The Environmental Geosciences M.S. Degree is designed to prepare students for employment in the environmental sector, including private environmental consulting firms, NGOs, and government agencies. The environmental sector employs over 40% of Earth Science undergraduates. These employers value a solid training in geological or earth sciences, but also with additional training, in applying geological science to solving modern-day environmental problems (e.g., fate and transport of environmental contaminants in the subsurface and aquatic environments). It is a shorter, non-research program, normally completed in 1.5 years with full-time enrollment, or 2-3 years as a part-time student.


The M.S. degree requires 24 credits of course work and 6 credits of a capstone project on a real-world problem, through an internship at private firms or government agencies. Working students can adopt a current project at work, provided that the student plays a significant role in project design, data collection and analyses, and final project reporting. Students without a B.S. degree in geological or earth sciences may be required to take up to 12 credits of undergraduate foundation courses.

Core Courses: 

Students must take courses covering the following three major areas:

Environmental Geophysics

  • Introduction to Geophysics- 01:460:306 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Note Including Geophysical Field Methods 01:460:412-(1-credit, Fall course)
  • Applied Geophysics-26:380:406 (3-credits, Fall course)
    • Note Course held on the Newark Campus from 11:30-2:20pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Seismic Acquisition & Processing- 16:460:557 (3-credits, Spring course)
    • Note 4-7pm, double period, meeting once a week

Environmental Geochemistry

  • Introduction to Geochemistry- 01:460:304 (4-credits, Fall course)
  • Environmental Geochemistry- 01:460:417/517 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Isotope Geochemistry- 16:460:551 (3-credits, Spring course)
  • Stable Isotopes in the Environment- 16:460:552 (3-credits, Spring course)
    • Note 4-7pm, double period, meeting once a week

Surface Processes

  • Geomorphology- 01:460:408/16:460:508 (3-credit, Fall course)
  • Hydrogeology- 01:460:428 (3-credits, Fall course in odd years)
    • Note 4-7pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Groundwater Modeling- 16:460:528 (3-credits, Fall course in even years)
    • Note 4-7pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Hydrologic Processes-01:460:414 (3-credits, Spring course)

Elective Courses: 

Depending on the background, interests and needs of individual students, a wide range of related subjects can be selected from the Departments of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Marine & Coastal Sciences, and other departments and universities (Rutgers-Newark, Columbia, Princeton). Some examples are shown below.

Quantitative and Communication Skills:

  • Geologic Modeling - 01:460:418/16:460:518 (3-credits, Fall course)
    • Note 4-7pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Remote Sensing in Earth and Planetary Science- 16:460:527 (3-credits, Spring course)
    • Note 2-5pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Geoscience Writing 16:460:610  (Fall and Spring course
    • Credits and meeting time by arrangement
  • Geographic Information Systems 01:450:321 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Advanced GIS 01:450:421 (3-credits, Spring course)

Relevant Environmental Sciences Courses:

  • Water & Waste Treatment- 11:375:302 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Soils and Water- 11:375:360 (4-credits, Fall course)
  • Environmental Toxicology 11:375:407 (Spring course)
    • Note 5:40-8:40pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Hazardous Waste Management 11:375:430/539 (Spring course)
    • Note 5:50-8:50pm, double period, meeting once a week
  • Water Chemistry 11:375:444 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Biodegradation and Bioremediation 16:375:529 (3-credits, Fall course)
  • Biogeochemical Cycles in a Changing World 16:375:551 (3-credits, Spring course)
  • Groundwater Pollution 16:375:509 (3-credits, Spring course)
  • Environmental Fate and Transport 16:375:523 (3-credits, Spring course)

Capstone Project: 

Students are required to complete a capstone project, focused on a real-world problem, through an internship with a firm, organization, or government agency. The program will help students make contacts with potential hosts, who will involve the students in project design, data collection, analysis and technical reporting. A capstone paper of the internship project must be submitted to the graduate program, publicly defended to the EPS department, and approved by a three-member committee of the graduate faculty.

Financial Support 

Because this option does not involve academic research and is on a fast-track, no financial support will be offered by the department.

How to Apply

The application must be submitted through Rutgers-New Brunswick Graduate School:

Choose the Master of Science degree, in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. You will be asked to provide a personal statement and names of three referees who, for working students, can be your supervisors outside of universities, as well as undergraduate transcript. Deadline for consideration for Fall (September) starting date is May 1, and October 1 for Spring (January) starting date.

Contact Information 

Please direct inquiries to Professor Ying Fan Reinfelder (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Professor Nathan Yee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).