The Master of Science in Environmental Biology program is specifically designed to meet the
needs of environmental professionals and educators who wish to pursue a graduate degree part
time while working full time during the day. Hood’s program is the only part-time graduate
program in the region that emphasizes a field and laboratory approach to learning and
promotes hands-on research opportunities for students.
The Master of Science in Environmental Biology provides students with a comprehensive
foundation in the principles and practices of environmental biology.
It is designed for:
- Persons holding a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology or a closely related discipline
and currently employed as environmental professionals who seek a graduate degree for
professional development and career advancement;
- Teachers holding a bachelor’s degree in science education who wish to obtain a graduate
- Environmental professionals with a graduate degree who are interested in updating their
academic background and keeping abreast of new developments in the discipline; and
- Persons holding a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than environmental biology who
seek a graduate degree in order to gain the academic expertise necessary to make a job
change to a career in environmental biology.
For admission information, see Graduate Admission and Program Specific Application
The program has two tracks. The first is a 33-credit option, including a 6-credit thesis. The
second is a 33-credit option, including a 3-credit independent research project. Both tracks are
designed for students from a variety of academic backgrounds. All entering students must have
completed at least one year of undergraduate course work in biology, one year of chemistry and
one semester of mathematics.
A required core of courses provides students with a comprehensive background in all aspects
of environmental biology. Students will be able to place environmental issues into a broad
social, political and economic context; but the primary core course emphasis will be on using
environmental biology principles to identify and solve environmental problems.
The elective courses provide each student with the opportunity to tailor her or his program
to meet particular professional needs. Some electives are clearly rooted in natural science
and mathematics and are the ones most students will choose in order to further their careers
in environmental research, regulation, consulting and teaching. Other electives come from
the social and political sciences and are well-suited for students planning to enter the realm
of public policy. There are also 1-credit elective offerings that stress laboratory and field
techniques. Three of these courses may be taken in lieu of one 3-credit elective.
Every student must complete a 3-credit independent research project or a 6-credit thesis.
These research projects are designed to promote critical thinking, hypothesis testing and the
use of descriptive and inferential quantitative techniques.
All students must complete the following:
- ENV 501 Introduction to Environmental Biology
- ENV 502 Principles of Ecology
- ENV 503 Pollution Biology
- ENV 505 Biostatistics
- ENV 507 Natural Resource Management
All students must complete one of the following (3 credits each):
ENV 512 Insect Ecology
ENV 513 Marine Ecology
ENV 541 Behavioral Ecology
ENV 551 Plant Ecology
ENV 563 Freshwater Ecology
Students in this track must complete 6 elective credits, as well as ENV 515 and ENV 580
Thesis (6 credits), for a program total of 33 credits.
Students in this track must complete 12 elective credits, as well as ENV 579 Independent
Research Project (3 credits), for a program total of 33 credits.
Electives include, but are not limited to, the following:
- BMS 537 Introduction to Bioinformatics
- CHEM 501 Environmental Chemistry
- ECPS 514 Environmental Policy
- ENV 506 Environmental Microbiology
- ENV 511 Conservation Biology
- ENV 512, 513, 541, 551, or 563 if not taken as part of core requirements
- ENV 550 Current Topics in Environmental Biology
- ENV 564 Environmental Toxicology
- ENV 575 Independent Study
- ENV 599 Special Topics
- PSCI 500 Government in Contemporary Society
- PSCI 508 Regulatory Politics and the Law