Environmental Sciences Graduate Program

Graduates have been highly successful in a wide range of professional pursuits in both the public and private sector. This includes careers in academia, business, consulting, government, health care, industry, and the media. Our alumni work in classrooms, courtrooms, hospitals, industrial plants, laboratories, offices, and the outdoors. If you like science, and have an interest in the environment - we may be the program you are looking for!

The backgrounds of successful applicants vary greatly. All are expected to have earned an undergraduate degree in a science or engineering discipline with appropriate backgrounds in biology, chemistry, mathematics and/or physics. Otherwise highly qualified applicants who lack any of the above requirements may be allowed to correct this after admission. Selected applicants from non-scientific fields are sometimes admitted, and have a good record of accomplishment.

The Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in several options:

  • Air Pollution Science and Technology
    Students in this option develop an understanding of the sources, behavior, atmospheric transport, transformation, exposure and effects of air pollutants. They learn to apply this understanding to source control and to the development of effective air quality management plans.
  • Environmental Chemistry
    Students in this option explore the cycling and transformations of natural and contaminant substances within and among aquatic, atmospheric, and terrestrial reservoirs and how such processes are controlled or modified by physical and biological processes and structures. Emphasis is on the application of field and laboratory experimentation as well as predictive modeling to problems of environmental contamination and material cycling on earth.
  • Environmental Engineering
    Environmental Engineering is the systematic application of relevant sciences including biology and microbiology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics to create and implement solutions for environmental problems. Emphasis is on design of treatment and remediation systems for environmental engineering media (air, land and water) and development of predictive models of contaminant transport and fate in the natural environment. The current Environmental Sciences Graduate Program admissions requirements are appropriate for Environmental Engineering option applicants.
  • Environmental Microbiology
    Students in this option address the biological transformations of contaminants in aquatic, atmospheric, and terrestrial environments and the biogeochemical processes upon which the health of ecosystems and humans depend. Emphasis is on the application of field and laboratory experimentation as well as predictive modeling to problems of environmental contamination and material cycling through biological transformations.
  • Exposure Science
    This unique program is limited to Ph.D. students. Its purpose is to provide instruction and research experiences examining human contact with chemical, physical and biological agents or products, and the relationships of such contacts with human activity patterns.
  • Pollution Prevention and Control
    Contaminants resulting from human activities cause significant environmental degradation. It is the purpose of this program to examine in depth the processes required to reduce the impacts of past and present contamination and to prevent future environmental contamination.

Within these options, the following areas of specialization are offered:

  • air pollution and resources
  • aquatic biology
  • aquatic chemistry
  • aquatic toxicology
  • assessment
  • chemistry
  • microbiology and physics of aerosol and hydrosol systems
  • climate change
  • environmental chemistry
  • environmental microbiology
  • environmental prediction
  • surface and groundwater pollution modeling
  • human exposure
  • industrial hygiene
  • occupational health
  • pesticide residue chemistry
  • soil chemistry, microbiology, and physics
  • solid and hazardous wastes
  • water and wastewater treatment
  • water resources