The Master of Science in Environmental Science

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30-36 units

Continuous enrollment is required. A maximum of 9 semester units of transfer and/or CSU Chico Open University course work 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.

The PSM option of the MS degree in Environmental Science is available for advanced study in biological, chemical, geoscience, physical, or engineering aspects of environmental science. Prospective students should discuss their interests and goals with the Professional Science Master's Graduate Coordinator.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in "Admission to Master's Degree Programs" in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. An acceptable baccalaureate in one of the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, or allied field from a regionally accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. 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 chemistry, and a semester of ecology.

4. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores that meet the minimum required for graduate study, if applicable.

5. Two letters of recommendation

6. A one-page "Statement of Purpose"

7. Applicants may be interviewed before selection. Students from varied academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. It is strongly recommended that applicants have at least one year of professional experience in some discipline of science. Dedicated non-scientists will be required to take adequate remedial coursework before admittance into the program.

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.

2. Formation 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: 30 units

Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory committee, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

(a) A core of 12-15 units in required courses to include GEOS 600, GEOS 601, GEOS 640, GEOS 660, a 400/500/600-level course in biological science or chemistry and GEOS 630 or GEOS 650. Substitutions for required courses must be taken at Chico and must be approved by the Graduate Coordinator.

(b) 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 committee.

(c) 1-6 units of BIOL 699T or CHEM 699T or GEOS 699T. At least one unit of Master's Thesis (699) is required.

(d) At least 18 of the units required for the degree in 600-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 (697) and Master's Thesis (699T); at least 1, but not more than 6, units of Master's Thesis (699T).

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee.

3. 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 University.

Course Requirements for the MS in Environmental Science:

8 units required:

GEOS 600 Geosciences Seminar I 1.0 FA
GEOS 601 Geosciences Seminar II 1.0 SP
GEOS 640 Hydrogeochemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, CHEM 112. Recommended: GEOS 565.
GEOS 660 Numerical Analysis 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: MATH 120.

2-4 units selected from:

One 400/500/600-level course in Biological Sciences or Chemistry.

2-3 units selected from:

GEOS 630 Geotectonic Development of California 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
GEOS 650 Environmental Monitoring 2.0 FA
Prerequisites: CHEM 425 is recommended.

1-6 units selected from:

BIOL 699T Master's Thesis 1.0 -6.0 FS
CHEM 699T Master's Thesis 1.0 -6.0 FS
GEOS 699T Master's Thesis 1.0 -6.0 FS
Prerequisites: Instructor permission.

At least 1 unit of 699T is required.

Select 9-17 units from courses approved by the graduate committee.

Requirements for the MS in Environmental Science: Professional Science Master's Option: 36 units

Note: At the time of catalog publication, this proposed degree program is under review at the California State University Chancellor's Office. Please contact the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department Office at (530) 898-5262, PHSC 217, about the current status.

Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory committee and the Office of Graduate Studies to include the following.

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 36 units of 400/500/600-level course work as follows:

(a) The following core of 24 units. Substitutions for required courses must be approved by the Program Director.

7 courses required:

GEOS 600 Geosciences Seminar I 1.0 FA
GEOS 601 Geosciences Seminar II 1.0 SP
GEOS 650 Environmental Monitoring 2.0 FA
Prerequisites: CHEM 425 is recommended.
GEOS 654 Environmental Risk Assessment 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: GEOS 315, PHYS 202B; MATH 109 or MATH 120.
Recommended: BIOL 350 or BIOL 360.
GEOS 656 Environmental Sciences Capstone 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: Completion of three semesters of coursework in either the Environmental Sciences MS program or the proposed PSM option of the Environmental Sciences MS program.
GEOS 699P Master's Project 1.0 -6.0 FS
Prerequisites: Instructor permission.

Note: GEOS 699P must be taken for at least 2 units.

MGMT 444 Managing Project Teams 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MGMT 303 or faculty permission.

2 courses selected with advising approval from:

ACCT 623 Management Control Systems 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: ACCT 202.
BADM 610 Decision Support Systems 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: Classified MBA student.
BADM 638 Business Communication Skills for Managers 3.0 Inq
MGMT 635 Seminar in Management 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: Classified MBA student
MKTG 673 Seminar in Strategic Marketing 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: Classified MBA student.
POLS 660A Seminar in Public Management 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: POLS 602; POLS 662 is recommended.
POLS 660B Seminar in Public Personnel Administration 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: POLS 602.
POLS 660C Seminar in Administration of Public Financial Resources 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: POLS 602; POLS 631 is recommended.
POLS 669 Public and Non-Profit Program Evaluation 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: POLS 600 and POLS 631 or equivalents are highly recommended.
SCMS 607 Operations Planning and Execution 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: Classified MBA student.

1 course selected from:

GEOS 660 Numerical Analysis 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
MATH 615 Statistical Methods for Graduate Research 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: MATH 105, MATH 350, MATH 315, or MATH 305 (only one is required).

(b) 12 units selected from one of the following advising patterns:

Environmental Biotechnology Advising Pattern

12 units selected from:

BIOL 609 Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology 4.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 409 or CHEM 451.
BIOL 610 Topics in Cell/Molecular Biology 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 609.
BIOL 611 Advanced Physiology/Cell Biology 4.0 F1
Prerequisites: BIOL 411 or BIOL 414 or BIOL 416 or BIOL 417.
BIOL 612 Topics in Physiological/Developmental Biology 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 611.
BIOL 670 Plant Molecular Biology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 409.
CHEM 440 Environmental Chemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
CHEM 445 Environmental Toxicology 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
CHEM 600 Special Topics in Chemistry 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 331, CHEM 332, faculty permission.
GEOS 625 Advanced Topics in Environmental Science 3.0 FS

Natural Resource Management Advising Pattern

12 units selected from:

BIOL 613 Population Ecology 4.0 F2
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.
BIOL 660 Landscape Ecology 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 or GEOG 444; MATH 314 or MATH 350 or GEOG 315.

This course is also offered as GEOG 660.

BIOL 668 Community and Ecosystem Ecology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 and a statistics course.
CHEM 440 Environmental Chemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
CHEM 445 Environmental Toxicology 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
GEOG 445 Pyrogeography 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: At least one of the following: AGRI 331, BIOL 414, BIOL 450, GEOG 343, GEOG 405, GEOG 444, GEOG 450, PSSC 330, PSSC 331, PSSC 334, PSSC 433, PSSC 436, PSSC 438, or faculty permission.
GEOG 607 Environmental Planning 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: BIOL 334, GEOG 427, and faculty permission.
GEOG 660 Landscape Ecology 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: BIOL 350 or GEOG 444; MATH 314 or MATH 350 or GEOG 315.

This course is also offered as BIOL 660.

GEOS 516 Natural Water Systems 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, GEOS 315.
GEOS 517 The Atmospheric Environment 3.0 F1
Prerequisites: CHEM 112, GEOS 315.
GEOS 530 Environmental Systems Modeling I 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: CHEM 112; GEOS 330 or faculty permission; MATH 120; either PHYS 202B or PHYS 204C.
GEOS 535 Pollution Ecology 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: Chem 112, GEOS 315.
GEOS 536 Applied Ecology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 350.
GEOS 537 Ecohydrology 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 350, GEOS 270 or GEOS 380, or instructor consent.
GEOS 625 Advanced Topics in Environmental Science 3.0 FS

Sustainable Development and Technology Advising Pattern

12 units selected from:

BIOL 610 Topics in Cell/Molecular Biology 1.0 -3.0 FS
Prerequisites: BIOL 609.
CHEM 440 Environmental Chemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 112.
CHEM 445 Environmental Toxicology 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 108 or CHEM 270.
CIVL 431 Environmental Engineering 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or NSCI 102; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; Math 109 or MATH 120; junior standing.
CIVL 571 Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: CIVL 431 or faculty permission.
CIVL 575 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: CIVL 431 or faculty permission.
GEOS 530 Environmental Systems Modeling I 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: CHEM 112; GEOS 330 or faculty permission; MATH 120; either PHYS 202B or PHYS 204C.
GEOS 535 Pollution Ecology 3.0 F2
Prerequisites: Chem 112, GEOS 315.
GEOS 570 Environmental and Engineering Geology 3.0 S1
Prerequisites: GEOS 102, GEOS 203, GEOS 306. For majors in related sciences and technical fields, GEOS 102 only.
GEOS 625 Advanced Topics in Environmental Science 3.0 FS
GEOS 640 Hydrogeochemistry 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CHEM 111, CHEM 112. Recommended: GEOS 565.
MECA 482 Control System Design 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: EECE 211, MATH 260. Recommended: MECA 380, MECH 320; either EECE 135 or MECH 306.
MECA 486 Motion and Machine Automation 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: EECE 211L, MECH 340; EECE 482 or MECA 482 (may be taken concurrently).
MECH 432 Energy Systems 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: MECH 338.
MECH 436 Air Pollution Control 3.0 Inq
Prerequisites: CIVL 321 (or faculty permission), CHEM 111; either CHEM 331 or MECH 332. Recommended: CIVL 302, MECH 306.

(d) At least 60 percent of the units required for the degree must be in 600-level courses.

(e) Not more than a total of 10 units of Independent Study (597/697) and Master's Project (699P); at least 2, but no more than 6, units of Master's Project (699P).

2. Completion and approval of a project internship as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee and as described below.

Guidelines for Professional Science Master's Project Internship

Your project is a requirement of the program. Individual roles and expectations will be clearly delineated in team projects. Each individual whether in a team project or an individual project will be held to a high level of library research and scientific thinking, even if your project is not research based. Each individual will be expected to have a full understanding of the problem, the possible solutions, and new approaches. The project is more then a diary of activities and accomplishments. Your internship should be solution oriented and project based. You will be expected to provide critical analyses of your project, and you are expected to examine your project in terms of future work and developments on the horizon. Due to the nature of professional internships, you may accomplish more than a typical master of science student. Your project will result in a quality document that will include an introduction, methodology (if appropriate), results, discussion, and conclusions or recommendations. For team projects, individual contributions must be clearly demarcated and presented individually to the graduate school. A complete project report can be presented to your sponsor.

3. Approval by the Departmental Graduate Committee and the Graduate Council on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Graduate Requirement in Writing Proficiency:

Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.

Environmental Science students will normally demonstrate their writing competence through successful completion of GEOS 600 and GEOS 601, Geosciences Seminar, or an approved substitute.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-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 697, 696, 699P, 699T 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 minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for new and readmitted students in the master's program in Environmental Science. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for specifics.