Graduate Programs

We offer two Master's degree programs: MS in Earth and Environmental Sciences and MS in Sustainability Science. Our programs emphasize a deeper understanding of environmental issues and sustainability that occur on regional, national and global levels. Students can choose either the thesis or the non-thesis options for an MS in Earth and Environmental Sciences. For the MS in Sustainability Science, students complete 6-credit hours of Sustainability Practicum.

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences – Thesis Options

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Archaeology 

Once you start digging into the earth and environmental sciences master’s program, you’ll find a concentration in archaeology. When you choose to follow this concentration, you’ll learn more about the relationship between human culture and the natural environment. Specifically, you’ll gain an understanding of the methods and principles of archaeological research from an interdisciplinary and scientific perspective. Plus, as an archaeology student, you’ll find opportunities to conduct research and take part in applied laboratory and field-based projects.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

30

Required Courses

  • ARC 600: Graduate Seminar in Archaeology
  • EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 621: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 698: Thesis Research
  • EES 699: Thesis Research

18

Restricted Electives
Select from the following:

  • ARC 602: Graduate Archaeological Field Work
  • EES 636: Soils and Geomorphology
  • ARC/EES 656: Geophysical Surveying

3

Electives
Select from the following:

  • ARC 604: Archaeological Laboratory Systems
  • ARC 605: Archaeological Information Systems
  • ARC 610: Landscape Archaeology
  • ARC 615: Environmental Archaeology
  • ARC 620: Human Ecology
  • EES 612: Remote Sensing
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 691: Special Problems
  • EES 692: Special Problems
  • EES 693: Special Problems
  • STA 665: Applied Statistics I
  • WSC 601: Seminar in Sustainability Studies

9

Other Degree Requirements

  • Defense of thesis

 

Environmental Geology

Take your skills and knowledge of the environment to the next level with a master’s degree in environmental geology. This concentration focuses on the chemical, physical and biological aspects of environmental change both in the present and in the geologic past. With laboratory, research and internship opportunities, you’ll excel in the fast-growing field of earth and environmental sciences.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

30

Required Courses

  • EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 621:Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 698: Thesis Research
  • EES 699: Thesis Research

15

Restricted Electives
Select two from the following:

  • BIO 686: Limnology
  • CHE 665: Biogeochemistry
  • EES 633: Paleoecology
  • EES 642: Watershed Ecology
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems

6-7

Electives
Select from the following:

  • ARC 615: Environmental Archaeology
  • BIO 623: Physiological Ecology
  • BIO 625: Biogeography
  • BIO 632: Quantitative Ecology
  • BIO 646: Stream Ecology
  • BIO 678: Conservation Biology
  • BIO 690: Disturbance Ecology
  • CET 655: Environmental Regulatory Affairs
  • CET 681: Pollution Assessment and Control
  • CHE 613: Environmental Chemistry
  • EES 636: Soils and Geomorphology
  • EES 662: Hydrogeology
  • EES 665: Physical/Chemical Limnology
  • EES 691: Special Problems
  • EES 692: Special Problems
  • EES 693: Special Problems
  • STA 665: Applied Statistics I
  • WSC 601: Seminar in Sustainability Studies

8-9

Other Degree Requirements

  • Defense of thesis

 

 Geoinformatics

Broaden your understanding of geospatial science with this master’s concentration. You’ll dive deeper in your study of digital mapping, GIS, remote sensing and GPS technology through laboratory, research and internship opportunities to apply geospatial technology while solving important environmental and societal problems.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

30

Required Courses

  • EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 621: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 698: Thesis Research
  • EES 699: Thesis Research

15

Restricted Concentration Courses

  • EES 612: Remote Sensing
  • EES 640: Advanced Remote Sensing
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems

10

Restricted Electives
Select from the following:

  • CIS 609: Data Management
  • CIS 615: Information System Security
  • EES 622: Advanced Cartography
  • EES 641: Digital Image Processing Research
  • EES 656: Geophysical Surveying
  • EES 660: Spatial Analysis Techniques
  • EES 661: Precision GIS/GPS Applications
  • EES 678: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 679: Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • EES 691: Special Problems
  • EES 692: Special Problems
  • EES 693: Special Problems
  • STA 665: Applied Statistics I

5

Other Degree Requirements

  • Defense of thesis

 

Watershed Science

Do you wish to learn more about the interdisciplinary approaches to watershed management? Through our partnership with the Watershed Studies Institute, you’ll have the opportunity to study and learn more about near-surface water resources and associated earth-surface processes. If you’re ready for a future in watershed management and science, this master’s program will prepare you for a career in the field or further graduate studies.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

30

Required Courses

  • EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 621: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 642: Watershed Ecology
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 698: Thesis Research
  • EES 699: Thesis Research

18

Restricted Electives
Courses must be approved by the advisory committee and represent at least two disciplines.

  • AGR 674: Agricultural Irrigation and Water Systems
  • BIO 625: Biogeography
  • BIO 630: Animal Ecology
  • BIO 631: Plant Ecology
  • BIO 632: Quantitative Ecology
  • BIO 646: Stream Ecology
  • BIO 661: Freshwater Invertebrates
  • BIO 663: Aquatic Entomology
  • BIO 668: Wetland Ecology
  • BIO 669: Biological Limnology
  • BIO 670: Limnological Analysis Laboratory
  • BIO 671: Ichthyology
  • BIO 672: Herpetology
  • BIO 678: Conservation Biology
  • BIO 682: Waterfowl Management
  • BIO 683: Fisheries Management
  • BIO 686: Limnology
  • BIO 687: Freshwater Biology
  • BIO 688: Reservoir Ecology
  • BIO 690: Disturbance Ecology
  • CET 655: Environmental Regulatory Affairs
  • CET 681: Pollution Assessment and Control
  • CET 685: Remediation Technology
  • CHE 613: Environmental Chemistry
  • CHE 617: Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHE 627: Chemical Separations
  • CHE 628: Mass Spectrometry
  • CHE 665: Biogeochemistry
  • EES 616: Isotope Geochemistry
  • EES 636: Soils and Geomorphology
  • EES 640: Advanced Remote Sensing
  • EES 641: Digital Image Processing Research
  • EES 643: Soil Micromorphology
  • EES 662: Hydrogeology
  • EES 665: Physical/Chemical Limnology
  • EES 678: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 679: Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems

12

Other Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of STA 664: Applied Statistics I if substituted for EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • Written and oral comprehension examinations as specified by the advisory committee in broad aspects of watershed science and area of concentration (usually taken in third semester of residence)
  • Defense of thesis

 

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences – Non-thesis Option

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Earth and Environmental Sciences

A master’s degree in earth and environmental sciences can take you in any number of directions. Understand the principles of the earth and the environment to take your career to the next level in this non-thesis graduate option.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

30

Required Courses

  • EES 612: Remote Sensing
  • EES 619: Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 621: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication

16

Restricted Electives
Select from the following:

  • EES courses at 600-level
  • EES or related courses at 600-level

14

Other Degree Requirements

  • Written and oral comprehensive examinations
 

Master of Science in Sustainability Science

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Sustainability Science

Increasing population, climate change and environmental pressures are forcing civilizations to reevaluate the way that they use earth resources. Many recent economic strategies propose sustainable approaches to human-environment interaction and resource extraction and use. The MS in Sustainability Science program provides students with an education that prepares them for a career in the Earth and Environmental Sciences with the concept of sustainability as a central component. Sustainability Science is an important field of study as it can lead to future opportunities in academic institutions, agricultural and conservation fields, and environmental industries.  Students in Biology, Chemistry, and School of Agriculture may also benefit from this program, especially if their research problems involve using earth materials.


Course Credit Hours
Total Course Requirements 30
Required Courses
  • EES 602: Seminar in Sustainability Science
  • EES 607: Land Use Planning
  • EES 694: Sustainability Practicum I
  • EES 695: Sustainability Practicum II
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication

14

Restricted Electives 16

Choose two courses of the following:

  • AGR 661 - Sustainable Agriculture
  • ARC 602 – Human Ecology
  • ARC 615 - Environmental Archaeology
  • BIO 665 - Biogeochemistry
  • EES 619 - Seminar in Research Techniques
  • EES 636 - Soils and Geomorphology
  • STA 665 - Applied Statistics I 

Choose 9-10 Credits from the following:

  • AGR 636 - Seminar in International Agriculture Systems
  • AGR 649 - Weeds and their Control
  • AGR 652 - Agricultural Policy
  • AGR 655 - Advanced Soil Fertility
  • AGR 661 - Sustainable Agriculture
  • AGR 662 - Principles of Agroecology
  • AGR 671 - Advanced Precision Agriculture
  • AGR 674 - Agricultural Irrigation and Water Systems
  • ARC 610 - Landscape Archaeology
  • ARC 615 - Environmental Archaeology
  • BIO 625 - Biogeography
  • BIO 642 - Watershed Ecology
  • BIO 665 - Biogeochemistry
  • BIO 678 - Conservation Biology
  • BIO 690 - Disturbance Ecology
  • CHE 604 - Fundamentals of Toxicology
  • CHE 613 - Environmental Chemistry 
  • CET 686 - Environmental Assessment and Remediation 
  • CET 688 - Waste Minimization and Pollution Prevention 
  • EES 612 - Remote Sensing
  • EES 621 - Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 633 - Paleoecology
  • EES 642 - Watershed Ecology
  • EES 643 - Soil Micromorphology
  • EES 644 - Graduate Cooperative Education
  • EES 678 - Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling 
  • EES 691 - Special Problems 
  • EES 692 - Special Problems 
  • EES 693 - Special Problems 
  • IOE 619 - Industrial Energy Management
  • OSH 622 - Toxicology of Industrial Materials 
  • OSH 646 - Fundamentals of Risk Management
  • OSH 687 - Wastewater Treatment
  • OSH 689 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
  • NLS 615 - Introduction to Environmental Education
  • NLS 664 - Techniques of Teaching Environmental Education
  • NLS 667 - International Environmental Education
  • NLS 668 - Agriculture and the Environment in the Classroom 
  • NLS 670 - Field Experience in Environmental Education 
  • WSC 690 - Seminar 
 

Certification

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Geospatial Data Science Certificate (Graduate)

This graduate certificate is designed to complement interdisciplinary graduate and professional degree programs in data science to provide specialized courses that emphasize geospatial science and technology. This certificate program supports professionals working in the geospatial field and provides experience using industry and federal data standards and methodology for data acquisition/input, manipulation, analysis, modeling and output. It’ll also add value to traditional computer science and geography discipline areas, such as big data analytics, geographic information systems (GIS) and science, remote sensing and CyberGIS.

Course Credit Hours
Total Curriculum Requirements
A grade of C or better must be achieved in all courses for successful completion of the certification program. Students may transfer up to six credit hours of equivalent graduate courses into the program.

14

Required Courses

  • EES 612: Remote Sensing
  • EES 621: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 693: Special Problems: Big Data Analytics

11

Required Limited Electives
Select from the following:

  • BUS 684: Seminar in Geospatial Tools in Business
  • CIS 609: Data Management
  • CIS 643: Advanced Business Analytics
  • CIS 646: A Manager's Guide to Database
  • CIS/CSC 695: Comprehensive Project in Computer Science
  • EES 640: Advanced Remote Sensing
  • EES 660: Spatial Analysis Techniques
  • EES 678: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 679: Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • EES 680: Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 691: Special Problems
  • EES 692: Special Problems
  • EES 696: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • MKT 685: Seminar in Marketing Location Analytics
  • TSM/CIS 615: Information System Security

3

Graduate Program Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet Murray State University admission requirements (refer to the graduate admissions webpage). The department also requires that three letters of recommendation and a written statement of the applicant’s interests be submitted with the application package to the Office of Graduate Admissions or to the graduate program coordinator. Additional requirements are as follows:

Unconditional

To qualify for unconditional admission, an applicant must meet the following:

  • An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in an earth and environmental science (or related) field

Conditional

Students admitted conditionally are admitted to full standing after completing:

  • Any remedial courses required by graduate faculty
  • One semester of graduate work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.

View 2018–19 graduate program tuition and fees.

Faculty Contacts

Chair: Dr. Robin Zhang | qzhang@murraystate.edu and 270.809.6760

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Haluk Cetin | hcetin@murraystate.edu and 270.809.2085