General Information

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Program/Degree
Soil, Water and Environmental Science (MS)  
Program Description

SWES offers graduate work leading to the M.S degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science. Two tracks are offered, "Environmental Science" or "Soil and Water Science".

The department also offers a dual degree option:  the Master of Science in Soil, Water and Environmental Science and a Master of Arts in Journalism.  Graduates with the dual MS/MA degrees would be able to make important contributions not only to discussions within news organizations about the ways in which information about science should be gathered and evaluated, but also discussions in the fields of science and journalism about the ways in which this information influences public perceptions and public policy, and therefore the effects of science on society. 

The SWES department strongly supports attendance at professional meetings. Student presentations at meetings and student publications are likewise encouraged. Numerous workshops on topics ranging from the Internet to scientific writing are regularly available.

In addition to graduate student-sponsored activities, various departmental events, such as departmental picnics and weekly seminars, provide students with opportunities to meet and socialize with colleagues.

With a M.S. in Environmental Science, students will be prepared for careers in business and industry, governmental agencies, educational institutions, and private consulting firms.

Electronic copies of Master's Theses may be accessed through the UA Campus Repository.

 
Department/Academic Unit(s)

Soil, Water, & Environmental Sciences -

The Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (SWES) brings together a faculty of outstanding scientists, distinguished by their understanding of soil, water, and the environment, and their ability to carry out research and planning towards the solution of environmental and resource use problems.  The department offers graduate work leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Soil, Water and Environmental Science, with focal areas in either Environmental Science, or Soil and Water Science.  Also offered are an accelerated Master of Science degree in Soil, Water and Environmental Science, dual Master of Science degrees in Journalism and Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and in Business Administration and Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and a Graduate Certificate in Aquaculture. 

Graduate study in the SWES Department is open to students with undergraduate preparation in biological, chemical, physical, earth, or engineering sciences. Students with other backgrounds may be accepted into the program, with course deficiencies noted. Approximately 60 graduate students and 200 undergraduate students are continuously enrolled in the department.

Students with a graduate degree from the SWES Department are highly employable, pursuing careers in academia, the public sector (e.g., consulting), with state, federal and international agencies (USDA, USGS, USFC, NASA, FAO, etc.), and NGOs.

 
College
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Contacts
Admissions Contact
Kathleen A Landeen
520-621-1606
Graduate Program Coordinator
Kathleen A Landeen
520-621-1606
Director of Graduate Studies
Marcel G Schaap
520-626-4532
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi Renee Davenport
520-626-1930
 
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

ALL applicants must be accepted for admission to both The Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science and The University of Arizona Graduate College.  Minimum eligiblity requirements for admission to The Graduate College include completion of a bachelor's degree or an equivalent degree and a 3.000 grade point average on a 4.000 grade scale.

Required application materials include the following:
An official on-line application for admission to the UA Graduate College.
Letter of Intent (one to two page letter specifying your area of interest and goals).
*Three letters of recommendation (letters should be printed on letterhead and submitted electronically.       

Official transcripts from ALL institutions attended.  If you are currently in the process of completing a degree program, please mail your transcript, including your current course schedule, and later submit a MANDATORY final, official transcript that lists your graduation date and degree awarded.  If you are currently in the process of completing a degree program, please mail your transcript, including your current course schedule, and later submit a MANDATORY final, official transcript that lists your graduation date and degree awarded.                                                                                                   

Required prerequisite coursework is listed in the next section.

English language proficiency is one of the conditions for admission for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 79 internet based (iBT), 550 paper based (PB), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) composite score of 7 (no subject area below a 6).TOEFL Institution Code: 4832                                
Submission of GRE scores is suggested, but are not required. GRE Institution Code: 4832

*Recommenders are notified via email and provided directions for uploading the letter of recommendation.

 
Standardized Tests

*PREREQUISITES and DEFICIENCIES

The minimum undergraduate preparation for admission into the SWES graduate program includes the following courses (or equivalent):

Course Descriptions / UA Course Numbers

Fundamentals of Chemistry I - (Lecture & Lab) / CHEM 151

Fundamentals of Chemistry II - (Lecture & Lab) / CHEM 152

Introductory Physics (Lecture & Lab) / PHYS 102/181 or PHYS 141

General Microbiology (Lecture), or / MIC 205 A or

Introductory Biology / MCB 181R

Calculus I / MATH 122A/B or 125

Statistics / MATH 263 or Math 363 or MGMT 276 or SBS 200

Physical Geology (Lec) / GEOS 251 or Soil Science (Lec) / ENVS 200

*Note:  Soil and Water Science (SWS) students must complete both GEOS 251 and ENVS 200; Environmental Science (ES) students may choose either GEOS 251 or ENVS 200.

Students who lack some prerequisites, but who are otherwise qualified, may be admitted with the missing courses listed as deficiencies.  These deficient courses must be completed early in their program.  It is advantageous to take immediate steps toward removing any noted deficiencies within the first two semesters.  A higher-level course may be used to satisfy a prerequisite with prior approval of the Graduate Program Director.  A grade of "B" or better must be obtained to satisfy deficiency requirements.

 
Financial Aid

There is no guarantee of departmental financial assistance.  Prospective students should directly contact faculty members with whom they potentially share research interests regarding Research Assistantships. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply for institutional funding offered through the UA Graduate College, including Graduate Access Fellowships, UA/SIGP Fellowships, and NASA Scholarships.  Domestic students should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Loans, FAFSA, to qualify for institutional funding http://fafsa.gov/.  Detailed information on UA financial aid may be found at http://grad.arizona.edu/financial-resources.

 
Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: June 1
  • Spring: October1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: December 1
  • Spring: June 1
 
International Conditional Admission
International applicants may be considered for conditional admission to this program at the department's discretion.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832

Degree Specifics

Degree Requirements

Major Professor – Master’s Committee

The Major Professor is a faculty member within the student’s general area of study.  With the help of the Major Professor, the student will identify additional members from appropriate areas to complete the student’s Master’s Committee.  The Master’s Committee is responsible for guiding each student’s academic program, including all examinations. 

The Master's Committee consists of at least three members.  The Major Professor and at least one additional member must be tenure-track; the third member may be an approved special member).  Special committee members must be pre-approved by the Dean of the Graduate College.  At least two must hold faculty appointments in the SWES Department.  The student may also have a co-director or committee member outside the department, provided that he or she has credentials acceptable to the Department and the Graduate College.

General Requirements

The SWES Department Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 30 units of graduate credit, including thesis units.  There must be 15 units in the major field, and at least 15 units must be from courses in which letter grades of A and B have been earned.  In cases in which a thesis is part of the degree program, not more than 8 thesis units (ENVS 910) may count toward the degree. Except as specified below, all units of coursework for the master's degree must be in 500-level courses or above. All graduate students are encouraged to attend the weekly department seminars. The last semester of the student’s study, the student must be enrolled in the department seminar (ENVS 696A).

Use of prior credit is limited.  Students who wish to transfer credit must submit a Transfer Credit form in GradPath before the end of their first year of study.

General limits on the 12 units taken prior to acceptance into the program:

•No more than 12 units of coursework taken in graduate non-degree seeking status may be used toward a master's degree. 
•Transfer from another institution may not exceed six units of credit.
•Tansfer credit can be applied to an advanced degree only upon satisfactory completion of deficiencies as prescribed ty the SWES Department Head.
•Transfer of credit will not be made unless the grade earned was A or B, and unless it was awarded graduate credit at the institution where the work was completed.
•Grades of transfer are not used in computing the student's grade-point average.
•Credit for correspondence courses from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit.

SWES Master of Science CORE COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Two MS majors are offered, Environmental Science (ES) and Soil and Water Science (SWS).  The ES major requires completing one course from each of the three categories (9 units); The SWS major requires completion of four of the five courses (12 units).

Summary of Master of Science degree requirements:

      Core courses:   9 units (ES major) or 12 units (SWS major)

      Additional Major course work completed at UA:  3 units (ES major)

      Elective course work:  9 - 15 units

      ENVS 696A: 1 unit

      ENVS 910:  2 - 8 units

      Total: minimum 30 units

Plan of Study

Each student is responsible for submitting a Responsible Conduct of Research form, and in conjunction with their Major Professor, for developing a written Plan of Study.  The Plan of Study is to be submitted to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester in residence. The Plan must identify

  1. courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions
  2. courses already completed at The University of Arizona that the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree
  3. additional courses the student plans to complete to fulfill degree requirements 

 

Students using transfer coursework should submit the Transfer Credit Form to the Graduate College prior to submitting the Plan of Study.  Approval for the Plan of Study is routed for review starting with the SWES Major Professor, and then to the Department Head.  The Graduate College grants final approval.

 

Master’s Final Examination and Completion of Degree Requirements

 

The Master's final exam in the SWES Department involves a defense of the thesis to the Master’s Committee, and Departmental submission of the Master’s Completion of Degree Requirements form.  If the candidate fails the final exam, a second exam may be granted no sooner than four months from the date of the first exam.

Plan of Study

Each student is responsible for submitting a Responsible Conduct of Research form, and in conjunction with their Major Professor, for developing a written Plan of Study.  The Plan of Study is to be submitted to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester in residence. The Plan must identify

  1. courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions
  2. courses already completed at The University of Arizona that the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree
  3. additional courses the student plans to complete to fulfill degree requirements 

 

Students using transfer coursework should submit the Transfer Credit Form to the Graduate College prior to submitting the Plan of Study.  Approval for the Plan of Study is routed for review starting with the SWES Major Professor, and then to the Department Head.  The Graduate College grants final approval.

 

Master’s Final Examination and Completion of Degree Requirements

 

The Master's final exam in the SWES Department involves a defense of the thesis to the Master’s Committee, and Departmental submission of the Master’s Completion of Degree Requirements form.  If the candidate fails the final exam, a second exam may be granted no sooner than four months from the date of the first exam.

Plan of Study
Each student is responsible for submitting a Responsible Conduct of Research form, and in conjunction with their Major Professor, for developing a written Plan of Study.  The Plan of Study is to be submitted to the Graduate College by the end of the second semester in residence. The Plan must identify
1. courses the student intends to transfer from other institutions
2. courses already completed at The University of Arizona that the student intends to apply toward the graduate degree
3. additional courses the student plans to complete to fulfill degree requirements 

Students using transfer coursework should submit the Transfer Credit Form to the Graduate College prior to submitting the Plan of Study.  Approval for the Plan of Study is routed for review starting with the SWES Major Professor, and then to the Department Head.  The Graduate College grants final approval.

Master’s Final Examination and Completion of Degree Requirements
The Master's final exam in the SWES Department involves a defense of the thesis to the Master’s Committee, and Departmental submission of the Master’s Completion of Degree Requirements form.  If the candidate fails the final exam, a second exam may be granted no sooner than four months from the date of the first exam.

Time Limitation: All requirements for the Master's degree must be completed within six years. Time-to-degree begins with the earliest course to be applied toward the degree, including credits transferred from other institutions. Work more than six years old is not accepted toward degree requirements.

Annual Progress Report

All graduate students are expected to submit a SWES Graduate Student Annual Progress Report.  The Report is due annually on June 15th.

Satisfactory Progress Policy

Graduate students in the Soil, Water and Environmental Science Department are subject to annual evaluation for satisfactory progress based on their grade point average and overall progress towards
completion of degree requirements.  A high level of performance is expected of all students in the SWES graduate degree programs. Students must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA throughout the program.
Students failing to meet GPA requirements will be placed on probation by the Graduate College for one semester. If the cumulative GPA is not raised to the required minimum in the following semester, the student’s major professor and the graduate advisory committee will decide whether to:  (1 ) academically disqualify the student from the program; or (2) with Graduate College approval, allow the student to continue on probation upon approval of a remediation plan.  The Graduate Studies Milestones table below indicates the semester in which certain administrative steps should take place in order to meet satisfactory progress towards completion of degree requirements. These steps include scheduling annual committee meetings, comprehensive exams, submission of research proposals, and timely filing of required forms (e.g., plan of study, committee assignment, etc. ).  No later than one month after final grades are posted for spring semester, all graduate degree seeking students are mandated to fill the annual progress report form to be distributed by the graduate coordinator.  The progress reports will be prescreened by the graduate coordinator and in case of obvious deficiencies forwarded to the graduate committee for further evaluation. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic or research progress will be notified in writing of their status (with a copy of the letter going to the Graduate College). They will be asked to develop and submit a remediation plan signed by the faculty advisor.  Students must be in good standing with the SWES Department to be eligible for inancial aid (including GAs and GTS) and enrollment in individual studies course work. 
 
Minor Requirements

A minor is not available.

 
Student Handbook
http://swes.cals.arizona.edu/graduate-program/handbook  
Persistent link:
Last revised 31 Aug 2016