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Master's in Environmental Resource Science Courses

The Master of Science in Environmental Resource Science program requires 35 semester hours of graduate credit work. After you have completed 12 hours of graduate coursework, you will need to decide if you want to pursue a thesis or the non-thesis option.

Download the curriculum sheet for the master’s in environmental resource science.

The curriculum includes 27 hours of coursework, 2 seminar hours, and 6 hours in either thesis or internship work. Courses are organized into four categories:

  1. Water resources
  2. Soil resources
  3. Environmental methods
  4. Biophysical relationships

All students must take these required courses:

  • ENVS 484(G): Watershed Science
  • GEOL 470(G): Groundwater
  • ENVS 490(G): Environmental Pedology
  • ENVS 580: Fate of Pollutants in Soil and Natural Waters
  • ENVS 559: Environmental Resources Seminar
  • 3 credit hours selected from the Environmental Methods courses listed below.

You choose 12 credit hours of courses from the electives listed below, so you can tailor your degree to your interests.

Thesis Option

If you choose to pursue a thesis option, you will be required to take six credit hours to complete your written thesis. The thesis track emphasizes research, and is probably the best choice for you if you want to eventually pursue a doctorate or a career in research.

The required course for your thesis is ENVS 599: Thesis Research and Thesis.

Students are encouraged to talk with faculty members and the graduate coordinator about research possibilities and thesis topics as soon as possible. Students in the MS in Environmental Resource Science program must formally choose a thesis advisor and thesis committee members after completing 12 hours of coursework. 
The thesis option also requires that you complete a successful oral defense of your thesis research for your thesis committee.

Non-Thesis/Internship Option

If you choose the non-thesis option, you’ll be required to take six internship hours for your degree or take an extra elective and complete a capstone project. The non-thesis option may be preferable if you’re planning for a career applying research and working in the field.

As a non-thesis student, you will need to complete one of the following courses to demonstrate a general, comprehensive knowledge of the environmental science field:

  • ENVS 589: Capstone Project
  • ENVS 579: Internship

We have partnered with 14 organizations and businesses in the region to provide internship opportunities for our students in local government, with the National Parks Service, USGS Wetlands Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service, engineering firms, environmental services companies, and more.

Even if you choose to complete a thesis, you are also welcome to complete internships and earn course credit.


In the MS in Environmental Resource Science program, you can choose 12 credit hours from the following list to complete your curriculum (with no more than 9 credit hours from the biophysical relationships category).

Water Resources courses

  • ENVS 445(G): Coastal Sciences, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 484(G): Watershed Science, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 486(G): Water Quality, 3 credits
  • GEOL 431(G): Introduction to Geochemistry, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 440(G): Oceanography, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 470(G): Ground Water, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 509: Advanced Ground Water Hydrology, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 510: Advanced Environmental Geology, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 532: Petroleum Geochemistry, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 407(G): Environmental Toxicology, 4 credit hours
  • BIOL 441(G): Limnology and Oceanography, 4 credit hours
  • CIVE 506: Advanced Hydrology, 3 credit hours
  • CIVE 546: Probabilistic Methods in Hydroscience, 3 credit hours
  • CIVE 561: Water Treatment, 3 credit hours

Soil Resources courses

  • ENVS 490(G): Environmental Pedology, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 493(G): Soil-Plant Relationships, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 495(G): Soil Genesis and Survey, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 498(G): Soil Biology, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 580: Fate of Pollutants in Soils and Natural Waters, 3 credit hours
  • GEOL 433(G): Clay Mineralogy, 3 credit hours
  • CIVE 563: Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, 3 credit hours

Environmental Methods courses

  • ENVS 455(G): Geographic Information Science I, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 464(G): Geographic Information Science II, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 473(G): Remote Sensing in GIS, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 487(G): Advanced GIS Analysis and Applications, 3 credit hours
  • ENVS 460(G): Site Assessment and Remediation, 3 credit hours
    • Prereq or Coreq: GEOL 470
  • GEOL 420(G): Geophysics I, 4 credit hours
  • GEOL 432(G): Instrumental Examination of Earth Materials, 3 credits
  • GEOL 437(G): Computer Applications in Geology, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 504: Microscopy, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 427(G): Experimental Design and Analysis, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 502: Quantitative Ecology, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 503: Ecological Models and Data, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 575: Statistical Ecology, 4 credit hours
  • BIOL 590: analytical Techniques, 3-6 credit hours
  • CIVE 567: Experimental Analysis for Environmental Engineers, 3 credit hours
  • CHEM 430(G): Instrumental Analysis, 3 credit hours.

Biophysical Relationships courses

  • BIOL 412(G): Conservation Biology and Biodiversity, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 414(G): Ornithology, 4 credit hours
  • BIOL 415(G): Biogeography, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 445(G): Ichthyology, 4 credit hours
  • BIOL 461(G): Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants, 4 credit hours
  • BIOL 542: Evolutionary Ecology, 3 credit hours
  • BIOL 580: Marine Ecology, 3 credit hours

Additional 500-level courses with content that fits these categories may be taken for credit with approval from the graduate committee.