Academic Catalog 2023-2024

Environmental Science

College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Earth Science and Geography

Program Description

The M.S. in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary program housed in the College of Natural and Behavioral Science (CNBS). Our mission is to prepare leaders, innovative thinkers, and planners who can address and solve environmental challenges using interdisciplinary approaches. Because of our campus' location, the emphasis of the program is on the urban environment. The required courses in the natural and social sciences introduce students to the unique problems of environmental analysis, policy, and planning. Elective courses allow students the flexibility to meet their specific interests and career goals. Real-world experience is obtained through directed research and internships in government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations.


The program is interdisciplinary, with core and elective courses drawn from the natural and social sciences. Core courses introduce the student to the unique problems of the urban environment, environmental analysis, policy, and planning, mathematical and analytic skills to address environmental problems, and the original research literature in environmental science. Elective courses allow students the flexibility to tailor their academic programs to meet specific goals. Students obtain real-world experience in the urban environment through internships in government, non-governmental, or other agencies and organizations. The academic program culminates with an original research project leading to a thesis.

Two Tracks toward MS in Environmental Sciences

All students can enter the master's program through either the Internship Track or Thesis track. The ‘Internship’ (Professional) track (i.e., without the thesis option) is primarily aimed at students who want to gain professional experience while pursuing their degree and seek immediate employment after graduating from the program.

Students seeking the Thesis Track are strongly advised to consult with the Program Coordinator and contact prospective faculty mentors before applying for the research track. The conventional ‘Thesis’ (Research) track is

Admission Requirements

Admission as a classified graduate student requires applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in natural or social science from an accredited university with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 overall or 3.0 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of upper-division course work. Students with GPAs between 2.5 and 2.9 in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units of upper-division course work, may be granted conditional admission. All students are required to have completed two courses in a field related to environmental science and a statistics course, with grades of “B” or better.

Applicants must also document writing proficiency by submitting administrative evidence of graduate writing proficiency. This is usually the satisfactory completion of an upper-division writing course or a writing exit examination prior to receiving the undergraduate diploma. In the CSU system, this writing competency is called the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). 

There are four existing pathways for entering graduate and post-baccalaureate students to immediately satisfy GWAR: GL requirements:

  1. Graduate students who earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  2. Graduate students who earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited non-US institution where English is a primary language of instruction satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  3. Graduate students who earned a 4 or above on the analytical writing component of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) satisfy the GWAR: GL.
  4. Students coming from baccalaureate programs offered in non-English speaking university settings can qualify to enter a graduate program by meeting university admissions standards as outlined in the online course schedule and catalog.  

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from a non-English speaking university or who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full-time where English is the pri9ncipal language of instruction are also required to submit proof of English proficiency. Please visit for details.

  1. A minimum score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT),
  2. A minimum score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL exam
  3. A score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS Academic Test, or
  4. A score of 53 or higher on the Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

Applications are not considered complete without the test scores.

These test scores should be sent along with your other application materials to the address provided above.

Please note that scores are considered valid for only two years and that if several scores are submitted, only the most recent is considered.

Students who meet all but one requirement of the MSES program may be admitted in conditionally classified status at the Program Coordinator's discretion.  They must meet all conditions by the end of the first academic year.

Admission Procedures

All applicants are required to complete a Cal State Apply application. The following documents should be submitted in the 4th Quadrant at Cal State Apply:

  1. CV/resume
  2. All unofficial transcripts (must also submit all official transcripts to the Office of Admissions at CSUDH)
  3. A personal statement/cover letter
  4. Letters of recommendation are not required but can be provided in support of the applicant

All applicants are also required to contact the program coordinator and those faculty with whom they wish to work.

  1. Students are strongly advised to contact a potential Faculty mentor prior to submitting application materials to increase the possibility of enrollment.
  2. Submit to the M. S. in Environmental Science Program Coordinator:
    • A letter describing research interests, goals, and expectations in pursuing the master’s degree in environmental science.
    • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts (separate official copies still need to be submitted to University Admissions).

The application deadline for the Fall semester is March 1st. Application materials can be sent to:

California State University Dominguez Hills
College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, Dean's Office
ATTN: Environmental Science Program Coordinator
1000 E. Victoria Carson, CA 90747

Academic Advisement

Upon acceptance to the program, each student will select or be assigned to a faculty advisor and plan an individualized program of study based on the student's interests and career goals. All students in the program will be required to be advised every semester to assess student progress and program effectiveness.