Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Environmental Science

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

Program Description

The Master in Science in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary program housed in the College of Natural and Behavioral Science (NBS). The mission of the program is to prepare the leaders, thinkers and planners necessary to address and solve environmental challenges using interdisciplinary approaches. Because of our location and internship opportunities, the emphasis of the program is on the unique problems of the urban environment.  The program is appropriate for students with interests in careers in government, urban or environmental planning, environmental education, research, journalism, law, and academia.


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, to environmental analysis, policy and planning, to 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.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a 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 upper division semester (90 quarter) units of upper division course work, and 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). MSES applicants must provide evidence of satisfying the GWAR (or equivalent) at the graduate level of proficiency. The MSES program regards the graduate level of proficiency as a grade of B or higher in ENG 350 Advanced Composition, or a score of 8 or higher on the Graduate Writing Examination (GWE). For graduates from other institutions, there is an alternative procedure to satisfy the GWAR requirement—the Petition for Fulfillment of GWAR—explained in the section Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement of the CSUDH University Catalog.

Applicants who have not attended schools at the secondary level or above for at least three years full-time where English is the principal language of instruction must present one of the following:

An IELTS overall band score of at least 7.0 is the minimum required for applicants to the Environmental Science Master's Program at CSUDH.

A TOEFL score of at least 560 on the paper and pencil test or at least 87 on the internet-based test is the minimum required for applicants to the Environmental Science Master's Program at CSUDH.

For the internet-based TOEFL (TOEFL iBT), the following are recommended minimum scores for each section:

  • Writing:  25
  • Speaking:  24
  • Reading:  21
  • Listening:  17

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 discretion of the Program Coordinator.  They must meet all conditions by the end of the first academic year.

Admission Procedures

Admission to the program involves two applications. Prospective students must:

  1. Submit an application to the University for admission with graduate standing, following the procedures outlined in the Admissions section of the University Catalog.
  2. Students are strongly advised to contact a potential Faculty mentor prior to submitting application materials to increase the  possibility of enrollment.
  3. Submit to the M. S. in Environmental Science Program Coordinator:
    • A letter describing interests, goals and expectations in pursuing the master’s degree in environmental science.
    • Two letters of recommendation sent directly from individuals who can evaluate potential for graduate study.
    • Verification of completion of the GWAR with a score of eight or above or IELTS or TOEFL scores.
    • Official undergraduate transcripts (separate official copies from those sent to University Admissions).

The application deadline for the Fall semester is May 1st. Applications for the Spring semester are due November 1st.

Application materials can be sent to:

California State University Dominguez Hills
College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences, Dean's Office
Library 5734
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.