Students will gain an understanding of ways to evaluate the impact of human activities on the environment and human health, to balance social and economic needs with environmental realities, to learn how to use resources imaginatively for sustained yields, and to become aware of the role of values in issue formulation and policymaking.
The curriculum for the M.S. in Environmental Sciences allows students to gain a strong scientific understanding of ways to study, evaluate, and interpret environmental realities and their impacts, as well as to manage and mitigate environmental problems. Objectives are to enable students to:
- Develop a basic literacy in the natural and social sciences and the humanities as they contribute to an understanding of environmental issues;
- Critically analyze environmental problems;
- Identify, research, and evaluate environmental problems; and
- Compare, contrast, implement and manage short- and long-term solutions to environmental problems. The department recommends that students interested in the Environmental Sciences degree have prior knowledge of chemistry, algebra, statistics, and biology.
General Environmental Sciences
This concentration provides students with competency in research and management of interactions among physical, chemical, and biological systems in the environment.
The curriculum for the Master of Arts degree allows students to gain an understanding of ways to balance social and economic needs with environmental realities, to learn how to use resources imaginatively for sustainable development, and to become aware of the role of values in issue formulation and policymaking.
Sustainable Development and Policy (SDP)
This concentration explores theories of sustainable development and policy in order to:
- Understand the historical context and critically evaluate the current framework of natural resources and environmental policy;
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual elements of sustainability;
- Communicate and evaluate issues in sustainable development policies and practices; and
- Examine how shifts in natural resources and environmental policy might contribute to sustainable development.
Environmental Planning and Management (EPM)
This curriculum prepares students for professional positions in environmental planning and management. Objectives are to enable students to:
- Understand the principles and practices of environmental planning and management;
- Analyze United States’ environmental policies as they relate to environmental planning;
- Apply tools and techniques for preparing and implementing effective environmental plans; and
- Evaluate the effectiveness of environmental management plans.
This concentration provides a broad-based humanities curriculum to enable students to:
- Understand the ethical, social, communicative, literary, historical, artistic perspectives as they relate to ecological systems;
- Examine the historical development of theoretical perspectives from humanities on the interaction of social and ecological systems; and
- Apply ethical criteria and critical thinking in the analysis of environmental issues.
Online Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems
This is a 12-hour program administered by the Department of Environmental Studies. The purpose of the certificate is to give students the opportunity to gain valuable GIS knowledge and skills that can be applied to careers in both academia and practice. Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and meet campus requirements for admission to graduate study. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission. Students not meeting this level may still apply but will need to write a letter to the GIS Admissions Committee justifying their ability to complete graduate-level coursework (such as having significant work experience in the area). Consult UIS about this opportunity.
About the School
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