​Environmental Sciences MS Degree

There are two different paths (Thesis Option and Alternate Plan Paper Option) to a M.S. Degree in Environmental Science. The Master's thesis option is strongly encouraged for students planning to continue on for a Ph.D.

  • Thesis Plan Option - 30 graduate-level credits required
  • Alternate Plan Paper Option - 34 graduate-level credits required

REQUIRED CORE (13 credits)

  • ENVR 540 Environmental Regulations (3 credits)
  • ENVR 550 Environmental Pollution and Control (3 credits)
  • ENVR 560 Analysis of Pollutants (4 credits)
  • ENVR 570 Environmental Assessment (3 credits)

Choose TWO courses from the following:

  • GEOG 681 Environmental Issues
  • GEOG 673 GIS for Planners
  • POL 669 Public Policy Analysis
  • POL 670 Urban Law
  • URSI 604 Zoning and Legal Issues
  • URSI 609 Applied Urban Analysis
  • URSI 661 Long-Range and Strategic Planning
  • URSI 662 Operational Planning


  • ENVR 699 Thesis (3-6 credits)
  • OR
  • ENVR 694 APP (1-2 credits)

Remaining 600 level courses are selected from other programs across campus in consultation with your academic advisor.


Admission to the Environmental Sciences MS Program requires that applicants satisfy the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition, qualified applicants should satisfy the following requirements for acceptance in the Environmental Sciences MS Program. It is strongly recommended that applicants identify and contact a potential research mentor prior to applying.

  1. Academic admission requirements for the Environmental Sciences MS program:
    • GPA: 3.0 or higher
    • Completion of the following classes with a grade of “C” or higher:
      • General Ecology
      • College Algebra
      • 2 semesters of chemistry (each with a laboratory)
      • Course in botany or zoology
  2. Submit a letter to the Environmental Sciences Program, at the address below, describing your interest in our MS program. This letter should succinctly identify your career goals, your research interests, and identify the faculty member(s) with whom you are most interested in pursuing a thesis research project.
  3. International students from a country where English is not the primary language must submit an official internet-based TOEFL (iBT) score with minimum scores of:
    • 26 in the speaking component, and
    • 24 in the writing component, and
    • 22 in the reading component, and
    • 22 in the listening component
  4. • Similar scores from an equivalent English-language competency exam can also be considered.


Environmental Science is a Program in the Department of Biological Sciences. Graduate assistantships are available through the Department of Biological Sciences. Further information about graduate assistantships is available here.


  • Input and Export of Phosphorus and Nitrogen Nutrients: High Island Lake, Sibley County, Minnesota.
  • Effects of Various Environmental Factors on Growth of Native and Transplanted Sago Pondweed in the Heron Lake System, MN
  • Assessing Water Quality in Minneopa Creek Using Macroinvertebrate Community Data
  • Standardization of a Wetland Seed Bank Assay and Its Application on Prairie Pothole Wetlands at the Wilder Farm Project, Wilder, MN
  • A Comparison of Sediment and Phosphorus Losses from Rock Inlets and Open Tile Inlets in the Lower Minnesota River Basin
  • The Quantification of Two Techniques for Introducing Macrophytes into Sleepy Eye Lake, MN
  • Relative Contribution of Nonpoint Source Pollutants from Urban and Agricultural Areas Implications on Implementation of Best Management Practices
  • Evaluating and Optimization of the Minnesota State University, Mankato: Department of Chemistry and Geology Laboratory Exhaust Hoods.
  • The Importance of Integrating Environmental Education into the School Curriculum
  • The Phosphorus Removal Efficiency of a Rotating Biological Contractor Treatment Plant in the City of Lake Crystal, Minnesota


  • The Effects of the SWANCC Decision on Prairie Pothole Wetlands
  • A Review and Evaluation of Section 319 of the Clean Water Act: Reducing Nonpoint Source (NPS) Pollution
  • IMTT-LEMONT Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan
  • Development and Implementation of a Regional Very Small Quality Generators Program