Master's Requirements

Specific requirements for the M.S. degree in MEES are as follows (for a comprehensive format of requirements, please be sure to check the appropriate checklist, found here) :


A three member Research Advisory Committee is to be formed during the first semester and meets with the student to discuss the student's progress (mainly coursework, but also basic research interests).  A report of this meeting must be filed with the MEES Program Office by the end of the student's second semester (Form can be found here). 


Every year that the student is in residence, committee meetings are to be held in order for the committee to review academic and research progress.  Reports of these meetings are due annually to the MEES Program by September 30th.  Annual Committee Report Forms can be found here. 

Course Work:

Approved courses must be completed per the AOS curriculum (see AOS section of the MEES website for an updated Approved Course Listing for your AOS)

  1. A minimum of 30 credits with 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of Masters thesis research (MEES 799). Of the 24 course credits, 12 of them must be at the 600 level or higher. Exceptions and waivers for equivalent courses taken before entry may be used to meet requirements of your AOS upon approval by the appropriate AOS Committee. Although graduate courses taken elsewhere may serve to fulfill requirements, only six credits from such courses may be transferred.
  2. One seminar course (MEES 608 or equivalent) must be taken for each year in the program (on average).
  3. One approved Statistics course (400 level or higher).
  4. One graduate course representing significant interdisciplinary breadth, preferably outside the student’s AOS.
  5. One course/seminar in Environmental Management (a 3-4 credit course can satisfy item d).


A written statement detailing as specifically as possible the research to be conducted needs to be submitted to the MEES Program Office upon approval from the student's Advisory Committee.  This is usually done no more than 1 year after entrance into the program. If vertebrate animals are to be used in the research, the animal use protocol should be filed at this time, before the research is done! 

Thesis Defense:

An Oral Defense of the Thesis, administered according to Graduate School regulations will take place at the completion of the research project. This defense will be conducted by the Research Advisory Committee and will be administered once all other degree requirements have been fulfilled. The Thesis Defense will generally last no longer than two hours, but the time will be long enough to ensure an adequate examination. The Research Advisory Committee also approves the thesis, and it is the candidate's obligation to see that each member of the committee has at least two weeks in which to examine a copy of the thesis prior to the time of the defense.

The Research Advisory Committee may conclude that the candidate has passed or failed. A student may be conditionally passed with the provision that minor changes in the thesis be made and approved by the Major Advisor. A student who fails may at the discretion of the committee and with approval of the MEES Director and the appropriate Graduate School be permitted to stand a second defense after acting on suggestions for improvement of the thesis (collection of more data, use of different statistical analysis, rewriting of the discussion, etc.), at such time as the advisor considers appropriate. Once the thesis has been successfully defended, one copy must be supplied to the MEES Office in addition to the copies required by the Graduate School. 

MEES Graduate Program Time Limits:

MEES full-time M.S. students will be limited to four years in which to graduate. Part-time students will not be held to the more rigorous MEES time limits, but to the former limits of five years for an M.S.