Environmental Science, M.S.

College of Science & Engineering

College of Science & Engineering

Environmental Science, M.S.

The Environmental Science M.S. program provides a rich and rewarding setting in which students can develop and communicate innovative and practical solutions to present and future environmental challenges, with a focus on urban and coastal issues. Environmental science students at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enjoy small specialty classes and diverse laboratory and field experiences. Environmental science facilities contain biological, geological and map collections as well as a wide array of field and laboratory equipment.

A satellite ground station and image processing lab permit remote-sensing studies. Four-wheel drive vehicles, boats and camping equipment support field operations. The Natural Resource Center is home to several Texas A&M-Corpus Christi research centers, which grant students access to modern laboratories for environmental research. The curriculum will especially benefit individuals employed in scientific or technical fields who seek advancement or additional training to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Domestic Students:

Fall 2020 Spring 2021 Summer I 2021 Summer II 2021
July 15 November 15 April 15 May 15

International Students:

Fall      Spring  Summer I  Summer II 
May 31 September 1 February 1 February 1

Application requirements

Complete Application for Admission:
  • Apply for Admission via Apply Texas Application
  • An applicant may defer admission to an earlier/later semester. Applications are valid for one year. One deferral is allowed per application.
Application fee:
  • $50 for US citizen, $70 for International Students

Please Note: Applicants who wish to apply for a different program will be required to submit a new application. The application processing fee is required for each application submitted.


Application requirements specific to this program :

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate course work taken at any accredited college or University attended (Foreign College credits/transcripts require an official foreign evaluation. Please click here).  TAMU-CC transcript is not required.
  • Essay (Minimum 300 words in length describing educational and career interests, goals and challenges)
  • Three letters of recommendation

Applicants seeking admission to the master's program in Environmental Science should first contact the program faculty member willing to serve as the graduate advisor.  Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate advisor. 

*Please allow 3-5 business days to receive Student ID before submitting additional supporting documents.

Submit all supporting documents online.

Additional International Applicant Requirements

Application requirements for international applicants:

  • Copy of current Visa (if applicable)
  • English Language Proficiency. TAMUCC currently accepts the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) within the last 2 years  :
    • Official TOEFL score minimum paper-based score of 550 or internet-based score of 79-80
    • Official IELTS score minimum 6.5

Each student accepted to the Master of Science in Environmental Science degree program must complete a minimum of 36 semester hours under either the thesis or professional (non-thesis) options.

A graduate student who has met with his or her advisory committee, formulated a degree plan approved by the graduate committee, and has the plan on file is considered a degree candidate. A student must have advanced to degree candidacy by the end of the second full semester of graduate study following admission to the program. A student’s advisory committee must approve any subsequent changes to the degree plan. A change from thesis to professional option or vice versa requires that the student file a new degree plan as approved by the advisory committee.

All students must successfully complete at least six semester hours per academic year to remain in the program. Students should enroll in ESCI 6101 - Environmental Research Seminar,  ESCI 6203 - Professional Skills for Scientists, and  MATH 6315 - Statistical Methods in Research I*^ as early as possible during their graduate course of study. All students must pass a final oral exam, to be administered by their advisory committee, during their last semester before graduation.

Core Courses (6 sem. hrs.)

The following courses are required by all students.

  • ESCI 6101 - Environmental Research Seminar 1 sem. hrs.
  • ESCI 6203 - Professional Skills for Scientists 2 sem. hrs.
  • MATH 6315 - Statistical Methods in Research I 3 sem. hrs.

A. Thesis Option (36 sem. hrs.) 

    • Core: 6 sem. hrs.
    • ESCI 5392 - Thesis I: Thesis Proposal 3 sem. hrs.
    • ESCI 5393 - Thesis II: Thesis Research 3 sem. hrs.
    • ESCI 5394 - Thesis III: Thesis Submission 3 sem. hrs.
    • Electives in specialty area (to be chosen in consultation with a student’s advisory committee). At least 9 hours must be from ATSC, BIMS, BIOL, CHEM, CMSS, ESCI, FAMA, GEOL, MARB, PHYS, or SMTE. 18 sem. hrs.

Choose One:

  • BLAW 5330 - Environmental Law and Policy 3 sem. hrs. OR
  • ESCI 6302 - Federal Environmental Laws and Regulations 3 sem. hrs. OR
  • ESCI 6360 - Coastal Management and Ocean Law 3 sem. hrs.

Total: 36


B. Professional (Non-Thesis) Option (36 sem. hrs.) *

Professional option students must write a professional paper and present a seminar based on work completed in ESCI 5397 - Directed Research. The paper and seminar will be on a topic approved by the student’s advisory committee and will demonstrate the student’s ability in organization, data collecting, scientific writing, and oral presentation.

  • Core: 6 sem. hrs.
  • ESCI 5397 - Directed Research 3 sem. hrs.
  • Electives in specialty area (to be chosen in consultation with a student’s advisory committee). At least 9 hours must be from ATSC, BIMS, BIOL, CHEM, CMSS, ESCI, FAMA, GEOL, MARB, PHYS, or SMTE. 24 sem. hrs.

Choose One:

  • BLAW 5330 - Environmental Law and Policy 3 sem. hrs. OR
  • ESCI 6302 - Federal Environmental Laws and Regulations 3 sem. hrs. OR
  • ESCI 6360 - Coastal Management and Ocean Law 3 sem. hrs.

Total: 36


  • Core requirements may be waived if a student can demonstrate equivalent competencies in that area.


C. Emphasis Areas, Tracks, and Designated Electives

A student will define an emphasis area or track for his or her graduate studies with assistance from the graduate advisor and advisory committee. Marine Policy and Human Dimensions is one possible track; another is Coastal and Marine System Science. These are described in further detail below. The emphasis area is a unique word or phrase which best expresses the student’s intended focus of graduate studies within the broad field of environmental science. Suggested emphasis areas (not an exclusive list) include: bioremediation, coastal ecosystems, coastal geomorphology, conservation, contaminants, ecotoxicology, environmental monitoring, environmental regulations, fisheries, geospatial sciences and remote sensing applications, and hydrogeology. Other emphasis areas are possible as approved by a student’s graduate committee. The emphasis area is stated on the degree plan. Students must demonstrate that the selection of electives produces a coherent graduate program focused around the emphasis area. Designated electives must receive the approval of a student’s advisory committee. Electives from the natural sciences, computer science, geographic information science, mathematics, political science, public administration, business law, or other areas may be approved.

C-1. Marine Policy and Human Dimensions Track.

Students with an interest in studying the application of environmental science to ocean/coastal policy may choose the Marine Policy and Human Dimensions track. The track provides an understanding of the physical and biological coastal environment and its interaction with human behaviors and policies. This transdisciplinary program is designed to prepare students to work with a wide variety of marine and coastal constituencies to translate sound environmental science to public policy. Suggested electives include:

  • ESCI 6340 - Ocean Resources 3 sem. hrs.
  • ESCI 6345 - Living with Coastal Hazards 3 sem. hrs.
  • ESCI 6360 - Coastal Management and Ocean Law 3 sem. hrs.

C-2. Coastal and Marine System Science Track.

This track is appropriate for students who may wish to apply selected Coastal and Marine System Science courses to a MS degree in Environmental Science, as approved by the student’s graduate committee.

For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the Business Office's website.
Teaching Assistantships, graduate research assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships may be available to graduate students admitted as degree-seeking students who maintain full time graduate student status (9 hours/fall and spring semesters, and 3 hours/summer). The completed Teaching Assistant Application (https://sci.tamucc.edu/student-information/graduate-funding.html) and all other materials requested for evaluation should be submitted to the office indicated on that form. For full consideration, the deadline for submitting applications is February 1 for the following academic year. Faculty members conducting funded research projects often hire qualified graduate students as Research Assistants. Students should contact faculty members in their field of interest for information on these opportunities. Summer funding (3 mos.) is the responsibility of major advisor and/or student, and should be discussed early in the academic year.

Additional Information

  • Persons seeking admission to the program should first contact the program faculty and identify a faculty member, or members, willing to serve as the graduate supervisor, and the applicant must include a summary of their discussions with faculty members in their essay. Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate supervisor. Faculty profiles are found at the program website: http://esci.tamucc.edu/faculty.html.
  • If you would like to learn more about the Environmental Science Program, please visit the Program website found at: http://esci.tamucc.edu.
  • If you'd like to learn more about the College of Science and Engineering, please visit the College website.

Contact for More Information:

Dr. Jennifer Smith-Engle

6300 Ocean Drive
Corpus Christi, TX 78412-5802
Office: 361-825-2814