Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
    
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, MS


This degree is part of the Environmental Studies Program at Cleveland State University

Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences

Science Building Room 219
(216) 687-2440
https://artsandsciences.csuohio.edu/bges/graduate-programs#EnvMS 
Dr. Bibo Li, Graduate Program Director
Dr. Emily Rauschert, EVS MS Advisor

Introduction

The Master of Science degree in Environmental Science is offered by the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES) as one of three interdisciplinary graduate programs in the Environmental Studies Program at Cleveland State. The degree program prepares students for a wide range of professional careers that require knowledge of biology, chemistry, or earth sciences in order to address environmental issues. The program is open to both full-time and part-time students. Students can complete original scientific research and a masters’ thesis, and there is also a non-thesis capstone option.

The program is administered by the department’s graduate faculty, which includes Cleveland State faculty, research scientists at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, and several Cleveland State University adjunct faculty members from other local institutions. 

Faculty Research

Faculty research in environmental science is across terrestrial, aquatic and urban systems. For example, this can include organismal ecology and evolution, urban ecology and earth science, remote sensing, ecological physiology, modeling, pollution, and geochemistry. The department is active in many cooperative projects that provide additional research opportunities for graduate study. Regionally, environmental science faculty have collaborative projects with the Cleveland Metroparks, the Holden Arboretum, the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Geauga Park District, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and many other regional partners. Within Cleveland State, the environmental science faculty are part of the Center for Research on the Urban Environment (CRUE), in collaboration with environmental studies faculty from the School of Urban Affairs and environmental engineers from the Washkewiecz College of Engineering.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Career Information

The MS degree program prepares students conceptually and technically for careers in applied or basic science and research in academic, government, or business settings. The graduate program attracts environmental scientists, biologists, geologists, and teachers, as well as management and staff in diverse businesses with an environmental focus. The graduate program is open to full-time and part-time students, as well as to non-degree students who are preparing themselves for entry into a degree program or are seeking to keep abreast of new developments in their field of interest.

Admission Information

Applicants must meet the College of Graduate Studies admission requirements regarding grade-point average and TOEFL results, as well as departmental standards. The BGES department expects applicants to have an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 or higher for master’s applicants. Transcripts must be submitted for all undergraduate and any previous graduate study. At least two letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty members, and a statement of personal career goals and research interests must be submitted by the applicant. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting official scores for the TOEFL, iBT Test, or an equivalent examination, unless they hold a degree from a U.S. institution. (See the section on International Student Admission in this Catalog.)

A bachelor’s degree is preferred in environmental science or a related science (e.g. biology, chemistry, or geology). Students from other majors are encouraged to discuss their qualifications with the EVS MS Advisor and/or any potential research advisors. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in other majors must have a minimum of two quantitative courses (calculus or statistics); two courses in biology, geology, or chemistry; and one physical science course. Strong applicants coming from other majors will have four semesters of natural science courses (such as chemistry, biology, geology, or geography).  Any questions should be directed to the BGES Graduate Program Director or EVS MS Advisor.

Submit application materials to the Graduate Admissions Office (U.S. citizens and permanent residents) or the Center for International Services and Programs (international applicants and current visa holders).

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply

Graduate Assistantships/ Fellowships

Full-time graduate students pursuing thesis research may be supported by the department through teaching assistantships or fellowships for a period that, as a rule, should not exceed three years (for the MS program). This support includes tuition and a stipend. Teaching assistants are required to work twenty hours per week and must enroll as full-time students (currently nine credit hours, including research credits). Research assistantships may be available through the research grants of individual faculty members. Awards are granted through a competitive process where all application materials are assessed and taken into consideration. The initial decisions are typically made based on completed applications received by March for the fall semester and, if additional assistantships are available, in November for the spring semester. Required minima for grade-point average and for GRE and TOEFL scores are higher than those used for admission to the program. Applicants whose native language is not English must be assessed and certified as proficient in spoken English to hold a teaching assistantship. Among other options to prove proficiency, Non-native English speakers may take and pass the SPEAK test at the CSU Testing Center.

Selection of a Major Advisor and an Advisory Committee for Thesis Students

The Major Advisor typically is the primary supervisor and source of support for thesis students. Together, the Major Advisor and Advisory Committee supervise the student’s plan of study and research proposal, monitor the student’s progress, certify that requirements have been met in a timely fashion, and process all petitions, progress reports, and other communications with the Graduate Committee. In keeping with the program’s interdisciplinary focus, the Advisory Committee may include one member of the Cleveland State graduate faculty from outside of BGES.

Requirements

Besides course work, for students selecting the thesis option, the MS in Environmental Science degree requires a thesis based on original scientific research of sufficient quality for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. For students selecting the non-thesis option, a capstone project and the environmental practicum course are required.

Before registering for courses, all newly admitted students must meet with the BGES Graduate Program Director or EVS MS Advisor. All students are required to enroll in the BGES Graduate Orientation course (BIO 500 ) and to attend departmental seminars. Students also must comply with all College of Graduate Studies requirements and procedures.

Students in the MS program in Environmental Science must maintain a grade-point average of 3.0 or better. A student receiving two grades of B- or one grade of C or below is subject to review by the BGES Graduate Committee; dismissal from the graduate program may be recommended.

Degree Requirements, Thesis


The following are specific requirements for the MS in Environmental Science degree, thesis option. Complete, current program requirements and any changes are described in the BGES Graduate Program Handbook, available from the BGES Graduate Program Office.

  • Continuous enrollment for a minimum of one credit hour from admission to candidacy until graduation.
  • Completion of a minimum of thirty-two credit hours with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 distributed as follows:

Courses - 22 credit minimum
Thesis Research - 8 credit minimum
Additional Thesis Research Courses - 2 credits
Total Minimum - 32 credits

*College of Graduate Studies regulations specify that all EVS or BIO courses must be 500-level or above; not more than seven credit hours of 400-level courses in related areas and not offered by the BGES Department may be included if approved by the Advisory Committee and BGES Graduate Committee.

Interdisciplinary core competencies (9 credits minimum)


Quantitative data methods


(choose one of the following, 3 credits required)

Environmental technologies


(choose one of the following, 3 credits required)

Environmental policy, law, and planning


(choose one of the following, 3 credits required)

Elective Courses (at least 9 credits)


Each thesis student formulates an individual plan of study in consultation with the Major Advisor and the Advisory Committee. Thesis students are required to take a minimum of nine credits from the following courses:

Environmental Field and Laboratory Experiences (2 credits)


Each thesis student must complete two credit hours of course work that provides experience in field research and laboratory methods outside of thesis work. Two credits must be taken from the following courses:

Research (10 credits) *


A minimum of eight credits in any combination of:

*And up to two additional elective credits from thesis reasearch (EVS 691 /695 ) or additional 500 level or above EVS or BIO courses

Exit requirement


  • Presentation of the thesis research at a departmental seminar.
  • Defense of the thesis before a faculty committee. Two unsuccessful attempts to defend the thesis shall result in a recommendation for dismissal from the program.
  • Submission of the approved thesis, which will contain individual chapters in a format suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal.

Degree Requirements, Non-thesis


The following are specific requirements for the MS in Environmental Science degree, non-thesis option. Complete, current program requirements and any changes are described in the BGES Graduate Program Handbook, available from the BGES Graduate Program Office

  • Completion of a minimum of thirty-two credit hours with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 distributed as follows:

Courses - 28 credit minimum
Capstone Courses - 4 credits minimum
Total Minimum - 32 credits

*College of Graduate Studies regulations specify that all EVS or BIO courses must be 500-level or above; not more than seven credit hours of 400-level courses in related areas and not offered by the BGES Department may be included if approved by the Advisory Committee and BGES Graduate Committee.

Required courses


Interdisciplinary Core Competencies (9 credits minimum)


Quantitative data methods


(choose one of the following, 3 credits required)

Environmental technologies


(choose among the following, 3 credits required)

Environmental policy, law, and planning


(choose one of the following, 3 credits required)

Elective Courses (at least 12 credits)


Each non-thesis student formulates an individual plan of study in consultation with the EVS MS Advisor. Non-thesis students are required to take a minimum of twelve credits from the following courses:

Environmental Lab and Field Research Credits (4-5 credits)


Each non-thesis student must complete four to five credit hours of course work that provides experience in field research. This requirement may be met by laboratory courses, courses that emphasize field methods (BIO 651  or BIO 653 ), or by supervised, independent study. Nonthesis students are encouraged to have at least 1 credit of independent study related to an internship.

Exit requirements


  • Presentation of the capstone research paper before a faculty committee. Two unsuccessful attempts to defend the capstone project shall result in a recommendation for dismissal from the program.
  • Submission of the approved nonthesis capstone paper