Major: Environmental Science
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MSES); 90.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 03.0104
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 19-2041
About the Program
Environmental science is a multidisciplinary field in which we try to understand environmental problems and find solutions to them. This field requires understanding of a number of disciplines.
The program's areas of focus include: ecology, biodiversity, conservation, environmental chemistry and assessment, and paleoecology-geology. A student may alternatively craft a specialized plan of study outside of these strength areas under the guidance of an academic advisor.
The master's degree may be completed with either a thesis or non-thesis option. Those choosing to prepare a thesis must complete 45.0 credits (up to 12.0 credits may be research). Students choosing the non-thesis option must complete coursework totaling 45.0 credits (6.0 of which may be research). Most courses carry three credits.
The MS degree may be completed on a part-time basis. Most courses are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening, usually on a rotating basis from year to year. Part-time students should plan to take courses in the appropriate sequence to comply with the necessary prerequisites. Scheduling of course is dependent on student demand and faculty resources; however, most prescribed courses are offered at least once every other year (schedules are published each term). Required courses should be taken at the first opportunity.
For more information, visit the Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science website.
Susan Cole is the Graduate Coordinator for Environmental Science. Susan Cole can be reached by telephone at 215.895.2905 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the general entrance requirements for all applicants, entrance to the MS Program in Environmental Science requires a bachelor of science degree in science, mathematics, or engineering. Minimally, students must have completed a year each of general biology and general chemistry, and one semester of calculus. Organic chemistry and physics preferred depending on student interest.
Applicants to the doctoral program are judged on the basis of academic excellence and the alignment of their research interests with those of the faculty in the department. Prospective PhD students are welcome to contact the program to discuss their research interests.
Additional information about how to apply is available on the Graduate Admissions at Drexel University website.
Degree Requirements: MS in Environmental Science
The Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) program requires three core courses that form the basis for further specialization. Students choose to complete the remainder of the program with elective courses based on interest. 45.0 total credits are required for program completion.
|ENVS 501||Chemistry of the Environment||3.0|
|ENVS 511||Evolutionary Ecology||3.0|
Please see Course Descriptions for a list of Environmental Science (ENVS) electives. Students may also take Environmental Policy (ENVP) and Environmental Engineering (ENVE) courses with prerequisites. Other departmental courses with approval.
Degree Requirements: PhD in Environmental Science
The following general requirements must be satisfied in order to complete the PhD program in Environmental Science:
- 90.0 (post-bachelor's) or 45.0 (post-master's) quarter credits
- qualifying exam
- establishing a plan of study
- 3 core courses recommended, not required
- additional courses dependent on advisor or committee recommendations
- candidacy exam/approval of dissertation proposal
- defense of dissertation/thesis
- a graduate research seminar presentation once a year for second, third, and fourth-year students.
Thesis Advisor/Plan of Study
For students admitted without an identified Thesis Advisor, the Thesis Advisor must be selected by the end of Winter term in the first year. All students are asked to submit a Plan of Study (that has been agreed upon by Thesis Advisor and student) by the end of Winter term first year. It is anticipated that the graduate coursework will be completed during the first two years or less. Generally there is no prescribed coursework -- students must take courses needed to complete their research under guidance of an faculty advisor.
The following courses are recommended, but not required:
The function of the Candidacy Examination is to test the breadth and the depth of the student's capabilities in their chosen area of study. The graduate student becomes a PhD candidate only after successfully completing the Candidacy Examination and completing 15 or 45 credits (for post-master’s or post-bachelor’s degree students, respectively). The candidacy exam is comprised of three parts whose order will be determined by the Candidacy Committee: written examination (or qualifying exam), dissertation research proposal, and oral examination.
Students entering the program with a master’s degree are expected to complete the candidacy examination by the end of the summer quarter of their first year. Students entering the PhD program with a bachelor’s degree are expected to complete this examination by the end of the summer quarter of their second year.
Thesis/Dissertation and Defense of Thesis/Dissertation
The student will finalize their dissertation only after approval to write is granted by the Dissertation Research Committee. Approval is based upon an evaluation of the breadth and depth of original research being conducted by the student. The dissertation must follow the format specifications set forth in the Drexel’s Office of Research and Graduate College of Drexel University. Research conducted for the dissertation must be presented in a lecture open to the public and then defended, privately, before the student's Dissertation Research Committee.
Facilities include fully equipped research laboratories in microbiology, ecology, hydrology, and chemistry. Field ecology research augments lab facilities with field-specific equipment, including two boats (14- and 25-foot) and vans with towing capacity. A full range of sampling equipment exists in the department from seine nets, sediment dredges and coring devices, water sampling bottles, flow meters and acoustic tracking devices. Some additional research facilities in environmental biotechnology, chemistry and atmospheric engineering are located in other locations on Drexel's campus.
Among the equipment available for student research are atomic absorption spectrophotometers, UV-visible spectrophotometers, gas-liquid chromatographs, ion chromatograph, ICP-Mass Spectrometer, GC-Mass Spectrometer, high performance liquid chromatographs, total organic carbon analyzer, elemental analyzer for carbon and nitrogen, stable isotope mass spectrometer, high-speed refrigerated centrifuge, nutrient analyzers, and UV photochemical reactor. In addition, the department and university have various microscopes including a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Within the department and in the Department of Biology there is a large capacity for genomics including preparatory equipment for DNA extraction and enhancement.
Drexel University is a national leader in the use of computers for educational and research functions. Several facilities on campus are available for student use.