Environmental Science MS


Graduate Admissions Counselor

Keith Davis
585-475-7223, krdges@rit.edu


Department Contact

Jeffrey Lodge, Ph.D.
585-475-2489, jslsbi@rit.edu


Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? No
Application Deadline February 15 Priority Deadline
Admit Term Fall/Spring
Entrance Exam None
Other
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 79
IELTS 6.5
PTE Academic 58

 

Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

Habitat loss, global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, species invasions, loss of biodiversity, and the accumulation of toxic wastes are among the many environmental dilemmas our society faces.

These complex problems pit environmental limits against economic development, diverse cultures, ethics, values, and social stability, and therefore require an understanding of science, policy, society, history, and economics in order to address problems realistically and effectively. Environmental scientists must use integrated and holistic approaches to understand and find sustainable solutions to these problems. Graduates of the MS program in environmental science are well prepared for a variety of environmental careers including consulting, research, policy, and outreach, or further graduate work in a doctoral program.

Plan of study

Built on the concept that environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary, the program is offered in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts. The curriculum provides students with a deep understanding of the science behind our environmental problems, the complex set of circumstances that impact environmental issues, and how environmental decisions and policies must attempt to find a balance between environmental conservation, human well-being, and economic development. Students augment their hands-on classroom work with in-depth experiential learning through an individual thesis or project that provides students with the chance to work on real-world environmental problems under the guidance of skilled environmental scientists.

The program includes a core curriculum and electives chosen to reflect the student’s background and career goals. A minimum of 34 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. All students must propose, conduct, and report on an original research thesis or project.

Curriculum

Environmental science (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-601 Environmental Science Graduate Studies 3
MATH-655 Biostatistics or Equivalent Course 3
  Graduate Public Policy Core Elective  3
  Graduate Science Core Elective 3
ENVS-670 Advanced Concepts of Environmental Chemistry 3
BIOL-675 Advanced Conservation Biology 3
ENVS-650 Hydrologic Applications of GIS 4
Second Year
  Professional Elective 3
ENVS-790 Environmental Science Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 34

Environmental science (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-601 Environmental Science Graduate Studies 3
MATH-655 Biostatistics or Equivalent Course 3
  Graduate Public Policy Core Elective 3
  Graduate Science Core Elective 3
ENVS-670 Advanced Concepts of Environmental Chemistry 3
BIOL-675 Advanced Conservation Biology 3
  Graduate Science, Technology and Society Core Elective 3
ENVS-650 Hydrologic Applications of GIS 4
Second Year
  Professional Elective 3
ENVS-780 Environmental Science Project 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 34

 

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in environmental science, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college in environmental science, biological science, or a related discipline.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent) overall and in math/science.
  • Applicants with undergraduate degrees from foreign colleges and universities are required to submit GRE scores.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives outlining the applicant’s research/project interests, career goals, and suitability to the program.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Students are strongly encouraged to contact program faculty before applying to discuss thesis topics and research projects. Students are matched with a potential thesis adviser at the time of admission.

Additional information

Facilities and equipment

The program provides a wide range of research opportunities. Many faculty members are engaged in field-based projects and the college boasts excellent laboratory facilities that support field research, including wet laboratories and computer facilities (traditional and geographic information systems). For a list of past and present projects, and faculty research interests, please visit the program website.

Monitoring, mapping, and field equipment: ArcGIS and IDRISI GIS software, ENVS and ERDAS Remote Sensing software, Garmin and Trimble GPS receivers, soil sampling and analysis equipment, water sampling devices, multisonde water quality probes and dissolved oxygen meters, SCT meter, ponar dredges, Li-Cor light meter, plankton samplers, macroinvertebrate nets/samplers, and a library of field reference texts.

Other equipment: Fluorimeter, Raman Spectrometer, UV-Vis-IR, GC-MS, ICP, atomic absorption, polarimeter, centrifuge, electrochemical equipment, gas chromatographs, HPLC, viscometer, ESR (built in-house), confocal microscope, infrared carbon dioxide analyzer, Unisense microelectrode system, Lachat autoanalyzer, incubators, capillary electrophoresis, DSCs, DMA, NMR, drying oven, Wiley mill.


Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.


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