Ann Kohlhaas, Ph.D., Program Director
View information for the Department of Biological Sciences .
The purpose of this program is to provide students with the knowledge, understanding, and tools to gain employment in the fields that contribute solutions to the ever-growing environmental and sustainability issues in California’s Central Valley and beyond. Due to a rapidly growing human population, increased water shortages, urban sprawl, habitat destruction, loss of prime agricultural land, pesticide residues and the economic framework and business practices common in the United States, our society and the Valley in particular face an urgent need for educated professionals who can develop and implement practices that ensure long-term sustainability of human and ecosystem health. As one of the world’s major fruit and vegetable producers, the Central Valley has a critical need for professionals in areas such as environmental impact assessment, biotechnology, ecological informatics, bioremediation, restoration ecology, recreation ecology, biomonitoring, risk assessment, ecological economics, and conservation biology.
The M.S. in Ecology and Sustainability is designed to provide students with the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to meet these needs.
Programs in Ecology and Sustainability
There are two degree programs within the M.S. in Ecology and Sustainability:
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Ecology and Sustainability with a concentration in Ecological Conservation. This degree program focuses on the importance of ecology and conservation with respect to ecosystem health and is appropriate for students who wish to pursue careers working with governmental agencies and private entities to bring about, restore, and maintain the biodiversity and ecosystem/environmental health that are backbones of sustainability.
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Ecology and Sustainability with a concentration in Ecological Economics. This degree program combines the fields of Ecology and Sustainability with Economics to explore how business practices can be both environmentally and financially sound. It is intended for students who wish to work with economists in various industries to bring about changes that are environmentally sustainable and at the same time financially profitable in business, corporate, and governmental settings.
For either concentration, students must complete 17 core units plus 19-20 units in the concentration of choice, for a total of 36-37 units. If students choose to complete both concentrations, the 19-20 units designated for each concentration must be completed.
Prerequisites for Admission
- A Bachelor of Science degree in one of the Biological Sciences, comparable to the biology program at Stanislaus State, from an accredited college or university
- GPA of 3.0 or higher in the last 60 units (based on a 4 point scale)
- Transcripts of all undergraduate coursework
- GRE General Exam results (no minimum score requirement)
- Three letters of recommendation from university faculty members and/or employers if appropriate
- Résumé with cover letter (indicating career aspirations and research interests)
- Approval for admission by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Stanislaus State Graduate School.
A student whose undergraduate program is not similar to the B.S. in Biology at Stanislaus State may be admitted to Stanislaus State in provisional status and required to complete courses, with a minimum grade of C-, missing in his/her background as deemed necessary by the graduate director. These courses must be completed prior to further evaluation for admittance into the M.S. in Ecology and Sustainability.
General Requirements for the Master’s Degree
- Complete 36 graduate units for the concentration in Ecological Conservation or 37 graduate units for the concentration in Ecological Economics
- Maintain an overall GPA of at least 3.0
- Complete and orally defend a thesis
Required Core Courses for students in either concentration
Concentration in Ecological Conservation
Additional prerequisite coursework for course options may be required. See specific course information.
One tool course from the following, (as approved by the student’s committee):
One elective from the following:
Any course taught at Moss Landing Laboratories that is particularly appropriate to this program would also fulfill this requirement.
One of the following:
*Before registration for BIOL 5990, the following must be completed: Thesis Proposal, 0 units of credit; university and external research approval, as appropriate to the research, such as Institutional Review Board approval of Human Subjects research, Animal Welfare Committee, Hazardous Materials; and approval of all committee members. Students who have completed all registrations for graduate coursework and who have registered for the maximum thesis/project units are required to show ongoing progress and maintain continuous enrollment through BIOL 7005.
Concentration in Ecological Economics
*Before registration for BIOL/ECON 5990, the following must be completed: Thesis Proposal, 0 units of credit; university and external research approval, as appropriate to the research, such as Institutional Review Board approval of Human Subjects research, Animal Welfare Committee, Hazardous Materials; and approval of all committee members. Students who have completed all registrations for graduate coursework and who have registered for the maximum thesis/project units are required to show ongoing progress and maintain continuous enrollment through BIOL 7005.