Environmental and Earth Sciences


Program Perspective

Undergraduate education provides only basic concepts in science and/or engineering and as such, does not provide the basis for understanding and resolving complex environmental problems facing both industrial societies and emerging nations. Therefore, UT-Arlington offers an environmental and earth sciences graduate program built on a strong, sound, basic undergraduate education. The program integrates earth science, engineering, mathematics, ecology, risk assessment and public policy. It provides depth and, at the same time, provides an educational base for a team approach to resolving problems. Courses and experiences are well integrated into the program to assure interdisciplinary communication.

The program uniquely prepares the student to meet environmental challenges that are changing rapidly because of societal expectations concerning health and environmental quality. An integrated multidisciplinary approach to education is required of both the master's and doctoral student assures the highest standard of excellence. Students develop the diverse background and broad perspective necessary for resolving environmental problems through a multidisciplinary core program requiring course work, seminars and research. Academic units active in the administration of the program are: Biology Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil Engineering, Geology, and Urban and Public Affairs. Faculty from these programs will supervise student project research, thesis research, and dissertation research.

Program Objective

The goal of the program is to provide students who have earned science or engineering undergraduate degrees a common ground for interdisciplinary communication, an understanding of the environment, and the competence necessary for evaluating and solving complex environmental problems.

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches structured in the curriculum and research programs assure interaction of both master's and doctoral candidates with the same diversity of individuals that must work together to evaluate and resolve environmental problems. Individuals with divergent backgrounds are brought into courses that combine elements of engineering, biology, chemistry, and geology for an interdisciplinary focus on integrated areas of environmental systems. The inclusion of policy and planning courses brings into a student's program an understanding of the forces that shape implementation of alternative environmental science and engineering solutions. They provide an understanding of how regulatory and political entities influence the implementation of viable technical solutions.

The master's degree is designed to prepare the graduate for applied work in the private sector and governmental positions. Although this degree may be the route for some students into a doctoral program in which research is the focus, it typically serves as the professional preparation required for applied technology and environmental management. The doctoral degree is a research oriented degree and, as such, emphasis is placed on the preparation of students for teaching and/or research careers in academic, industry or governmental agency settings. Admission to the doctoral program ordinarily requires a master's degree. Highly qualified applicants with a bachelor's degree but not a master's degree may apply for the BS-PhD Track, enabling them to conduct doctoral studies without completing a master's degree.