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.
All MSES courses are held online, during evening hours, or on Saturdays. As a relatively small interdisciplinary program, we stress personalized, individual attention to graduate student education and research. In-service teachers seeking a science-oriented M.S. degree are welcome.
More about the Program
Admission consideration for the program is extended to students (1) with a Bachelor’s Degree in environmental science or in an equivalent field from an accredited program who (2) have completed all program prerequisites and (3) graduated with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.1 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale).
Students with an undergraduate degree in some other field may also be considered if they meet alternative criteria such as providing a convincing statement of purpose explaining their commitment to the program, having related career experiences or training, and/or providing strong letters of recommendation. Such students would be required to complete the program prerequisites within one year of acceptance. Acceptance into the program can be deferred for one year allowing prerequisites to be completed or, in most cases, deficiencies in a prerequisite may be made after entrance to the program, which will extend the overall time to degree.
Minimum program prerequisites include one full year of general chemistry and one upper division course in chemistry such as organic chemistry, introductory courses in biology and geology, a field course in either biology or geology, one course in calculus, and a course in statistics.
Each applicant is required to submit official, complete transcripts of prior college work and a one-page statement of purpose that specifically explains their interest in MSES program. Three letters of recommendation are required for admission, with at least one from someone familiar with the candidate’s academic performance.
For a complete description of these courses, please consult the Graduate Catalog.
MSES Core Courses (15 Credits)
- BIOL 508 Invasive Species Ecology (3)
- CHEM 548 Environmental Chemistry (3)
- ESCI 572 Environmental Communications (3)
- ESCI 574 Watershed Analysis (3)
- GEOL 550 Glacial Geology (3)
MSES Degree Plans (15 Credits)
Plan A--Thesis Track: A thesis will be based on original research. (Preferred by the environmental consulting industry.) (15 credits)
- ESCI 699 MSES Master's Thesis (6)
- Elective Courses (9)
Plan B--Project Track: A project will be based on library/field/laboratory research or classroom exercises demonstrating analysis and interpretation of scientific data. (15 credits)
- ESCI 698 MSES Master's Project (3)
- Elective Courses (12)
Plan C--Coursework Option: (500 or above level) (not recommended for students interested in doctoral degrees). (15 credits)
- Elective Courses (15)
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:
(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 offers graduate students extensive access to research equipment and space, including 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 acquired a scanning electron microscope in collaboration with the College of Engineering and an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer (ICP).
A focal point for the environmental programs on the Dearborn campus is the Environmental Interpretive Center that opened in May, 2001. It is the gateway to a 300- acre environmental study area featuring many natural habitats, including a mature beech-maple forest, floodplain forest, an upland mesic forest, meadows, an 8-acre lake, and the Rouge River on its western border.
The Geospatial Analysis and Mapping (GAM) Lab (located in Social Sciences Building, 1170) is a state-of-the-art computer lab used to teach Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, spatial analyses, geospatial data management, and cartographic principles. The GAM Lab is equipped with 22 high-end networked workstations, instructional support technology and an array of special purpose peripherals and software (e.g., ArcGIS, Erdas Imagine, large format printers and laser printers, large map scanner, GPS units, iPads, etc.).
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.
MS in Environmental Science Faculty
For more information, contact the MSES Program Director Jacob Napieralski.
MS in Environmental Science Faculty