Department of Environmental Toxicology   Contact Us Home USA Home
Department of Environmental Toxicology Department of Environmental Toxicology  
Description | Program Requirements | Application | Admission | Areas of Concentration | Courses | Faculty | Links
Program requirements

A total of 35 credit hours are required for the MS degree in Environmental Toxicology, including: 

  • 20 credit hours of core courses (see below)

  • A Research Thesis (6 credit hours) or a Library Research Project (3 credit hours)

  • The remaining credit hours include courses in specific areas of concentration.


    The “Research Thesis” must be completed either at the University of South Alabama or, upon approval by t he Graduate Committee, at a governmental or industrial laboratory in the area.  In our experience, a Research Thesis makes students more competitive when applying for jobs after graduation and is a must if one plans on pursuing Ph.D.-level education.

    The option of a "library research project" is more appropriate for candidates who are already working in the field and wish to advance in their careers by obtaining a Master degree.  Students who select the 'Library Research Project' option must take an extra 3 credit hours of coursework to complete the 35 credit hours in the program.

  Required Core Courses (20 credit hours):  
  CE 579 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering (3 credit hours)  
  ST 550 Environmental Statistics (3 credit hours)  
  BLY 525 Chemical Ecology (3 credit hours)  
  GIS 501 Research Integrity (1 credit hour)  
  CH 514 Environmental Chemistry (4 credit hours)  
  SY 567 Environmental Sociology (3 credit hours)  
  PHA 643 Molecular and Cellular Toxicology (3 credit hours)  
  NOTE: Students who did not have 6 hours of undergraduate Biochemistry must also take 6 hours of graduate Biochemistry as part of the program.  The minimum number of hours for the degree remains at 35.  
  Comprehensive Qualifying Exam:  
  After submission and approval of the prospectus, students will schedule a comprehensive qualifying exam.  The exam will be oral and will start with a presentation of the Prospectus and, where applicable, a Progress Report.  Students will first be examined on the prospectus (and progress report), and then on any area of study closely or broadly related to the student's area of specialization. 

The student will be graded by all committee members, following a rubric that looks a various aspects of the presentation and has three possible scores for each of them: 1 (insufficient), 2 (meets expectations) and 3 (above expectations). In order to pass the exam, students will have to score an average of 2 or higher.  Students are encouraged to look at the rubric before the presentation to be aware of the committee's expectations.

Students who fail the exam, will be given a second opportunity.   

Comprehensive qualifying exam committee:

The comprehensive qualifying exam committee shall consist of at least 2 members of the thesis committee (excluding the major professor) and one other member of the graduate faculty to be agreed upon by the thesis committee.  The major professor may be present at the exam but only as an observer.  Pass or fail will be
determined by majority vote.
  Upon acceptance in the program, every student will be assigned an advisor responsible for tracking the student’s progress. Together the advisor and student will identify appropriate elective courses to reach the student's goals for the program. The advisor does not have to be the student's thesis mentor although in some cases the advisor may fill both roles.  Students must meet with the advisor at least once in the semester.  Students in the program will be blocked from registering for new courses until they have met with their advisors to select the appropriate courses.  
University of South Alabama - Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 (251) 460-6101
For questions or comments Contact Us
Copyright © 2003 University of South Alabama