M.S. Degree

The thesis-based masters program in EES is designed to provide students with the background necessary to conduct or to evaluate research. Students who might want to continue for a Ph.D. should pursue the thesis option. Graduate research and teaching assistantships may be available to students accepted for the thesis option.

For the M.S. degree (thesis option) in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, the student must complete at least 30 credits. The program of study must include a minimum of 6 credits thesis research, and a minimum of 18 course credits (12 credits 500 level or above), as determined by the student and their graduate advisory committee. The Graduate Coordinator will review the coursework for its rigor, interdisciplinarity, and ecology and environmental sciences focus.

Students are generally expected to form a graduate advisory committee, in consultation with their advisor, by the end of the first semester of study and to complete the M.S. degree program within two years of full-time study. The student’s graduate advisory committee will be composed of a minimum of three faculty from at least two different home departments. It is recommended that each full-time student submit a fully signed program of study, which lists their coursework, to the EES Graduate Coordinator by the end of the first semester.

Following the graduation checklist provided by the Graduate School, the student will defend their thesis after the course work is completed and the thesis is approved by the advisor to be shared with the graduate advisory committee. This defense will consist of a public seminar and open question session followed by a separate session of questioning by the student’s graduate advisory committee. Upon successful completion of the thesis defense and program course of study, the student will be awarded the M.S. degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences.

Students will be expected to meet all general requirements of the Graduate School not explicitly indicated here. Students wishing to petition for modification of any of the degree requirements specific to the program of Ecology and Environmental Sciences must make a formal written request to their graduate advisory committee and the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Graduate Coordinator for approval.