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Environmental Studies Banner

Introduction | M.S. in Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies Courses
Dept Homepage

Robert Voeks


Humanities 420A


Master of Science in Environmental Studies

Mike Steiner (American Studies), John Bock (Anthropology), Sandra Banack (Biological Science), Darren Sandquist (Biological Science), Harold Rogers (Chemistry) Jeff Kuo (Civil Engineering), Denise Stanley (Economics), Jonathan S. Taylor (Geography), John Foster (Geological Sciences), William Laton (Geological Sciences), Shari McMahan (Health Science), Gordon Bakken (History), Mitch Avila (Philosophy), Vince Buck (Political Science), Dennis Berg (Sociology).

Environmental studies field trip


The master’s program in Environmental Studies is a broadly based interdisciplinary program that focuses on human interaction with the environment. The program is geared for students entering the rapidly expanding environmental field, especially in science, planning and regulation, and education. Because the scale and scope of environmental issues vary from local and practical to international and theoretical, the program seeks to integrate knowledge and approaches from a range of related disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Topics include environmental policy, management, pollution, law, philosophy, economics, planning, regulation and education. Given the range of their academic backgrounds, students are encouraged to craft a study plan that meets their own particular career or avocational goals. Students demonstrate their expertise in one of the environmental concentrations by preparing a thesis or project.

Students select a course of study consistent with one of the following three concentrations:

Environmental Sciences
This area deals with the application of physical and biological science principles to environmental issues. Topical concerns include environmental ecology, water and air resources waste management, toxicology and environmental geology. Students in this emphasis typically have a strong background in biology, chemistry, earth science, engineering, geography, geology or mathematics.

Environmental Policy and Planning
This area deals with the concepts and methods of the social and behavioral sciences as applied to environmental policy and planning. Topical concerns include urban and regional planning, environmental aspects of administration, design, ethics, perception, law and economics. Students in this area come from many backgrounds, including the natural, social or behavioral sciences, or the humanities.

Environmental Education and Communication
This emphasis seeks to develop a body of knowledge that is consistent with the needs of the environmental educator, the outdoor naturalist or the communication specialist. Students in this emphasis area should have a background in natural science, education or communications.

International Learning Opportunities in Environmental Studies
Because many environmental problems are trans-boundary in nature, our curriculum necessarily addresses issues that are international in scope. From topical courses, such as Environmental Ethics and Global Environmental Issues, to region-specific courses, such as Wetlands and Tropical Rainforests, students tackle an array of internationally significant environmental problems. This experience is enhanced further through interaction with the significant number of international students enrolled in the program.

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Application Deadlines
The deadlines for completing online applications are April 1st for the fall semester and November 1st for the spring semester (see http://www.csumentor.edu). Mailed applications need to be postmarked by the same deadlines. However, deadlines may be changed based upon enrollment projections. Check the university graduate studies website for current information http://www.fullerton.edu/graduate.

Admission to Graduate Standing: Conditionally Classified
University requirements include a baccalaureate from an accredited institution and a grade-point average of 3.0 in the last 60 units of course work attempted. In addition, two letters of recommendation are required, at least one of which must come from a college or university.

An undergraduate course in ecology and one in quantitative methods are prerequisites for admission. Students without these prerequisites will be admitted provisionally but must take these courses during their first year in the program.

Graduate Standing: Classified
After completion of no more than nine semester units of adviser-approved course work and the development of an approved study plan, the student should apply for classified standing.

The M.S. in Environmental Studies requires the completion of 36 units of adviser-approved course work with a GPA of 3.0 or better and includes a thesis or project. The student’s thesis committee should be comprised of three CSUF faculty members, representing at least two different academic disciplines. A student’s project is supervised by a single CSUF faculty member.

Environmental Studies Core (9 units)
Environmental Studies 500 Environmental Issues and Approaches (3)
Environmental Studies 510 Environmental Evaluation and Protection (3)
Environmental Studies 520 Environmental Research and Analysis (3)

Environmental Studies Electives (12-15 units)
Choose from:
Environmental Studies 595T Selected Topics in Environmental Problems (3)
Environmental Studies 596 Internship in Environmental Studies (3)
Environmental Studies 599 Independent Graduate Research (1-3)

Cross-Disciplinary Electives Work (9-12 units)
Courses outside Environmental Studies are chosen with prior approval of the faculty adviser and must be consistent with the student’s area of concentration.

No more than 12 units can be taken from the undergraduate major department. A three-unit planning course must be included, either from environmental studies electives or cross-disciplinary elective..

Thesis 598 or Project 597 (3 units)
All Environmental Studies students are required to register in Environmental Studies 597 Project or Environmental Studies 598 Thesis exit research option. Students may only register for this course once. If they do not complete their project or thesis within this semester, they will be assigned a grade of RP for the course until a letter grade can be assigned. Since students are required to maintain continuous enrollment, they must register in GS 700 either through University Extension or CSUF. Students may only enroll in GS 700 through University Extension for one semester if they are working on a project and for two semesters if they are working on a thesis.

The deadline for project completion is the last Friday before the final exam period each semester. The deadline for thesis completion is set by the university (usually three weeks before the end of exam week). By the thesis/project deadline, a notification of completion form must be submitted with the faculty adviser’s signature and (if applicable) with change of grade card(s) from the faculty adviser. In addition, all students must submit a hard-bound copy of his or her completed project or thesis. A receipt indicating that a bound and title-embossed copy of the thesis or project has been ordered for the Environmental Studies Program may be submitted on the deadline.

For further information, consult the graduate program associate coordinator.

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Courses are designated as ENST in the class schedule

ENST 500    Environmental Issues and Approaches

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies. Discussions of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problems and research methods. Students prepare seminars and papers on research design for potential thesis topics. Meets graduate writing requirement.
Units: (3)

ENST 510    Environmental Evaluation and Protection

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies. Environmental parameters (water, air, solid wastes, noise, radiation, etc.). Techniques in monitoring and measurement; effect on human health; environmental quality standards and controls. Demonstrations and field trips.
Units: (3)

ENST 520    Environmental Research and Analysis

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies. Research methods used in the field of environmental studies. Research tools used in such areas as environmental field studies, environmental experiments, social environmental impacts, environmental attitudes and behavior and environmental trend analysis.
Units: (3)

ENST 595T    Selected Topics in Environmental Problems

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies. Various environmental topics, contemporary or historic, that focus on problems (e.g., law, endangered habitats, planning, global environmental issues, etc.) Topic chosen and outline will be circulated prior to registration. May be repeated four times (with different topics) for credit.
Units: (3)

ENST 596    Internship in Environmental Studies

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies. Field experience with a governmental or private agency.
Units: (3)

ENST 597    Project

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in Environmental Studies program and consent of project adviser and program coordinator. Planning, preparation and completion of an acceptable, interdisciplinary project. Credit on submission of project and presentation of research findings in a poster session organized by the Environmental Studies Program.
Units: (3)

ENST 598    Thesis

Description: Prerequisites: classified status in Environmental Studies program and consent of instructor and program coordinator. Planning, preparation and completion of an acceptable, interdisciplinary thesis. Credit on submission of thesis.
Units: (3)

ENST 599    Independent Graduate Research

Description: Prerequisite: graduate standing in Environmental Studies and consent of instructor and program coordinator.  
Units: (1-3)

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