The five-year, combined degree program is open only to Tulane undergraduate students. It combines the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology offered by the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) with the terminal Master of Science degree in Environmental Biology, condensing what would normally be about six years of study into five years.
Undergraduate students typically graduate after four years of study, having fulfilled all regular requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Environmental Biology. The accelerated master's degree component allows six graduate credits (two 6000- or 7000- level courses) completed during the senior year to be applied to the B.S. degree as well as to the M.S. degree. Each student pursuing the M.S. degree in Environmental Biology then completes course work toward the master's degree during one additional year of graduate study. During the fifth (graduate) year the student typically completes a minimum of 24 credits (eight courses, four each semester) of graduate work for a minimum total of 30 semester hours (10 courses). The master's degree requires two semesters of independent study (problems) or internship courses instead of a written master's thesis.
The program is designed for students who are interested in seeking employment with environmental agencies of federal, state, and municipal government; non-governmental organizations; and in private industry, including environmental consulting firms. The program also will be useful to students planning to enter the field of environmental law.
The Environmental Biology program provides a foundation in Ecology and Organismal Biology. It requires independent study in Environmental Biology (EBIO 7150 – 7160) or an internship with an approved off-campus agency (EBIO 7660 – 7670). These components distinguish this terminal degree program from the thesis-based master's degree in EEB. The opportunity to undertake independent study or to accrue on-the-job training with a governmental or private agency through an internship lends a unique character to this program and may give graduates an employment advantage.
Candidates should apply for admission during the junior year, but students in their senior year also may apply. By the end of the junior year (or at the time of application), candidates should have completed all LAS proficiency and distribution requirements for the B.S. degree and all core requirements for the Environmental Biology major. Candidates are required to have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and EEB GPA. To advance to the fifth (graduate) year, candidates must complete all requirements for the B.S. degree in EEB by the end of their senior year, while maintaining the minimum 3.0 cumulative and EEB GPAs. Courses taken to complete the baccalaureate degree must include EBIO 2040, EBIO 2050, and either CHEM 2500 or Chem 2410/2430, Organic Chemistry with lab. Teaching assistantships are not available to students pursuing the master's degree in Environmental Biology as they are only awarded to doctoral students.
Students enrolled in the Environmental Biology 4+1 degree program pay reduced tuition, which is 35% of full-time graduate tuition. Fees are not discounted and presently include an Academic Support Services Fee, Student Health Service Fee, Reily Recreation Center Fee and Student Activity Fee. The amounts for tuition and fees are subject to change. For the current tuition and fee structure, click here.
Applications for the program are obtained through the Graduate Division of the School of Science and Engineering. Official transcripts and two letters of recommendation (unless waived by the EEB Department) must accompany the application. Scores from the GRE exam are not required for admission to this program. Students admitted to the program should be aware that in the fifth (graduate) year their academic progress is evaluated using the performance standards expected of all graduate students; the graduate course catalog should be consulted for details. The Graduate Division application form may be downloaded here. You may contact the Graduate Division of the SSE at 504-314-2907.
Candidates for the combined degree program are required to complete all requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology as described in the applicable Tulane University Undergraduate Catalog. A minimum of 30 credits of graduate course work is required for the master's degree, six of which may also be used to complete the baccalaureate degree. In addition, the particular courses identified below must be completed as part of the combined degree program.
Students pursuing the master's degree in Environmental Biology must complete the following courses by the end of the senior year.
Additionally, during the senior year, two 6000- or 7000-level courses (6 credits), chosen in consultation with the graduate faculty advisor, must be completed toward both the bachelor's degree and the M.S. Degree in Environmental Biology. In some cases, students wishing to advance their work on the graduate component so as to devote more time to independent study (problems) or internship courses in the fifth year may petition the EEB Department to count as many as four 6000- or 7000-level courses (12 credits) toward the graduate component.
Students must have completed a minimum of 30 credits of graduate course work (maximum of six credits from senior year) by the end of the fifth (graduate) year. The courses taken in the fifth year are chosen and arranged by the student and the graduate faculty advisor, including the following requirements:
The following courses from other departments may be used as electives in the graduate component up to the maximum of nine (9) credits allowed from outside EEB. Students may petition individually to have other, alternative courses added to their programs. Students should consult appropriate catalogs for any pre-requisites for these courses.
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