Graduate students doing research at the Great Lakes Center

About Great Lakes Environmental Science

Students can pursue graduate studies with the Great Lakes Center through two interdisciplinary applied environmental science programs, a thesis-based Master of Arts (MA) and an internship-based professional Master of Science (MS) program. Both programs will provide students with the opportunity to attain a broad understanding of the physical, chemical, biological, and social factors that comprise the Great Lakes ecosystems. Graduates will be prepared to deal effectively with a broad range of problems and issues related to ecosystem structure and function within the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds.

Our two programs have a common set of core courses and shared electives. The required core courses provide a foundation in Great Lakes ecosystem science and research skills, including quantitative analysis and geographic information systems (GIS). Electives include coursework in ecology, biology, chemistry, physical geography, and geology. Electives offer flexibility in coursework to strengthen a specialty area:

  • Biochemistry
  • Ecology
  • Hydrology of watersheds and wetlands
  • Environmental geochemistry and environmental methods
  • Global climate change and atmospheric science
  • Watershed planning and management
  • Biodiversity and conservation of freshwater ecosystems

Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.A.

Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.

Degree Information

GLES M.A.:  Graduates are prepared for advanced research, professional employment, or study at the Ph.D. level.  

GLES M.S.:  Students are prepared for leadership roles in industry, consulting firms, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and governmental agencies that deal with the management of resources within the Great Lakes and surrounding watershed.  

GLES M.S. students must do an internship during the second year of their program. GLES M.S. interns have:

  • Studied invasive species
  • Designed restoration projects
  • Contributed to watershed management
  • Studied macroinvertebrates in the Great Lakes watershed