Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs are designed to be highly flexible. They provide opportunities to be tailored to your specific needs and career goals, with a focus on the multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of the department.


We currently offer five graduate degree programs:

  • Accelerated Master of Science (MS) degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science
  • Master of Science (MS) degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science
  • Doctoral (PhD) degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science
  • Dual Master of Science (MS) degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science and Master of Arts (MA) degree in Journalism with the School of Journalism
  • Dual Doctoral (PhD) Degree in Soil. Water and Environmental Science and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Arizona Eller College of Management

You can earn both a undergraduate and graduate degree in just five years. In you are interested in our AMP, get involved with research in your junior year or as soon as possible. Any directed research at the undergraduate level earns credit towards your B.S. and could provide access to potential Master’s research projects.

Learn more about eligibility and the application process

Requirements

  • Minimum of 30 units of graduate credit (all units of coursework for a graduate degree must be in 500-level courses or above)
    • See the table below for the core courses for each major (9-15 units)
    • 9-15 units of elective course work
    • 2-8 units of thesis work (ENVS 910)
    • 1 unit of Department Colloquium (ENVS 696A)
      • In your last semester of study, you must be enrolled in the department colloquium 

You can choose to major in either Environmental Science or Soil and Water Science for our Master of Science program.

Environmental Science (ES)

You must complete one course for each of the three categories (9 units) and an additional 3 units of major course work.

Soil and Water Science (SWS)

You must complete four of the five courses (12 units)

Environmental Biology and Microbiology

  • ENVS 525 Env Microbiology
  • ENVS 574 Aquatic Plants & the Env
  • WSM 552 Dryland Ecohydrology and Vegetation Dynamics
  • ENVS 525 Env Microbiology
  • ENVS 502 Nutrient Dynamics in Soils
  • ENVS 531 Soil Morphology
  • ENVS Soil & Water Chemistry
  • ENVS 570 Soil Physics

Environmental and Soil Chemistry

  • ENVS 564 Env Chemistry
  • ENVS 562 Env Soil & Water Chemistry

 

Environmental Physics and Water Science

  • ENVS 520 Env Physics
  • ENVS 570 Soil Physics

 

Major Professor and Committee

When you are a Master of Science Student you will have:

  • Major Professor: faculty member in your area of study that acts as a mentor and helps keep your graduate study on track
    • You may have a co-director or committee member outside of the department
  • Committee: At least 3 faculty members that guide your academic program and all examinations
    • The Major Professor and one additional member must be tenure-track faculty
    • Two must hold faculty appointments in our department
    • Special committee members must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College

Thesis

By the end of the second semester you must choose a research topic, consulting with their your committee.

If you choose this option:

  • Enroll 2-8 units for working on their thesis
  • Presenting research results in a formal Master’s thesis defense to the department

You can find information on formatting your thesis on the University of Arizona Graduate College.

Non-Thesis

You may choose to submit a professional report, approved by your committee and the department head, in the field of environmental or soil science in lieu of a thesis.

If you choose this option:

  • Register for 1-2 credits of Master's Report (ENVS 909) in the semester you complete the report
  • Present a seminar to the department in lieu of a Thesis Defense
  • The report must be read and approved by at least 2 tenure-track faculty and one special committee member
  • All other requirements for a Master of Science is the same as the thesis option.

Final Examination and Complete of Degree Requirements

A final exam for our Master of Science degree involves a defense of the thesis to the your committee and departmental submission of the Master’s Completion of Degree Requirements form. If a student fails the final exam, a second exam may be granted no sooner than four months from the date of the first exam. All requirements for the Master of Science degree must be completed within six years.


For more detailed information, please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook

 

Requirements

  • Minimum of 66 units of graduate credit (all units of coursework for a graduate degree must be in 500-level courses or above)
    • 36 units of course work in the area of the major subject (see table below)
    • 18 units of dissertation (ENVS 920)
    • 9 units minimum in minor (12 units for SWES minor)
    • 2 units of Seminar(s)/Department Colloquium (ENVS 696A), which can be met in the following options
      • Two semesters of SWES seminars (ENVS 696A)
      • One semester of ENVS 696A, plus one semester as a teaching assistant (GTA) or proctor
      • One semester of ENVS 696A plus one semester of seminar from another department
      • One semester of ENVS 696A plus one semester of GRAD 697C “Workshop for Teaching at the College Level"

You can choose to major in either Environmental Science or Soil and Water Science for our Doctoral program and must complete the course requirements below.

Environmental Science (ES)

Choose one from each category

Soil and Water Science (SWS)

Choose four or five designated courses

Environmental Biology and Microbiology

  • ENVS 525 Env Microbiology
  • ENVS 574 Aquatic Plants & the Env
  • WSM 552 Dryland Ecohydrology and Vegetation Dynamics
  • ENVS 525 Env Microbiology
  • ENVS 502 Nutrient Dynamics in Soils
  • ENVS 531 Soil Morphology
  • ENVS Soil & Water Chemistry
  • ENVS 570 Soil Physics

Environmental and Soil Chemistry

  • ENVS 564 Env Chemistry
  • ENVS 562 Env Soil & Water Chemistry

 

Environmental Physics and Water Science

  • ENVS 520 Env Physics
  • ENVS 570 Soil Physics

 

Minor (required)

  • You must choose a minor course of study (9 units)
    • Intradepartment (12 credits)
      • Courses that are clearly distinguishable from the major and determined by the Minor Professor (tenure-track faculty)
    • Interdepartment
      • Minor from another department that follows that department's requirements

Major Professor and Committee

When you are a Doctoral Student you will have:

  • Major Professor: faculty member in your area of study who has accepted you into their program
    • You may have a co-director or committee member outside of the department
    • Minor Professor (if applicable)
  • Comprehension Examination Committee: At least four members (three for the major, one for the minor) formed at the end of the first year to conduct the Comprehensive Examination
  • Dissertation Committee: Three members (Major Professor and at least two additional tenure-track faculty) that supervise the student's research and conduct the Final Oral Defense examination
    • This committee can include members from the Comprehensive Examination Committee
    • Generally, majority of the committee should be faculty members from our department with expertise in the research area
    • Special committee members must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate College

Doctoral Plan of Study

By the end of the first semester:

  • Develop a list of courses for their PhD graduate program in conjunction with the student’s Major Professor and Dissertation Committee
    • Suitable courses from other departments can be included in the major program
  • Submitting a Doctoral Plan of Study that includes
    • Courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions
    • Courses already completed at the University of Arizona that the student intends to apply
    • toward a graduate degree
    • Additional courses the student plans to complete to fulfill degree requirements.
  • Approve Doctoral Plan of Study by Major Professor, Minor Professor, the our Graduate Program Director, and the Graduate College
    • Denied plans need to be updated and re-submitted for approval.
  • Submit a Responsible Conduct of Research form

Prospectus

ENVS_Doctoral_Prospectus.pdf

ENVS_Doctoral_Prospectus.pdf

The University of Arizona Graduate College mandates that every student in a doctoral program has an approved dissertation prospectus or proposal on file with their department. As soon as the student has an approved prospectus/proposal on file with the department, the department will submit the prospectus/proposal confirmation form in GradPath on behalf of the student.

view | download 393.2 KB

 

Read more about the Comprehensive Exam, Final Oral Defense Examination and Submission of the Dissertation on the Graduate College website.


For more detailed information, please refer to our Graduate Student Handbook.

 

Candidates for dual degree programs must apply to both units.  They must complete an application form and pay an application fee for each unit.

  • Dual Master of Science (MS) degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science and Master of Arts (MA) degree in Journalism with the School of Journalism
  • Dual Doctoral (PhD) Degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Arizona Eller College of Management

Graduate Student Handbook 2016-2017

For more information about graduate study in our department, contact our professional academic advisor and head of our Graduate Program.

Kathleen Landeen

Main Campus Advisor

Senior Academic Advisor, II

Marcel Schaap

Marcel G. Schaap

Professor

Graduate Program Head