Environmental Science Graduate Programs in California

Dec 03, 2018

Master's and doctoral degrees are available in environmental science or closely related disciplines. Many of the schools allow students to choose their thesis focus or a specialty track that fits with their career goals.

School Comparison

Tuition rates at these public or private not-for-profit schools in California start just under $9,000 and go over $28,000.

Institution Location Graduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)*
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA $17, 348
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA $13,003 (in-state) / $28,105 (out-of-state)
Humboldt State University Arcata, CA $8,927 (in-state) / $18,431 (out-of-state)
California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA $8,271 (in-state) / $17,775 (out-of-state)
California State University - Chico Chico, CA $8,782 (in-state) / $18,286 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

California Schools with Environmental Science Graduate Programs

Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount University is a Roman Catholic institution that offers a Master of Science in Engineering in Environmental Science. It is a 30-credit program that usually takes five-six semesters; however, students who complete summer courses may graduate in less time. Required classes include Applied Fluid Mechanics and Aquatic Chemistry.

Prospective students should hold a bachelor of science or engineering degree. Those with an unrelated bachelor's degree can enroll in the program if they complete prerequisite courses like general chemistry. Students should complete an application with a $50 fee. Supporting documents include two official transcripts of all undergraduate work, two reference letters, and a letter of intent.

University of California - Los Angeles

Students can complete a PhD in Environment and Sustainability at the University of California - Los Angeles. The program offers many areas of concentration, including urban systems, environmental humanities, and ecosystems. Students will take required courses like the two-semester Issues and Methods in Environment and Sustainability.

Potential students will need to submit a general graduate application and unofficial transcripts. They will also need to submit degree-specific requirements:

  • Three recommendation letters
  • GRE scores no older than five years
  • Two personal statements

Humboldt State University

Humboldt State University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Systems. The curriculum focuses on environmental management, geological processes, and environmental resource systems. Students will choose from the following concentrations: environmental resources engineering, energy technology and policy, and geology. A master's thesis is required for graduation. Graduates of the program will be prepared to work in scholarship or research.

Candidates must complete a graduate application with a $55.00 fee. They will need to select a potential faculty advisor and see if they are available. Application materials include a statement of purpose, official transcripts, GRE scores, and a resume.

California State University - Dominguez Hills

California State University - Dominguez Hills awards a Master of Science in Environmental Science. The program may offer a thesis/research option that is intended for candidates interested in research or a doctoral degree. Internship/professional is the second option, which was the only one available in 2018, and intended for candidates who want to enter the workforce upon graduation. Candidates will need 30 credits and a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.

Applicants will need a bachelor's degree in physical, natural, or social sciences with a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits completed. Candidates with a 2.5-2.9 GPA may be accepted on a conditional basis.

California State University - Chico

Students can pursue a Master of Science in Environmental Science at California State University - Chico. They must complete the program within five years of enrolling. Required coursework includes Geosciences and Environmental Monitoring.

Eligibility criteria include the following:

  • Bachelor's degree in natural sciences, mathematics, engineering, or an allied field
  • Undergraduate coursework in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and ecology: Candidates without this coursework may be accepted on a provisional basis.
  • Statement of purpose
  • GRE scores
  • Two recommendation letters

All the featured graduate programs require students to hold a bachelor's degree. Some of the environmental science programs offer areas of concentration like energy technology and policy or urban systems.

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