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Master of Science in Environmental Science

Cleveland State University’s Master of Science degree in Environmental Science is offered by the Department of Biological, Geological, and Environmental Sciences (BGES) as one of three interdisciplinary graduate programs in the Environmental Studies Program. The degree program prepares students for a wide range of professional careers that require knowledge of biology, chemistry, or earth sciences in order to address environmental issues. The program is open to both full-time and part-time students.

The program is administered by the department's graduate faculty, which includes Cleveland State faculty, research scientists at the Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, and several Cleveland State University adjunct faculty members from other local institutions.

The MS degree program, with its research thesis focus, prepares students conceptually and technically for careers in applied or basic research in academic, government, or business settings. 


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Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
Phone: 216.687.2440

Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • From individuals who are familiar with your work and can assess your academic preparation, abilities, and accomplishments. These may be from previous instructors, supervisors or professional colleagues who are familiar with your recent activities.
  • Scores for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test (must average at the 50th percentile or above) 
  • Students must have a minimum of one year of calculus, one year of physics, one year of biology, geology, or chemistry, and one term of a computer course or demonstrated proficiency in computer usage. 
  • Bachelor's degree is preferred in a science appropriate to the student's area of concentration (biology, chemistry, or geology)

*Admission to the program is based on a combination of a candidate’s undergraduate GPA and the graduate admission test score.  

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 & at least 17 in each section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 3.8

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester – January 15th
    • Spring Semester – October 15th

*Fall & Spring admission only.

Program Requirements

  • BIO 500 - Graduate Orientation
  • BIO 540 - Biostatistics or equivalent graduate-level statistics course
  • BIO 595 - Environmental Seminar
  • CVE 450 - Environmental Technology
  • LAW 671 Environmental Law or
  • UST 652 - Environmental Policy and Administration
  • ENG 509 - Technical Writing

Each student must complete six credit hours of course work that provides experience in field research. This requirement may be met by courses that emphasize field methods (BIO 651 or BIO 653) or by supervised, individual thesis research conducted in a field setting (BIO 691 or BIO 695).

  • BIO 651 - Advanced Research in Field Biology or
  • BIO 653 - Advanced Research in Field Biology or
  • BIO 691 - Laboratory Research or
  • BIO 695 - Research (M.S.)

Each student formulates an individual plan of study in consultation with the Major Advisor and the Advisory Committee. The student chooses one of three areas of concentration: Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, or Environmental Earth Sciences. The plan of study must include at least nine credit hours of course work in the area of concentration, as well as any additional elective courses needed to fulfill degree requirements.

Environmental Biology

  • BIO 454 - Ecology
  • BIO 455 - Ecology Laboratory
  • BIO 504 - Biological Chemistry
  • BIO 516 - Microbiology
  • BIO 517 - Microbiology Lab
  • BIO 656 - Environmental Physiology

Environmental Chemistry

  • CHM 502 - Biochemistry I
  • CHM 504 - Environmental Chemistry
  • CHM 506 - Environmental Chemsitry Laboratory
  • CHM 531 - Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • BIO 504 - Biological Chemistry

Environmental Earth Sciences

  • EVS 506 - Ecosystem Science
  • EVS 523 - GIS Applications to the Field Sciences
  • GEO 445 - Hydrology Lab
  • EVS 560 - Geomorphology
  • CVE 540 - Soil Stabilization and Decontamination
  • CVE 564 - Groundwater Hydrology
  • EVS 524 - Intro to GIS & Remote Sensing

Additional Courses or Reseach (2 Credits)


  • EVS 691 - M.S. Research in Environmental Science or
  • EVS 695 - M.S. Thesis Research in Environmental Science


  • Electives
  • EVS 690 - Non-Thesis M.S. Exit Project
Did You Know?

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.

Bureau of Labor Statistics


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Career Outcomes

  • Graduates are working in governmental laboratories, private laboratories, offices, and field work positions.
  • Graduates can find positions including: environmental technician, professor, environmental scientist, environmental project manager, and environmental engineer. 
  • These are some of the local companies that are hiring CSU grads: Intertek, CT Consultants, STV, Harrison Consulting Solutions, US Department of the Navy, and ITS.