Jan 28, 2022  
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Environmental Science, M.S.

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Dr. John Tucker, Head
(423) 425-4341 or email at John-Tucker@utc.edu
Dr. David Aborn, Graduate Program Coordinator
(423) 425-5236 or email at David-Aborn@utc.edu



The graduate program in Environmental Science is designed to help meet the national needs of government, business, and industry for professionals in the field of environmental sciences. To this end, the faculty emphasize preparing students for the professional world of environmental science, ecology, and natural resources management with a sound scientific and technical background based upon contemporary economic and political realities. In doing so, the program enhances the breadth and depth of the student’s knowledge and experience. Research projects usually address local and regional concerns and provide experience in evaluating issues in a holistic approach and developing oral and written communication and advocacy skills for assuming leadership roles in a wide variety of interdisciplinary professional settings.


Department Mission

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences perceives that its role at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is to function as a vital part of the metropolitan university community in the promotion of scholarship, research, and service. To carry out this role the department has the following mission:

  • To introduce students to the philosophy and methods of science through lecture, laboratory, and field experiences;
  • To provide courses and programs in biology and environmental sciences which have as their goal academic excellence and thereby provide an opportunity for students to obtain an education of a superior quality;
  • To assist students in preparing for post-graduate goals, whether to enter the work force or continue in formal education;
  • To develop student awareness of the need for critical thinking and lifelong learning;
  • To nurture the evolution of a curriculum for majors in biology, environmental science, and related areas that includes traditional information and contemporary frontiers in the life sciences;
  • To remain alert from emerging curricular and service needs;
  • To pursue opportunities for educational cooperation;
  • To recruit, give opportunity to, and retain students of diverse personal backgrounds with special effort for those historically under-represented in the sciences, i.e., minorities and women;
  • To encourage research by all faculty members;
  • To maintain the humane treatment of animals used in research and teaching while realizing the necessity of animal experimentation in the biological sciences;
  • To increase funding from outside sources for biology and environmental science;
  • To support interdisciplinary programs, e.g.. University Honors;
  • To remain committed to continuing faculty development;
  • To encourage cooperation and respect among students, faculty, and administration;
  • To recruit new faculty members, as needed, who are recognized as fully qualified for university level instruction and research;
  • To remain committed to evaluation of departmental effectiveness.


Learning Outcomes for M.S. Environmental Science
  • Students completing the Mater of Science in Environmental Science at UTC will be well prepared for a position in the field or for subsequent in a professional or advanced degree program.
  • Students completing the Master of Science in Environmental Science at UTC will demonstrate success at entering a professional or advanced degree program.
  • A survey of job supervisors where graduates are employed will show performance rates for graduates will be equivalent to or higher for UTC than for peer institutions.


Application Procedures

An applicant for admission to the graduate program in environmental science must meet the following requirements:

  • Graduation from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • A 2.75 GPA overall or a 3.0 in the last 60 hours.
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (general test). While the department prefers to see scores of at least 500 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE General Test, applicants with lower scores will still be considered on the basis of their other application materials.
  • A background knowledge of environmental science concepts equivalent to UTC’s undergraduate courses ESC 1500 and 1510 Introduction to Environmental Science or an undergraduate or graduate course in ecology.
  • A dossier which documents written and oral communication skills and includes the following:
    —a résumé
    —prior publications or sample research paper
    —a written account of prior educational and professional experiences in environmental science, including laboratory competencies, career goals, and reasons for pursuing graduate study.
  • Recommendations from a minimum of three individuals familiar with the applicant’s scholastic ability and professional work background.
Applicants are recommended to have completed:
  • Two academic years background in laboratory sciences at the junior or senior level, i.e., four semesters of laboratory courses at the 3000 or 4000 level.
  • A course in environmental ethics
  • Mathematics course equivalent to UTC’s MATH 1830 or 1910, one course each in introductory statistics and computer science.
  • An introductory course in environmental law equivalent to UTC’s ESC 4100.

Program Requirements

To earn the M.S. degree, students must successfully complete 38 semester hours in the thesis option, internship option, or the learned discourse option with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: 14 hours

Research (must take a minimum of 3 hours)

Total: 6 hours (Thesis or Internship), 3 hours (Individual Studies)

Unrestricted Electives

Any courses taken for graduate credit as recommended by the student’s graduate committee and approved by the graduate program coordinator, totaling 18 hours minimum for thesis and internship options; 21 hours minimum for the learned discourse option.

Total: 18-21 hours

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