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Master of Science and Doctorate in Environmental Science

The Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science offers both an MS and PhD in Environmental Science. The intellectual life of the department relies heavily on the participation, creativity and energy of graduate students. Thus, the department expects students to be vigorously involved in coursework, seminars, journal clubs, research, informal discussions and other departmental functions.

Each Environmental Science graduate program seeks to provide students with the technical research skills, hands-on field experience and critical analysis needed to address pressing scientific issues. Students gain a deep understanding of environmental processes and the global factors that influence them, guided by the instruction and mentorship of leading scientists in the field. Along with a range of research opportunities, world-class facilities and proximity to important field sites, these factors empower graduate students to contribute to the fields of ecology, evolution and earth systems science from the beginning of their programs.

Environmental Science Graduate Program Requirements

The Environmental Science master’s degree programs require three core courses that form that basis for further specialization: Chemistry of the Environment, Biostatistics and Evolutionary Ecology. The core courses are also recommended for students in the PhD in Environmental Science program.

Requirements for the PhD in Environmental Science include the following:

  • Passing the qualifying exam
  • Establishing a plan of study
  • Passing the candidacy exam
  • Gaining approval for dissertation/thesis by the Dissertation Research Committee
  • Completing a dissertation/thesis
  • Defending the dissertation/thesis
  • Completing a graduate research seminar presentation in the second, third and fourth years

Environmental Science Graduate Program Curricula

Curricula in the graduate programs are designed to provide a sound professional education encompassing factual and theoretical concepts, as well as basic research skills and training. Students may create an individualized curriculum with consultation and permission from their Research Committee and the Graduate Program Committee. Regardless of the curricula, graduate students must demonstrate mastery of curricular subjects via oral and/or written examinations.

Program Highlights

  • Areas of study include biodiversity, evolutionary biology, ecology, wetland processes, environmental assessment and paleoecology-geology.
  • The MS degree may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. It includes thesis and non-thesis options to meet the needs and career goals of each student.
  • There is no prescribed coursework for the doctorate; students develop their own plan of study under the guidance of a faculty adviser.
  • Graduate students will have access to field sites such as the Barnegat Bay Coastal Field Station and Lacawac Sanctuary in addition to research facilities at Drexel and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Learn More About the Master of Science in Environmental Science

Learn More About the PhD in Environmental Science


Apply for a graduate degree in Environmental Science or visit campus to get firsthand information about a Drexel education. Contact us at for more information.