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Environmental Science Master's Program

The Master of Science in Environmental Science is a multidisciplinary program focused on understanding and developing solutions for environmental problems. Students can focus their studies in areas such as ecology, biodiversity, conservation, environmental assessment or paleoecology-geology.

Students can pursue the Master’s degree in Environmental Science full-time or part-time. While the majority of students pursue a non-thesis option, a master's with thesis option is available. Students who pursue the master's with thesis complete their coursework requirements as well as an original research project mentored by a departmental faculty member. Students must be formally accepted into the research program of a faculty member to enroll in the master's with thesis program. In some instances, faculty members can act as co-mentors if students are able to perform master's thesis research in their place of employment.

Master of Environmental Science Non-Thesis Option

The Environmental Science Master’s program Non-Thesis Option is a coursework-based degree for those looking to advance in their fields, but not desiring direct research experience. Students will devise a plan of study suited to their individual needs in consultation with the Graduate Adviser. This is then submitted to the Graduate Program Committee. All courses must be approved by the Graduate Adviser, and annual meetings with the Graduate Adviser are required.

Master of Environmental Science with Thesis Option

The Master’s in Environmental Science Thesis Option is for students interested in advanced graduate coursework and experience in completing an original research project. Admission is dependent upon identification of a specific faculty member to serve as adviser. Students should choose a research adviser during their first quarter, so they can begin their original research project in environmental science, geoscience, environmental policy, or other options the first year. The findings of this work should be publishable in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Progress towards these degree requirements is overseen and guided by the selected Thesis Adviser, the Thesis Research Committee, and the Graduate Program Committee.

Curriculum of Environmental Science Master’s Programs

Students in an Environmental Science graduate program must devise a plan of study in consultation with the Graduate Adviser by the end of their first term. The plan of study is submitted to the Thesis Committee for final approval.

Key Components and Milestones of the Environmental Science MS Thesis Program

  • Research:Students must be accepted into the laboratory of their Thesis Adviser by the end of the first quarter.
  • Research Committee:The Thesis Research Committee must be formed by the end of the second quarter.
  • Thesis Proposal:Thesis Proposal acceptance by the Thesis Research Committee must be successfully completed by the end of the first year.
  • Master’s of Environmental Science Coursework:Coursework should be completed in the first two years of study.
  • Thesis:The thesis should be developed in consultation with the Thesis Adviser.
  • Thesis Defense:Each master's student should complete his/her thesis defense within two to three years. Drexel University requires that the thesis be finished within five years.

Any student passing the master's thesis defense may apply to transfer to the departmental Environmental Science PhD program through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. The application will be forwarded to the Graduate Committee for their recommendation to the Department Head.

Learn More About the Environmental Science Master’s Degree in the Course Catalog


Students with an Master's in Environmental Science have many options for careers post-graduation. These careers include positions like:

  • Atmospheric scientists
  • Geoscientists
  • Ecologists
  • Climate control scientist
  • Science Technician

Learn More About Job Opportunities for Students with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science


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

Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact Us

Department of Biodiversity, Earth & Environmental Science

2024 MacAlister Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.571.4651 |

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103