Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan

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Graduate Program in Environmental Science (UM-Dearborn)

Degree Program

Department of Natural Sciences
University of Michigan-Dearborn
Dearborn, MI 48128-1491
Phone: (313) 593-1183
Electronic Mail: Carol Ligienza
Program Web Page:

Admissions Information:
The following is a brief summary of admission deadlines, requirements, and Academic Program Code(s) for the degree(s) offered in this Department/Program.  The sections immediately following this summary provide an in-depth description of each degree program.  You may order an application by submitting the Information Request Form.

Admits Fall and Winter terms.  Deadline for Fall applications is August 1, for Winter applications is December 1. Please use the following information when completing Item 13 on the application.
Code:  ES; Academic Program: Environmental Science; M.S.

Degree Program

Master of Science

In addition to the specific requirements listed below, see the Master's Degrees section of the Graduate Student Handbook.

Master of Environmental Science

This is a two-year M.S. degree program for about 30 students at any given time, in an active research-oriented environment. It stresses personalized, individual attention to graduate student education and research. The program provides a choice between emphasizing the environmental aspects of biology, chemistry or geology or a more broadly focused approached involving courses in each of the above fields. Graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon, early evening and occasionally on Saturdays to accommodate the full-time working student. Part-time students are welcome and special programs have been established for in-service teachers seeking a science-oriented Masters Degree.

Faculty and students are engaged in the research of a variety of environmental issues ranging from the population dynamics of turtles in local lakes, to the toxic effects of copper in benthic macroinvertebrates from streams in Michigan's copper country, to the impacts of land use on groundwater and surface water quality, to the use of phytoremediation in the cleanup of brownfield sites.

Dearborn is located in an urban setting in southeast Michigan along the main branch of the Rouge River. About one-third of the campus, more than 70 acres, is maintained as one of the largest natural areas in metropolitan Detroit, serving as a research and teaching facility for students and school teachers on campus and throughout southeast Michigan.

A focal point for the environmental program on the Dearborn campus will be the new Environmental Interpretive Center, now under construction with completion expected by the Winter Term 2001.

RESEARCH FACILITIES: The Department of Natural Sciences has extensive networked computing facilities, including scanners, digitizers and plotters, GIS and groundwater modeling software, GPS equipment, and labs for preparation and chemical analysis of environmental, biological and geological samples. We also have extensive mineralogic and paleontologic collections as well as the Merritt Geode Collection, one of the finest private geode collections in the world.

PROGRAM PREREQUSITES: Bachelors Degree in biology, chemistry, environmental science or geology, including the completion of a field course in biology or geology. College course work in mathematics (two semesters of calculus and one of statistics) and working knowledge of computers. Any deficiencies may be satisfied by completing prerequisite courses at UM-Dearborn or at another school with the approval of the Director of the Graduate Program.

THESIS/PROJECT REQUIREMENTS: The requirements for the M.S. degree in Environmental Science can be satisfied by one of three options:

Plan A Thesis Option 24 credit hours Thesis 6 credit hours
Plan B Project Option 27 credit hours Project 3 credit hours
Plan C Coursework Option 30 credit hours

Plan A--Thesis Option: 24 credits of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level, plus ESCI 699: A thesis based on original field/laboratory research (6 credit hours).

Plan B--Project Option: 27 credits of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level, plus ESCI 698: A project designed for classroom use based on appropriate library/field/laboratory research, or, a publishable scientific paper based on original laboratory/field research, demonstrating the candidate's ability to analyze and interpret scientific data (3 credit hours).

Plan C--Coursework Option: 30 credits hours of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level (not recommended for students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree).


BIOL 504 Ecosystem Biology (3)
CHEM 515 Environmental Chemistry (3)
GEOL 575 Contaminant Hydrogeology (3) or LIBS 585 Watershed Analysis (3)
ESCI 572 Environmental Communications (3)
ESCI 595 Problems in environmental Science (3)


503 Environmental Physiology (3)
505 Applied and Environmental Microbiology (4)
514 Limnology (3)
516 Stream Ecology (3)
520 Advanced Field Biology (4)
522 Environmental Plant Biology (3)
523 Wetlands Ecology (3)
524 Restoration Ecology (3)
503 Inorganic Chemistry (3)
515 Environmental Chemistry (4)
547 Instrumental Analysis (3)
552 Advanced Toxicology (3)
570 Geochemistry (3)
550 Glacial Geology (3)
575 Contaminant Hydrogeology (3)
585 Watershed analysis (3)
587 Groundwater Modeling (3)
ESCI 550 Environmental Law (3)
ESCI 585 Spatial Analysis and GIS (3)
STAT 535 Data Analysis and Modeling (3)
STAT 545 Reliability & Survival Analysis (3)
LIBS 564 Literature, Science and Science Studies (3)
LIBS 584 Focus Seminar: Environmental Studies (3)
LIBS 586 Ecological Economics (3)
ESCI 597/599 Indep Study Off/On Campus (1-3)
ESCI 698 MSES Project (3)
ESCI 699 MSES Thesis (6)

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Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan
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Updated Friday, 16-Apr-2004 11:30:53 EDT