Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

Environmental Science M.S.

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The graduate plan in Environmental Science leads to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree. The plan seeks, through an interdisciplinary approach, to prepare students for opportunities in government and the private sector. Graduates of the plan may also be prepared to pursue further academic training in environmental sciences. Students must specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Chemistry 
  • Environmental Geology

All graduate students are required to produce a major paper and present a public seminar. Prior to enrolling in ENSC 5530, students must have a faculty adviser and an approved research topic.  Following completion of ENSC 5530, the student will be advised into ENSC 6731 or ENSC 6838 or ENSC 6939.

Students pursuing the research project option may be advised to complete hours in independent study or internship in addition to ENSC 6838. Before enrolling in thesis, students must have a faculty thesis adviser and an approved research proposal.

Degree Requirements

Environmental Science Basic Requirements

Students seeking a master's degree must have course work preparation appropriate to their area of specialization. At least 34 hours of natural science and six hours of mathematics are required prior to admission. Candidates should have a B average (GPA) 3.0 on the last 60 hours of credit. GRE scores are required by all students applying for the graduate program. Scores will be evaluated by the college's admissions committee.

Students should submit a written statement to the Science and Computer Engineering Academic Advising Office (sceadvising@uhcl.edu) specifying their educational goals and objectives as well as their intended areas of specialization, i.e., Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry or Environmental Geology. Applicants are also encouraged to submit letter(s) of recommendation as supporting documents. Basic requirement courses do not count toward the degree. These courses do, however, count toward the total hours required above.

The following must be completed prior to admission into the graduate plan:

  • General Chemistry I and II with labs
  • General Physics I and II with labs
  • Calculus I

The following must be completed prior to or within the first year of study:

  • Organic Chemistry I with lab
  • Statistics

The master's degree requires completion of a minimum of 36 hours.

Environmental Science Thesis Option (36 hours)

Environmental Science Thesis Option (36 hours)
Designated electives 24 hours (maximum of six hours of 4000-level credit) and 6 hours of
thesis. Select one of the following Statistics courses.
STAT 5135 Applied Statistical Methods
Credit Hours: 3
EDUC 6032 Applied Statistics
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5530 Research Methods: Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 6939 Master's Thesis Research
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

  • Electives are selected in consultation with the faculty adviser and must include at least one course from three of the following rubrics: BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, ENSC.
  • A maximum of six hours of environmental management (ENVR) courses may be included.

Environmental Science Research Project Course Option (36 hours)

Environmental Science Research Project Course Option (36 hours)
Designated electives 27 hours (maximum 6 hours of 4000-level credit). Select one of the following Statistics courses.
STAT 5135 Applied Statistical Methods
Credit Hours: 3
EDUC 6032 Applied Statistics
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5530 Research Methods: Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 6838 Research Project
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 6731 Graduate Seminar
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

  • Students will be advised to take ENSC 6838 or ENSC 6731.
  • Electives are selected in consultation with the faculty adviser and must include at least one course from three of the following rubrics: BIOL, CHEM, GEOL, ENSC.
  • A maximum of six hours of environmental management (ENVR) courses may be included.

Environmental Science Specializations

Environmental Biology Specialization Electives:

Environmental Biology Specialization Electives:

Selected in consultation with adviser (24-27 hours).

Cross discipline courses (12 hours maximum) selected from: CHEM 5431, CHEM 5535, CHEM
5731, GEOL 5331, GEOL 5333, GEOL 5532, GEOL 5631, GEOL 5632, OSHE
5333, ENVR 5332, ENVR 6132.

ENSC 5233 Ecotoxicology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5333 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5533 Environmental Biotechnology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5234 Population and Community Dynamics
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5235 Ichthyology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5215 Laboratory for Ichthyology
Credit Hours: 1
ENSC 5332 Toxicology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5531 Aquatic Toxicity Testing
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5532 Coastal and Estuarine Ecology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5533 Ecological Methods
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5534 Conservation Biology
BIOL 5535 Neotropical Rainforest Ecology
BIOL 5537 Limnology and Aquatic Biology
BIOL 5931 Research Topics in Biology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5931 Research Topics in Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5939 Independent Study in Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

BIOL 5235 and BIOL 5215 are co-requisites. 

Environmental Chemistry Specialization Electives:

Environmental Chemistry Specialization Electives:

Selected in consultation with adviser (24-27 hours).

Cross discipline courses (12 hours maximum) selected from: ENSC 5233, ENSC 5332, BIOL 5333,
CHEM 5133, CHEM 5331, ENSC 5537, ENSC 5532, ENSC 5632, OSHE 5333, ENVR 5332, ENVR 6132.

CHEM 4251 Laboratory for Environmental Analysis
Credit Hours: 2
ENSC 5333 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5431 Contaminant Fate and Transport
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5531 Aquatic Toxicity Testing
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5533 Environmental Biotechnology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5536 Environmental Remediation
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5731 Environmental Organic Chemistry
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5535 Sampling & Analysis of Environmental Contaminants
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5633 Environmental Chemodynamics
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5931 Research Topics in Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5939 Independent Study in Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3

Environmental Geology Specialization Electives:

Environmental Geology Specialization Electives:
Cross-discipline courses (12 hour maximum) must be selected in consultation with faculty adviser.
GEOL 4323 Soils in the Environment
Credit Hours: 3
GEOL 4356 Soil and Groundwater Remediation
Credit Hours: 3
GEOL 5331 Advanced Environmental Geology
Credit Hours: 3
GEOL 5233 Environmental Geochemistry
Credit Hours: 3
GEOL 5931 Research Topics in Geology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5332 Toxicology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5333 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5431 Contaminant Fate and Transport
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5535 Sampling & Analysis of Environmental Contaminants
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5537 Hydrology of Groundwater
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5532 Hydrology of Surface Water
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5632 Hazardous Materials in Geological Environment
Credit Hours: 3

Environmental Science M.S. Online Option

All graduate students are required to produce a major paper and present an online public seminar. Prior to enrolling in ENSC 5530, students must have a faculty adviser and an approved research topic. Following completion of ENSC 5530, and in consultation with their faculty adviser, on-line students will enroll in ENSC 6731 or ENSC 6838 and prepare their major capstone research paper.

Degree Requirements

Environmental Science General Online Option Core Courses (9 hours)
EDUC 6032 Applied Statistics
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5530 Research Methods: Environmental Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 6731 Graduate Seminar
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 6838 Research Project
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

Students are advised to take ENSC 6838 or ENSC 6731.
Environmental Science General Online Course Electives (27 hours)
Selected in consultation with adviser.  Must include at least 18 hours of ENSC courses.
BIOL 5534 Conservation Biology
ENSC 5233 Ecotoxicology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5332 Toxicology
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5532 Hydrology of Surface Water
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5535 Sampling & Analysis of Environmental Contaminants
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5536 Environmental Remediation
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5537 Hydrology of Groundwater
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5333 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
Credit Hours: 3
ENVR 5332 Environmental Law
Credit Hours: 3
ENVR 6133 Environmental Risk Management
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5631 Remote Sensing: Applications in Geology
Credit Hours: 3
OSHE 5131 Control of Occupational and Environmental Hazards
Credit Hours: 3
OSHE 5333 Air Pollution
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

  • Electives are selected in consultation with the faculty adviser.
  • A maximum of six hours of
    environmental management (ENVR) courses may be included.