Jun 08, 2023  
Catalog 2019-2020 
Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, M.S.

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The M.S. in Environmental Science offers innovative, interdisciplinary training in science and technology within the context of environmental policy. There are two M.S. degree options: Professional Science Master’s (PSM) and thesis.

Within the PSM option, you will deepen the skills you learn in the classroom through a professional internship. The PSM option gives you flexibility to structure your graduate experience around your professional interests. You will develop specialized skills that will distinguish your entry into a career that requires highly skilled professionals within technology and applied science-based companies, resource management and planning agencies, scientific and environmental consulting firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

The thesis option focuses on independent research intended for professional publication, and can launch you into a doctoral program or a professional career in scientific research, resource management, education, and policy. Located at the nexus of world class research agencies and institutes, state and regional preserves, the Fort Ord National Monument, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, CSU Monterey Bay is a prime location for studying watershed, terrestrial, and marine environments.

To learn more about the major, visit the Environmental Science Master of Science Program website.

Required Courses


Students select either the Thesis Option or the Professional Science Master Option and complete the requirements.

Thesis Option 

Professional Science Masters Option 

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes focus on integrating rigorous scientific and technical training in the context of environmental policy and management. The MLOs are delivered and assessed primarily through course-based projects, papers, presentations and a master’s thesis (M.S. Thesis option) or professional internship experience (Professional Science Master’s option). Students showcase their area(s) of depth and interdisciplinary understanding via a graduate thesis project or a professional internship with an appropriate institute, business, agency or nonprofit organization. The thesis option focuses on a fundamental aspect of an environmental issue that demonstrates how science and economics can inform policies related to their particular environmental issue. The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) option focuses on developing advanced scientific, technical, and professional skill sets related to local and regional environmental priorities.

Science Interdisciplinarity & Science-Policy Integration

Explain the interactions among science, technology and economics, as applied to environmental policy.

Research Methods

Design, conduct, analyze and communicate the findings of a scientific investigation, including a scholarly review of the relevant literature. Use scientific instrumentation for environmental measurement.

Geospatial Technologies and Visualization

Acquire, visualize and interpret precise and accurate measures of environmental conditions and/or human behavior using current geospatial research technology. Apply geospatial technology to address environmental problems.

Environmental Policy, Economics, and Decision-Making

Explain and apply principles of environmental planning and policy making. Through experiential learning, participate in environmental politics. Describe and use empirical methods in economics to conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of economic data.

Applied Sciences

Apply advanced principles, theories and practices of a life science or earth science field to environmental issues and policies.


Strengthen area of expertise through additional breadth, depth or integration. Complete 4 units for thesis option and 8 units for PSM option.

Thesis or Internship

Produce a professional-quality, written thesis and oral presentation that demonstrate expertise in a chosen research topic; OR complete an internship with a business, government, or nonprofit organization that enhances professional, scientific or technical skills.

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