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Columbus State University

Master of Science
Natural Sciences - Environmental Science (Thesis Option)

College of Letters and Sciences

Program Description

Master of Natural Science - Environmental Science track offers a unique master’s degree that is a comprehensive and broadly-based course of study. We offer state of the art science courses in toxicology, ecology, anthropology, environmental chemistry, environmental geology, paleontology, geomorphology, hydrology, and geography. Because many aspects of our environmental problems are inherently societal issues, we also have courses in Environmental Law and Regulation; Culture and the Environmental; Human Ecology; Land-Use and Waste Management; and Water Resources Management. With such a diversity of course offerings and flexible curriculum, each student can design a unique program suited to his or her individual goals.

Career Opportunities

Graduates are well prepared for careers as government or private sector scientists or policy makers. Many students are gainfully employed as environmental consultants. A select group of graduates has continued to pursue higher level education in Doctoral programs at some of the United States' premier Universities.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Columbus State University Graduate School Admissions requirements, all interested applicants must submit the following materials to be considered for admission for all tracks in the Natural Sciences program.
• Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, demonstrated excellent preparation in the Biological, Chemical, Environmental and/or Geological Sciences or permission of the program director.
• Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
• A minimum combined score of 290 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Exam. The GRE must have been taken in the last five years.
• A one page statement of experience and interests.
• Two letters of reference. References should come from persons familiar with the applicant's academic or professional experience.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key concepts, principles, theories, and methods with in the core discipline of the Natural Sciences: biology, chemistry, environmental science, and geosciences.
• Employ critical and analytical thinking in application of the scientific method, including formulating and testing hypotheses, designing experiments, analyzing data, interpreting results, and drawing conclusions.
• Report orally and in writing research results and conclusions according to accepted standards of the chosen area of core study.

Additional Program Requirements

The maximum course load for a graduate student in a given semester is 12 semester hours. The maximum course load for a student holding a graduate assistantship is 10 semester hours.

Complete original, scientific research and write a comprehensive Master’s thesis based on this research.

Give an oral presentation of their Master’s thesis to a committee of approved reviewers in a forum open to the public.

Successfully defend their Master’s thesis during a comprehensive oral examination.

Program Of Study

Area 1 Program Core Required Hours: 3
ENGL 5149 Grant Writing

Area 2 Program Concentration  Required Hours: 21
Students must take the following courses unless taken for undergraduate credit (10 hours)
ENVS 5207 Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis(4 hrs)
ENVS 5715 Environmental Science Seminar (taken twice for credit) (1 hrs each)
ENVS 6235 Introduction to Geographic Information and Global Positioning Systems (4 hrs)

Students must take one course from Group A and one from Group B; at least one of these courses must include a lab (7-8 hours)

Group A: Geosciences(3-4 hours)
ATSC 5117 Climate and Global Change (3 hrs)
ENVS 5165 Hydrology (3 hrs)
ENVS 5255 Environmental Geology (4 hrs)
ENVS 7115 Environmental Chemistry (3 hrs)
GEOL 5135 Introduction to Oceanography (3 hrs)
GEOL 5215 Geomorphology (4 hrs)

Group B: Natural/Cultural Resources (3-4 hours)
POLS 6106 Environmental Issues and Public Policy (3 hrs)
ENVS 5226 Culture and Environmental (4 hrs)
ENVS 5315 Stream Ecology (4 hrs)
ENVS 5405 Topics in Conservation (3 hrs)
ENVS 6206 Water Resources Management (4 hrs)
ENVS 5109 Environmental Air Quality (3 hrs)

Program Electives: (3-4 hours)
Students may take any 5000+ graduate ATSC, BIOL, CHEM, ENVS, GEOL, GEOG with advisor approval. May take Environmental Science Seminar for up to 2 additional credits beyond the 2 required semesters.

Area 3 Program Requirements Required Hours: 12

ENVS 7000 Masters Thesis Defense
ENVS 7001 Certification Exam
ENVS 7999  Research in Environmental  Science
(must be taken for a total of 12 hours)

36 total hours required