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Environmental Geoscience Option

Master of Science in Environmental Studies

Environmental Geoscience Option
Environmental-Geoscience-OptionThe Environmental Geoscience Option is designed to prepare students with the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct research and act as consultants in environmental sciences and geosciences. The students in the program will take a variety of courses distributed across three areas – Policy/Economics, Environmental Engineering, and Environmental Geosciences. Course work will be concentrated in the Environmental Geosciences, with the option to take additional courses in the other areas based on student interest.

The MS program requires the completion of 30 credits, 3 credits in Policy/Economics, 3 credits in Environmental Engineering, 15 credits in Environmental Geoscience, 3 additional credits from any area, and 6 credits of Master’s thesis (thesis MS). The thesis involves original laboratory or theoretical work, usually publishable in accredited and peer reviewed technical journals. The thesis advisory committee will consist of a Principal Advisor who is the member of the EEAS faculty, and two members chosen from EEAS or associated UMass Lowell faculty. One member may be from outside the University, with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. In lieu of a thesis, students may elect to take an additional 6 credits of approved course work (non-thesis MS).

Candidates for the program should have a baccalaureate degree in physical or biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering from an accredited program and generally a 3.0 GPA or higher. Candidates with a closely related major may be admitted with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator. Students entering the program should have at a minimum a year of college Physics, a year of college Chemistry, and Calculus I (Calculus II may be required for some courses). Depending on their prior course work, students entering the program may be required to take undergraduate courses in order to develop the analytical skills and knowledge base required for the advanced level courses, but these credits will not count towards the total required for the Master’s degree.

General requirements for all applicants are a completed application packet supplied by the Graduate Admissions Office which includes:

  • Graduate Admissions Application form
  • A Statement of Purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation pertaining to academic ability and/or professional performance
  • Official score report for the Graduate Record Exam, with a satisfactory level score
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Application fee
  • International applicants must also submit an official TOEFL score.

Applications may be downloaded or submitted electronically from the Graduate Admissions website.

Applications for the Master of Science Option in Environmental Geoscience are accepted year round, but it is recommended that completed applications be submitted several months before expected matriculation.


Area I. Policy/Economics (Elect 1) - 3 credits

  • ENVE.5270 or PUBH.5500 Environmental Law and Policy (3 credits)
  • ECON.6150 Environmental and Natural Resources Economics (3 credits)
  • ENVI.5200 Methods in Environmental Impact Assessment and Analysis (3 credits)

Area II. Environmental Engineering (Elect 1) - 3 credits

  • CIVE.5620 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology (3 credits)
  • CIVE.5670 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry (3 credits)
  • CIVE.5680 Environmental Fate and Transport (3 credits)
  • CIVE.5750 Groundwater Modeling (3 credits)

Area III. Environmental Geoscience (Elect 5) - 15 credits

  • ENVI.5040 Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • CIVE.5720 Marine and Coastal Processes (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5010 Paleoclimatology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5040 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5060L Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • GEOL.5140 Hydrogeology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5150 Topics in Environmental Geochemistry (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5200 Structural Geology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5220L Structural Geology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • GEOL.5240 Regional Hydrogeology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5260 Glacial and Pleistocene Geology (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5520 Sedimentation and Stratigraphy (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5540L Sedimentation and Stratigraphy Laboratory (1 credit)
  • GEOL.5560 Applied Geophysics (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5520 Advanced Geochemistry (3 credits)
  • GEOL.5820 Marine Geology (3 credits)
  • Elective from any Area (Elect 1) - 3 credits
  • Thesis (6 credits) or 2 courses from any of the above Area(s) for non-thesis - 6 credits

Total Credits: 30 credits

Other appropriate graduate level courses within or outside the department may be substituted for the above with the approval of the student’s advisor and the Department Chair or designee.