Program Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required for acceptance into the program itself regardless of specific foundation.  Prerequisite courses facilitate standardization of admission to the MEES program across the Foundation areas. The MEES Program Committee has proposed the following related to programmatic prerequisite undergraduate courses.  These prerequisites are general by design - as there is such a broad spectrum of disciplinary needs and expectations for students dependent on both Foundation and potential advisor.  The general admission requirements listed below would result in provisional acceptance of students, by an admissions committee composed of Program Committee members across the Foundations. Final admission will still be dependent on finding an advisor, who may have more specific requirements. 

  • 2 Introductory science courses
    • Introductory science courses are defined as 100 and 200 level courses, generally taken in students’ freshmen or sophomore years in college.
  • 2 Advanced science courses
    • Advanced science courses are defined as 300 and 400 level courses, generally taken in students’ junior or senior years in college.
  • 2 Quantitative courses
    • Quantitative courses can be Calculus-level math (or higher), computer programming, or statistics courses.
  • 2 Foundation-relevant courses
    • At least one of these must be an advanced science course.

The Foundations

Environment and Society  |  Earth & Ocean Systems  | Ecological Systems  |  Environmental Molecular Science & Technology

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Environment and Society

In this foundation, students will obtain foundational knowledge of core theories and methods in the following domains of integrated social and environmental sciences: Coupled natural and human systems, cultural models of the environment, political ecology, participation and governance, ecological economics, and environmental ethics.  Students will develop scholarship and practice in social science aspects of couples natural human systems that includes critical thinking, written and verbal communication, and practice in interdisciplinary fieldwork to hone skills in data collection and analysis, consensus building, and stakeholder analysis. 

Courses & Other Requirements (M.S. & Ph.D) 

  1. Foundational Course: MEES 620 – Coupled Human & Natural Systems 
  2. A minimum of three Professional Development courses from the four subject areas, including a course in Applied Environmental Sciences.
    • Applied Environmental Sciences (*required)
    • Scientific Communication
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Environmental Statistics
  3. One seminar for each year in residence of the program (up to 4)
  4. Elective courses approved by the student's advisory committee including at least one 700 level course. 

For more information regarding faculty faculty members who are associated with Environment and Society, see the link below.

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Earth and Ocean Sciences is an interdisciplinary field incorporating fundamental and applied studies of the land-estuarine-ocean system.  Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the movement and transformation of materials and energy between mountain headwater and estuarine, coastal, and oceanic systems, including geomorphology and landscape dynamics, physical circulation and transport, chemical transformation, and biological reaction. This foundational area also includes elements of environmental chemistry, geochemistry, hydrology, and toxicology to help understand and predict the fate and effects of nutrients and contaminants in the environment. In Earth and Ocean Sciences, we use a wide variety of techniques and approaches, including observing platforms and numerical models to investigate processes in each sub-system, build connections across systems, understand processes at multiple spatial scales, and to foster interdisciplinary educational experiences for graduate students.

Courses & Other Requirements (M.S. & Ph.D) 

  1. Foundational Course: MEES 640 – Interconnected Earth Systems: Land, Ocean, and Estuary. 
  2. A minimum of three Professional Development courses from the four subject areas, including a course in Applied Environmental Sciences.
    • Applied Environmental Sciences (*required)
    • Scientific Communication
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Environmental Statistics
  3. One seminar for each year in residence of the program (up to 4)
  4. Elective courses approved by the student's advisory committee including at least one 700 level course. 

For more information regarding faculty faculty members who are associated with Earth and Ocean Science, see the link below.

Ecological systems

The Ecological Systems Foundation encompasses a broad array of topics and scales of research, all with the fundamental perspective that understanding the interactions between organisms and their environment leads to valuable scientific discovery and application. From genes to ecosystems and from the mountains to the seafloor, previous student research in this area has included development of techniques in landscape ecology, ecological genomics and fisheries stock assessment.  Tools developed over the course of a graduate student career may include sophisticated field and laboratory studies as well as analytical and simulation modeling.  Faculty supporting this foundation are actively conducting research around the globe from the Arctic and Australia to continental areas such as the American Midwestern prairie and the iconic Chesapeake Bay.  Our faculty draw from the traditions of individual, population, community, and ecosystem approaches, providing students with depth in their individualized training even as the curriculum promotes access to a variety of ecological perspectives.  We are committed to training the future leading scientists and professionals in all aspects of ecology.  Students interested in pursuing ecological research or engaging in cross-disciplinary research that bridges to each of the other three Foundational Areas are strongly encouraged to explore graduate work with us. 

Courses & Other Requirements (M.S. & Ph.D) 

  1. Foundational Course: MEES 660 – Ecological Systems
  2. A minimum of three Professional Development courses from the four subject areas, including a course in Applied Environmental Sciences
    • Applied Environmental Sciences (*required)
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Scientific Communication
    • Environmental Statistics
  3. One seminar for each year in residence of the program (up to 4)
  4. Elective courses approved by the student's advisory committee including at least one 700 level course. 

For more information regarding faculty members associated with Ecological Systems, see link below. 

Environmental Molecular Science & Technology

This foundation encompasses research topics that include current molecular approaches to study biodiversity, bioremediation, food chains, discovery of drugs and enzymes from marine microbes and macoorganisms, sustainable aquaculture, biofuels, biogeochemistry of carbon cycling, and genomics/metabolomics or marine organisms.  An entrepreneurship program is available for translation of scientific research into start-up business through development of business plans and formation of biotechnology start up companies.  

Courses & Other Requirements (M.S. & Ph.D) 

  1. Foundational Course: MEES 680- Cell and Molecular Biology for Environmental Scientists - Genes to Ecosystems
  2. A minimum of three Professional Development courses from the four subject areas, including a course in Applied Environmental Sciences
    • Applied Environmental Sciences (*required) 
    • Responsible Conduct of Research 
    • Scientific Communication
    • Environmental Statistics
  3. One seminar for each year in residence of the program (up to 4)
  4. Elective courses approved by the student's advisory committee including at least one 700 level course. 

For more information regarding faculty members associated with Environmental Molecular Science & Technology, see the link below.