Jun 24, 2021  
2013-2014 APU Catalog 
2013-2014 APU Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, M.S.

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The Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) Program is for students seeking deeper understanding of the role that field-based science plays in determining economic and political policies that shape northern regions. The science portion emphasizes both knowledge and practical field abilities in biology, chemistry, and geology. The policy portion emphasizes the historical development of current policies, agreements, laws, and regulations, as well as their use and effects.

The following are the degree objectives for Master of Science in Environmental Science:

  • Increase knowledge of environmental science and policy and apply this knowledge in field and laboratory settings
  • Develop skills in written and oral communication to the level of delivering professional presentations and crafting publishable papers
  • Apply analytic techniques including modeling, statistical inference, and database management
  • Design, undertake, analyze, write and defend an original research project as a graduate thesis


We seek talented new and recent graduates of four-year programs as well as working adults seeking to advance in the natural sciences. Our MSES students represent a wide range of academic backgrounds and work experiences – and include successful candidates whose background may not be in science.

In addition to the general requirements for admission to graduate studies at APU, found at the beginning of the section describing the graduate program, the MSES program expects incoming students to have basic quantitative and discipline-appropriate skills, as evidenced by at least two college-level courses in math/statistics and two foundational courses in the field of the student’s primary interest (e.g. biology or geology). A bachelor’s degree in one of the natural sciences will typically meet this requirement; students from less traditional backgrounds may require some preparatory coursework before starting the program.

To apply, complete the standard application for graduate admission and supplement with the following documents:

  1. Official college transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended
  2. Three current letters of recommendation
  3. A current resume
  4. Graduate Records Exam (GRE) general test scores that are no more than four years old. Alaska Pacific’s reporting code is 4201
  5. A 500 word essay outlining your motivations for seeking the MSES Degree. Include your professional interests, career goals, and research topic(s) you wish to pursue for your thesis. Please note the faculty members whose research interests are similar to your own

      With rare exceptions, we expect students to begin the MSES Program in the Fall semester. Deadlines are as follows:

  • Priority deadline for Fall semester—February 15 (by meeting this deadline, applicants receive first consideration for admission and are eligible for graduate assistantships)
  • Final deadline for Fall semester—June 1
  • Final deadline for Spring Semester—November 1

MSES Degree Requirements (48 credits)

 Each Master of Science in Environmental Science graduate is required to:

  1. Successfully complete six required courses, two elective courses, and two research seminars.
  2. Successfully design a thesis proposal and complete an individually designed research thesis.
  3. Submit MSES thesis committee approval form to the Registrar’s Office prior to graduation. 

Required Courses

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 48


*Eight units of elective credit may include any combination of 600-level APU courses, graduate courses from other institutions, and upper division undergraduate coursework approved by the student’s advisor and MSES Program Director in advance of enrollment.

**Upon successful completion of a Thesis Proposal, every MSES student is guaranteed an eight (8) unit Masters Fellowship applicable to ES 69900. This guaranteed fellowship waives (8) credits in graduate tuition cost.

Alaska Pacific University and Carroll University 3+2 program for Environmental Science

The 3+2 Environmental Science agreement between Alaska Pacific University (APU) and Carroll University (CU) is an exciting opportunity for both institutions allowing students to start at CU and end at APU. Three years of undergraduate coursework are completed at Carroll University followed by two years of graduate study at Alaska Pacific University. The first year of APU courses transfer back to Carroll to complete the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with a minor in biology or chemistry. The agreement with APU specifies that students should be able to complete the Master of Science degree after two years of study in Alaska.

In preparation for this graduate program, students must complete a minimum of 104 credits at Carroll and 48 graduate credits at Alaska Pacific University. Students will be charged the graduate rate for all courses taken at Alaska Pacific University.


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