Habitat loss, global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, species invasions, loss of biodiversity, and the accumulation of toxic wastes are among the many environmental dilemmas our society faces. These complex problems pit environmental limits against economic development, diverse cultures, ethics, values, and social stability and therefore require an understanding of science, policy, society, history, and economics. Environmental scientists must use integrated and holistic approaches to understand and find sustainable solutions to these problems. Graduates of the environmental science program are well prepared for a variety of environmental careers including consulting, research, policy, and outreach, or further graduate work towards a doctoral degree.
Plan of study
Built on the concept that environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary, the program is offered in collaboration with the College of Liberal Arts. The curriculum provides students with a deep understanding of the science behind our environmental problems, the complex set of circumstances that impact environmental issues, and how environmental decisions and policies must attempt to find a balance between environmental conservation, human well-being, and economic development. Students augment their hands-on classroom work with in-depth experiential learning through an individual thesis or project that provides students with the chance to work on real-world environmental problems under the guidance of skilled environmental scientists. The program includes a core curriculum and electives chosen to reflect the student’s background and career goals. A minimum of 34 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree is required. All students must propose, conduct, and report on an original research thesis or project.
Course sequence differs according to thesis/project option, see website for a particular option's modules http://www.rit.edu/programs/environmental-science-ms
Other admission requirements
-Submit official transcripts (in English) from all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
-Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (overall and in science/math).
-Submit a statement outlining the candidate's research/project interests, career goals, and suitability to the program.
-Submit three letters of recommendation, and complete a graduate application.
-International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 (paper-based) is required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 7.0. For additional information about the IELTS, please visit http://www.ielts.org
-The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is recommended but not required for applicants with an undergraduate degree from a US institution.The GRE is required for International applicants.
-Students are strongly encouraged to contact program faculty before applying to discuss thesis topics and research projects. Students will be matched with a potential thesis advisor at the time of admission.
Facilities and equipment:
The program provides a wide range of research opportunities. Many faculty members are engaged in field-based projects and the college boasts excellent laboratory facilities that support field research, including wet laboratories and computer facilities (traditional and geographic information systems). For a list of past and present projects, and faculty research interests, please visit the program website.
Monitoring, mapping, and field equipment:
ArcGIS and IDRISI GIS software, ENVS and ERDAS Remote Sensing software, Garmin and Trimble GPS receivers, soil sampling and analysis equipment, water sampling devices, multisonde water quality probes and dissolved oxygen meters, SCT meter, ponar dredges, Li-Cor light meter, plankton samplers, macroinvertebrate nets/samplers, and a library of field reference texts.
Fluorimeter, Raman Spectrometer, UV-Vis-IR, GC-MS, ICP, atomic absorption, polarimeter, centrifuge, electrochemical equipment, gas chromatographs, HPLC, viscometer, ESR (built in-house), confocal microscope, infrared carbon dioxide analyzer, Unisense microelectrode system, Lachat autoanalyzer, incubators, capillary electrophoresis, DSCs, DMA, NMR, drying oven, Wiley mill.
Hold a baccalaureate degree in environmental science, biological sciences, or a related field of study. See course description for further details.