Environmental and Earth Sciences


Master‘s Degree with Thesis

The master‘s degree is designed to prepare the graduate for applied work in the private sector and governmental positions. When the degree is completed with a thesis, it can also be the route into a doctoral program in which research is the focus.

The thesis option requires completion of 32 hours of course work and 6 hours of thesis research. Courses must include 15 hours of core courses in Environmental and Earth Sciences; 9 hours of formal course electives concentrated in one of the following units: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, or Urban and Public Affairs; 6 hours of formal course electives; and 2 hours of seminar.

The thesis is an original and independent research project carried out under the supervision of a faculty member in the Environmental and Earth Sciences program. The thesis provides an opportunity to learn and exercise the many skills needed to conduct original research. It demonstrates to potential employers that a student can work independently, collect and analyze data, and communicate the results in writing. Completing a thesis is also excellent preparation for further academic work in a Ph.D. program. Students contemplating thesis research should contact faculty members with research interests that match their own interests.