The Master of Science in Environmental Science
Course Requirements for the Masters Degree: 30 units
Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer
credit may be applied toward the degree.
Graduate Time Limit: All requirements
for the degree are to be completed within five years of the end of the
semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree.
See Graduate Education in The University Catalog for complete details
on general degree requirements.
The MS degree in Environmental Science is available for advanced study
in biological, chemical, or geoscience aspects of environmental science,
as well as environmental policy and planning. Prospective students should
discuss their interests and goals with the Department of Geological and
Environmental Studies Graduate Coordinator.
Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:
1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Admission to Masters Degree Programs in The University Catalog.
2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Programs.
3. An acceptable baccalaureate in one of the natural sciences, engineering,
or mathematics from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved
by the Office of Graduate Programs. The prospective student must have sufficient
background to undertake a graduate program in Environmental Science: mathematics
(one semester of statistics and one year of calculus), two semesters of
college physics, two semesters of organic chemistry, and a semester of
Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
1. Completion of the Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test with a minimum
combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions.
of a graduate advisory committee.
3. Development of an approved program
in consultation with the graduate advisory committee.
Advancement to Candidacy:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
Students must have classified graduate standing and must have completed
at least 9 units of the proposed program at the university.
Requirements for the MS in Environmental Science:
Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory
committee, and the Office of Graduate Programs, to include:
1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 200/300-level
courses as follows:
(a) A core of 12-15 units in required courses to include
GEOS 300, GEOS 301, GEOS 340, BIOL 360, a 200/300-level course in biological
science or chemistry and GEOS 330 or GEOS 350. Substitutions for required
courses must be taken at Chico and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.
9-17 units of course work selected from areas such as mathematics, plant
science, chemistry, geosciences, geography, political science, engineering,
or biological sciences. Selection must be approved by the graduate advisory
(c) 1-6 units of BIOL 399 or CHEM 399 or GEOS 399. At least one
unit of Masters Thesis (399) is required.
(d) At least 18 of the units
required for the degree in 300-level courses.
(e) Not more than 9 semester
units of transfer and/or extension or Open University credit (correspondence
courses and U.C. extension course work are not acceptable).
(f) Not more
than 15 units taken before admission to classified status.
(g) At least
9 units completed after advancement to candidacy.
(h) Not more than 10 units
of Independent Study (398) and Masters Thesis (399); at least 1, but not
more than 6, units of Masters Thesis (399).
2. Completion and final approval
of a thesis as specified by the students graduate advisory committee.
Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive final examination (written and/or
oral) in the field of study.
4. Approval by the Departmental Graduate Committee
and the Graduate Coordinators Committee on behalf of the faculty of the
Course Requirements for the MS in Environmental Science:
8 units required:
GEOS 300 Geosciences Seminar I 1.0 FA
GEOS 301 Geosciences Seminar II 1.0 SP
GEOS 340 Hydrogeochemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 037, CHEM 038.
GEOS 360 Numerical Analysis 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: MATH 007A.
2-4 units selected from:
One 200-or 300-level course in Biological Sciences or Chemistry.
2-3 units selected from:
GEOS 330 Geotectonic Development of Calif 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
GEOS 350 Environmental Monitoring 2.0 FA
Prerequisites: CHEM 255 is recommended.
1-6 units selected from:
BIOL 399 Masters Study 1.0-6.0 FS
CHEM 399 Masters Study 1.0-6.0 FS
GEOS 399 Masters Study 1.0-6.0 FS
At least 1 unit of 399 is required.
Select 9-17 units from courses approved by the graduate committee OR from
the Environmental Policy and Planning Emphasis below.
Environmental Policy and Planning Emphasis: 12 units
3 courses required:
GEOG 307 Environmental Planning 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 134, GEOG 227, and faculty permission.
GEOG 308 Environmental Project Management 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: GEOG 227 and faculty permission.
POLS 353 Environmental Policy & the Law 3.0 FS
1 course selected from:
ECON 266 Environmental & Resource Econ 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: ECON 101.
GEOG 226 Water Resource Development 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: GEOG 104 or equivalent.
Graduate Literacy Requirement:
Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.
Environmental Science students will normally demonstrate their writing
competence through successful completion of GEOS 300 and GEOS 301, Geosciences
Seminar, or an approved substitute.
Graduate Grading Requirements:
All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study-398
and Masters Study-399) must be taken for a letter grade, except those
courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (200-level courses),
AB/No Credit (300-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum
of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit
grades may be used on the approved program (including 398, 399, and courses
outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual
programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the university that
unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement
of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students
pursuing graduate study.
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on
the approved masters degree program as well as in all course work taken
subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.
Graduate Advising Requirement:
Advising is mandatory for new and readmitted students in the masters program
in Environmental Science. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.