Bloomington Campus

Master of Science in Environmental Science

The Master of Science in Environmental Science (M.S.E.S.) program educates professionals who combine specialization in an area of environmental science with the analytical and policy skills necessary to apply that knowledge in a broader context. This degree program includes an experiential requirement, usually fulfilled by an internship, but also allows for a research focus culminating in a traditional master’s thesis.

For students desiring more in-depth study in environmental science, the M.S.E.S. program is an excellent preparation for entry into the Ph.D. in Environmental Science program. Alternatively, students desiring more in-depth preparation in policy, law, or other related fields can combine their M.S.E.S. degree with a degree in Public Affairs (M.P.A.–M.S.E.S), law (M.S.E.S.–J.D.), or a number of other disciplines in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geological Sciences, Journalism, or Physics.

Program Qualifications

The M.S.E.S. Admissions Committee looks for applicants with an adequate background in quantitative and natural science subjects. As a minimum, you must have completed at least one (1) semester of Calculus and Chemistry with a lab. Familiarity with statistics and biology/ecology is considered desirable. An applicant who does not meet these minimum requirements may be admitted with a calculus and/or chemistry deficiency. In these cases, SPEA is interested in assisting you with options to address the deficiency(ies) that may have been identified by the M.S.E.S. Admissions Committee. 

Entrance Requirements

All students must have undergraduate coursework relevant to their intended area of focus in the M.S.E.S. degree program. Students are expected to have an adequate background in quantitative natural science subjects (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, and biology/ecology), which may vary according to the concentration the student selects.

Prior Professional Experience Credit

The M.S.E.S. program director of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs may grant up to 12 credit hours toward the M.S.E.S. degree for students who have had significant technical or administrative work experience in their backgrounds. Credit will be granted for work experience gained until the end of the semester in which the student completes 24 credit hours according to the following guidelines.

  • To receive 3 credit hours, a student must have a minimum of one year’s technical or administrative work experience.
  • 6 credit hours will be awarded for one to four years of experience in environmental science or environmental management.
  • Those with four or more years of executive assignment may be awarded 9 to 12 credit hours. Applicants must have had responsibility for environmental science or environmental management.
  • Students are eligible to apply for prior professional experience credit up to the completion of 24 credit hours, which usually occurs before the close of their second semester of M.S.E.S. graduate study. Applicants may appeal the initial professional credit decision by submitting a request, in writing, for reconsideration and providing additional information to the appropriate program or campus director.
  • Determination of professional credit is made separately from decisions about transfer of credit. Under no circumstances will the prior professional experience credit and transfer credit total more than 21 hours. Students receiving prior professional experience credit should carefully plan the balance of their program with the Curriculum Advisory Committee.

Academic Bulletins

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