one year (two semesters) of calculus, and a course in statistics.

    Each applicant is required to submit official, complete transcripts of prior college work and one-page statement of purpose.  Three recommendation letters are required for admission and at least one must be from someone familiar with the candidate’s academic performance.  Deficiencies in the prerequisite may be made up after entrance to the program.

    Students admitted with probationary admission are required to receive a B or better in each of the first two courses they take in the program and must complete any prerequisite courses required for those courses. For example, a student applying to the MSES program with an undergraduate degree in biology may not have completed an upper division course in chemistry. This course must be completed before the student can take CHEM 548, Environmental chemistry.

  • The requirements for the M.S. degree in Environmental Science can be satisfied by one of three options:

    Plan A Thesis Option

    24 credit hours

    Thesis 6 credit hours

    Plan B Project Option

    27 credit hours

    Project 3 credit hours

    Plan C Coursework Option

    30 credit hours

     

     

    Plan A--Thesis Option: 24 credits hours (500 or above level) plus 6 credits ESCI 699. A thesis will be based on original research. (Preferred by the environmental consulting industry.)

    Plan B--Project Option: 27 credits hours (500 or above level) plus 3 credits ESCI 698. A project will be based on library/field/laboratory research or classroom exercises demonstrating analysis and interpretation of scientific data.

    Plan C: Coursework Option: 30 credits hours (500 or above level) (not recommended for students interested in doctoral degrees).

    Faculty doing environmental-related research or teaching

    Bazzi, Ali (Professor of Chemistry): Trace metal speciation in natural waters with electrochemical techniques; analytical methods development applicable to environmental and biological samples; and chemical education research.

    Bergeron, Suzanne (Professor of Women's Studies and Social Sciences): Environmental Economics.

    Bowlin, Melissa (Assistant Professor of Biology): Behavioral and physiological ecology of avian migration and sleep.

    Danielson-Francois, Anne (Associate Professor of Biology): Evolution and animal behavior; sexual selection; quantitative genetics of mating behavior; environmental and conservation biology of arthropods.

    Deng, Yiwei (Associate Professor of Chemistry): Development of analytical methods for environmental and food applications and the study of pathways; and mechanisms and kinetics of chemical and photochemical reactions.

    Gelderloos, Orin (Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies): Landscape ecology (relationships between flora, fauna, soil and groundwater) on the Rouge River floodplain in the natural areas of the UM-Dearborn campus.

    Luera, Gail (Associate Professor of Education): Environmental education.

    Mckenna, Brian (Associate Professor of Anthrophology): Medical and environmental anthropology; and environmental policy.

    Marincean, Simona (Associate Professor of Chemistry): Organic chemistry; and biomass conversion into useful commodity and specialty products.

    Murray, Kent (Professor of Geology and Environmental Science): Low temperature aqueous geochemisty and groundwater modeling to evaluate the relationship between groundwater and surface water quality.  Brownfield investigation; the fate and transport of heavy metals and their impact on public health.

    Napieralski, Jacob (Associate Professor of Geology): Urban stream geomorphology and surface hydrology; sediment transport; glacial geology and history; spatial statistics and geographic information science (GISc); and geoscience education.

    Riebesell, John (Associate Professor of Biology): Population biology; plant ecology; photosynthetic adaptations in plants; effects of environmental modification on community stability in model ecosystems.

    Saarinen, Emily (Assistant Professor): Population genetic analyses of rare and declining species, evaluations of captive breeding and reintroduction programs, landscape ecology, integration of genetic and geographic information to aid in endangered species management planning, invertebrate conservation, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in midwestern species.

    Susko, David (Associate Professor of Biology): Maternal effects of weed seed populations and communities; and plant classification based on patterns of ovule fate.

    Thomas, John (Professor of Biology): Plant molecular biology; expression of insecticidal and anti-viral genes for plant protection; molecular basis of responses to environmental stress; and plant growth regulators.

    Tiquia-Arashiro, Sonia M. (Professor of Biology and Microbiology): Waste processing microbiology; microbial community structure and dynamics in marine and fresh water environments; the use of genomic technology in environmental microbiology and microbial ecology; groundwater and surface water microbiology; Rouge River microbial ecology; and coupling of chemical and microbiological processes.

  • For a complete description of these courses, please consult the Graduate Catalog.

    COURSEWORK OFFERED:

    MSES Core Courses (15 Credits)

    BIOL 514 Applied Ecology (3)

    CHEM 548 Environmental Chemistry (3)

    ESCI 572 Environmental Communications (3) 

    ESCI 574 Watershed Analysis (3)

    GEOL 550 Glacial Geology (3)

    MSES Elective Courses (15 Credits)

    BIOL 508 Invasive Species Ecology (3) 

    BIOL 515 Aquatic Ecosystems (4)

    BIOL 516 Limnology (3)

    BIOL 519 Behavior and Evolution (3)

    BIOL 524 Biology of Spiders (4)

    BIOL 545 Restoration Ecology (3) 

    BIOL 552 Medical and Environmental Toxicology (3)

    BIOL 556 Behavioral Biology (4)

    BIOL 561 Recent Advances in Cell Biol (2) 

    BIOL 590 Topics in Biology (1-4)

    BIOL 590B Conservation Biology (3)

    CHEM 590 Topics in Chemistry (1-4)

    ENST 574 Environmental Education (3)

    ESCI 504 Field Studies Environ Sci (2)

    ESCI 585 Spatial Analysis and GIS (3)

    ESCI 595 Topics in Environmental Science (3)

    ESCI 525 Soils in the Environment (3) 

    GEOL 560 Engineering Geology (3)

    GEOL 570 Geochemistry (3)

    GEOL 574 Urban Watersheds (3)

    GEOL 575 Contaminant Hydrogeology (3)

    GEOL 577 Geology Field Methods (1-2)

    GEOL 587 Groundwater Modeling (3) 

    GEOL 590 Topics in Earth Science (1-4)

    LIBS 586 Ecological Economics (3)

    MICR 505 Applied and Envir Microbiology (3)

    STAT 530 Applied Regression Analysis (3)

    STAT 545 Reliability & Survival Analysis (3)

    STAT 555 Environmental Statistics (3)

    ESCI 597/599 Independent Study Off/On Campus (1-3)

    ESCI 698 MSES Project (3)

    ESCI 699 MSES Thesis (1-6)

  • The requirements for the M.S. degree in Environmental Science can be satisfied by one of three options:

    • Plan A. Thesis Option 24 credit hours (500 level or above) plus ESCI 699. A thesis will be based on original research. (Preferred by the environmental consulting industry)
    • Plan B. Project Option 27 credit hours (500 level or above) plus ESCI 698. A project will be based on library/field/laboratory research or classroom exercises demonstrating analysis and interpretation of scientific data.
    • Plan C. Coursework Option 30 credit hours (500 level or above) (Not recommended for students interested in doctoral degrees).

    The non-thesis M.S. program has an emphasis on coursework, while the thesis-based/project-based degree has an emphasis on both coursework and original research. Thesis-based M.S. students will experience the excitement of performing guided research.

    The learning goals are divided into four parts including (1) Conceptual knowledge; (2) Communication skills; (3) Critical and independent thinking skills; and (4) Practical and/or professional skills.

    (1) Conceptual knowledge. Understanding the underlying concepts and principles associated with environmental aspects of:

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Geology

    (2) Communication skills. Ability to acquire, present, and develop scientific ideas

    • Ability to read, understand and use scientific information related to environmental issues
    • Ability to effectively communicate scientific information orally
    • Ability to effectively communicate scientific information in writing

    (3) Critical thinking and cognitive skills.

    • Ability to apply the scientific method to evaluate environmental problems and propose solutions
    • Ability to use and apply knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to environmental science
    • Ability to evaluate information from a range of sources and to engage with some of the current developments in environmental science, including applications and the philosophical and ethical issues involved
    • Ability to perform statistical and quantitative analyses

    (4) Practical and/or professional skills

    • Ability to conduct practical and investigative work in a responsible, safe and ethical manner, and be aware of risk assessment and relevant health and safety regulations
    • Ability to initiate, design, conduct and report on investigations, which may involve primary or secondary data
    • Ability to obtain, record, collate and analyze data derived from laboratory and/or field investigations, and interpret and report their significance in the light of underlying theory, practical issues and relevant information from other sources
  • The Department of Natural Sciences has extensive networked computing facilities, including scanners, digitizers and plotters, GIS and groundwater modeling software, GPS equipment, and labs for preparation and chemical analysis of environmental, biological and geological samples. Environmental chambers are available for experiments requiring precisely controlled environments for experimental study of both plants and animals.  With NSF assistance, we have recently acquired a scanning electron microscope in collaboration with the College of Engineering and an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ICP).  We also have extensive mineralogic and paleontologic collections as well as the Merritt Geode Collection, one of the finest private geode collections in the world.

    More than 70 acres of the campus along with an adjacent 200 acres belonging to Wayne County are maintained as one of the largest natural areas in metropolitan Detroit, serving as a research and teaching facility for students and school teachers on campus and throughout southeast Michigan. The Environmental Interpretive Center is as a focal point for this research, as well as home to the Rouge River Bird Observatory (RRBO) which studies the importance of urban areas to birds, especially migratory birds. As the longest-running, full-time urban bird research station in North America, the RRBO focuses on the stopover ecology of migrant birds, regular year-round bird surveys, population monitoring, bird banding, avian influenza monitoring (as part of LaMMNA), and insect monitoring.

  • For up to date course information, refer to the Graduate Academic Catalog.

    Tentative 5-Year Schedule of Courses

    Winter 2017 (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    Biol 522

    3

    Conservation Biology

    LaCommare

    R

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 508

    3

    Invasive Species

    Susko

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 587

    3

    Groundwater Modeling

    Huang

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    STAT 555

    3

    Environmental Statistics

    Pokhrel

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

    Summer 2017 (Tentative Schedule)  

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Term

    Times

     

    Esci 585

     

    Spatial Analysis

    Staff

    T,Th

    II

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

    Geol 577

    1

    Field Methods

    Napieralski

     

    I

     

    (requires adv. Approval)

    Geol 578

    3

    Geology of the National Parks

    Murray

    TBA

    II

    TBA

     

    GEOL 574

    3

    Urban Watersheds

    Murray

    T, Th

     

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

    Fall 2017 (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Times

    Location

    STAT 530

    3

    Regression Analysis

    Pokhrel

    T-Th

    6-7:15 pm

     

    ENST 574

     

    Environmental Education

    Luera

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

    GEOL 560

    3

    Engineering Geology

    Murray

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

    BIOL 556

     

    Behavioral Biology

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

    9:30-10:45 am

     

     

     

    Lab

     

    M

    1:00-4:45 pm

    1030 NSB    

    Micro 505

    3

    Appl. & Environmental Micro

    Staff

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

     

    Lab (optional)

     

    W

    1:05-4:55 pm

     

     

    Winter 2018  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course 

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor 

    Days

    Times

    Chem 548

    3

    Env. Chemistry*

    Deng

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    ESCI 572

    3

    Environmental Communications*

    Danielson-Francois

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 550

    3

    Glacial Geology*

    Napieralski

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

    BIOL 519

    3

    Behavior and Evolution

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

    9:30-10:45 am

    *Required courses

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Summer 2018  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Term

    Times

    ESCI 590

    3

    Soils

    Murray

    T,Th

    I

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 577

    1

    Field Methods

    Murray

    One week trip to Mich. UP

     

     

    Geol 578

    3

    Geology of the National Parks

    Murray

    TBA

    II

    TBA

     

    Fall 2018  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    Biol 515

    3

    Aquatic Ecosystems

    Staff

    TR

    3:30-4:45 pm

     

     

    Lab

     

    Sat

    9:00 am-5:00 pm

    BIOL 556

    3

    Behavioral Biology

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

     9:30-10:45 am

     

     

    Lab

     

    W

    1:00-4:45 pm

    Chem 535

     

    Green Chemistry

    Marincean

    MW

    6:00-7:30 pm

    Geol 575

    3

    Contaminant Hydrology

    Huang

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    ESCI  574

    3

    Watershed analysis*

    Napieralski

    Th

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Micro 505

    3

    Appl. & Environmental Micro

    Tiquia-Arashiro

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

    Lab (optional)

     

    W

    1:05-4:55 pm

    * Required Course

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Winter 2019 (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    Biol 552

    3

    Med. & Env. Tox.

    Kalyan

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 522

    3

    Conservation Biology

    Bowlin

    R

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 508

    3

    Invasive Species

    Susko

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 514

    3

    Applied Ecology*

    Staff

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 587

    3

    Groundwater Modeling

    Huang

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    STAT 555

    3

    Environmental Statistics

    Pokhrel

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    * Required Course

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Summer 2019 (Tentative Schedule)  

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Term

     Times

    Esci 585

     

    Spatial Analysis

    Staff

    T,Th

    II

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 577

    1

    Field Methods

    Napieralski

     

    I

    (requires adv. Approval)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Geol 578

    3

    Geology of the National Parks

    Murray

    TBA

    II

    TBA

    Geol 560

    3

    Engineering Geol.

    Murray

    T,Th

     

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

    Fall 2019 (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    BIOL 524

     

    Biology of Spiders

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

    9:30-10:45 am

     

     

    Lab

     

    M

    1:00-4:45 pm

    Biol 545

    3

    Restoration Ecology

    Thomas

    W

    6:10-9:00 pm

    Chem 325

     

    Principles of Organic Chemistry

    Staff

     

     

    GEOL 574

    3

    Urban Watersheds

    Murray

    Th

    6:00-8:45 pm

    STAT 530

    3

    Regression Analysis

    Gillespie

    T-Th

    6-7:15 pm

    ENST 574

     

    Environmental Education

    Luera

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    BIOL 556

     

    Behavioral Biology

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

    9:30-10:45 am

    Micro 505

    3

    Appl. & Environmental Micro

    Staff

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

    Lab (optional)

     

    W

    1:05-4:55 pm

     

    Winter 2020  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    Biol 552

    3

    Med. & Env. Tox.

    Kalyan

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Chem 548

    3

    Env. Chemistry*

    Deng

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    ESCI 572

    3

    Environmental Communications*

    Danielson-Francois

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 550

    3

    Glacial Geology*

    Napieralski

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

    BIOL 519

    3

    Behavior and Evolution

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

    9:30-10:45 am

    STAT 555

    3

    Environmental Statistics

    Pokhrel

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    *Required courses

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Summer 2020  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Term

    Times

    Geol 560

    3

    Engineering Geol.

    Murray

    T,Th

    II

    6:00-8:45 pm

    ESCI 590

    3

    Soils

    Murray

    T,Th

    I

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 577

    1

    Field Methods

    Murray

    One week trip to Mich. UP

     

     

    Geol 578

    3

    Geology of the National Parks

    Murray

    TBA

    II

    TBA

     

    Fall 2020  (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Times

    Biol 515

    3

    Aquatic Ecosystems

    Staff

    TR

    3:30-4:45 pm

     

     

    Lab

     

    Sat

    9:00 am-5:00 pm

    BIOL 556

    3

    Behavioral Biology

    Danielson-Francois

    MW

     9:30-10:45 am

     

     

    Lab

     

    W

    1:00-4:45 pm

    Chem 535

     

    Green Chemistry

    Marincean

    MW

    6:00-7:30 pm

    Geol 575

    3

    Contaminant Hydrology

    Huang

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    ESCI  574

    3

    Watershed analysis*

    Napieralski

    Th

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Micro 505

    3

    Appl. & Environmental Micro

    Tiquia-Arashiro

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

     

     

    Lab (optional)

     

    W

    1:05-4:55 pm

    * Required Course

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Winter 2021 (Tentative Schedule)

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

     Times

    Biol 552

    3

    Med. & Env. Tox.

    Kalyan

    T

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 522

    3

    Conservation Biology

    Bowlin

    R

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 508

    3

    Invasive Species

    Susko

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Biol 514

    3

    Applied Ecology*

    Staff

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 587

    3

    Groundwater Modeling

    Huang

    M

    6:00-8:45 pm

    STAT 555

    3

    Environmental Statistics

    Pokhrel

    W

    6:00-8:45 pm

    * Required Course

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Summer 2021 (Tentative Schedule)  

    Course

    Credits

    Title

    Instructor

    Days

    Term

    Times

    Esci 585

     

    Spatial Analysis

    Staff

    T,Th

    II

    6:00-8:45 pm

    Geol 577

    1

    Field Methods

    Napieralski

     

    I

    (requires adv. Approval)

    Geol 578

    3

    Geology of the National Parks

    Murray

    TBA

    II

    TBA

    Geol 560

    3

    Engineering Geol.

    Murray

    T,Th

     

    6:00-8:45 pm