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Environmental Assessment

 

Master | Environmental Assessment

Program Format:   
Entrance Exam: Not required

Pollutants and naturally occurring substances pose a potential risk of having an adverse impact on human health and the environment. The proper management of these risks requires scientifically-based decision making. Environmental assessment bridges the gap between scientific research and the use of science in decision-making, regulation, and environmental management. By understanding and evaluating the sources, fate, and effects of pollutants in the environment we can develop a scientific basis for assessing risks and thus support regulatory, enforcement, and remedial-action decisions.

The Master of Environmental Assessment (EA) degree is intended for working professionals who seek advanced study beyond the undergraduate level but are not interested in pursuing a career in research. The EA degree is a joint graduate degree program administered by the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and the College of Agriculture Life Sciences (CALS). The program requires thirty (30) credit hours. Twenty-two (22) credit hours will be in required courses with the remaining eight (8) hours selected from a list of elective courses or equivalent. No thesis is required.

The Master of Environmental Assessment degree is affiliated with the Professional Science Masters program. The PSM program is an innovative 2 year graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training in science while simultaneously developing highly-valued business skills.

Add a Professional Science Masters Degree

Learn More about the PSM 

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Admission is based on the evaluation of several criteria and credentials including educational and professional experience, potential for graduate work, and availability and interest of faculty advisors. Final admission to the degree is granted by the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Environmental Assessment Director of Graduate Programs.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required. In general, applicants should hold a B.A. or B.S degree in a natural resources, environmental science and management, engineering, or related field. Experience in environmental management, consulting or regulatory administration will be considered for students with a bachelors degree in an unrelated field. For those without the necessary background courses in undergraduate science or mathematics, some additional coursework may be required prior to the start of the graduate student program. Admission is contingent upon meeting departmental requirements and acceptance by an advisor.

Masters of Environmental Assessment application deadlines:

  • Fall semester: April 15
  • Spring semester: Oct 15

    PLAN OF STUDY

    All students earning the Master of Environmental Assessment must complete the following courses (22 credit hours) to earn their degree. The courses are selected to offer a cohesive continuing education opportunity for people in agricultural, chemical, environmental, energy, natural resource, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and biotechnology fields. Companies and government research facilities in these fields, as well as regulatory agencies, all have a need for employees who understand the basic principles of environmental assessment, how to perform and review human and ecological risk assessments, and how these assessments relate to environmental regulation and management.

    Students will be able to select electives to enhance the degree program. Five to eight credit hours of coursework will be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor. These hours will be selected from distance education courses offered across the university.

    Professional Project

    The Masters of Environmental Assessment requires completion of a professional project. Students will develop a project in his/her area of interest in collaboration with an appropriate organization, agency or business and their faculty advisor. The Professional Project, is an applied “capstone” experience that is a “paper study” which might include such tasks as assembling existing data and performing a risk assessment. In addition, an academic paper summarizing the relevant research in support of the professional project is required. Students will enroll in EA 665 as part of their project research.  Upon completion of the research or project work, each student presents their project (both process and results) in a public departmental seminar.

    The Master of Environmental Assessment Program requires students to complete 30 credit hours of graduate coursework.  From 22 to 25 credit hours will be in required courses with the remaining 5 to 8 credit hours selected from the list of elective courses or equivalent.

    Core Curriculum

    EA 502 - Environmental Risk Assessment

    Units: 3

    This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental risk assessment including: Hazard Identification, Toxicity Assessment, Exposure Assessment, and Risk Characterization. Emphasis is placed on contemporary problems in human health and the environment, and it will be based on the most current methodologies described in the "Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund." Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Two semester sequence of college biology & college chemistry.

    Offered in Spring Only

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term

    EA 503 - Environmental Exposure Assessment

    Units: 3

    Provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental exposure assessment including the sources, transport and fate of chemicals in the environment. Emphasis is on contemporary problems in human health and the environment, covering topics such as: transformation and degradation processes, classes of contaminants a well as predicting environmental fate and exposure. Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Two semester sequence of college biology & college chemistry.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    EA 504 - Environmental Monitoring and Analysis

    Units: 3

    Monitoring and analysis of chemical and biological impacts to the environment. Theory of chemical, physical, biological, and ecological monitoring. Planning and conducting environmental sampling and monitoring programs. Management, analysis, and quality assurance and control. Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor.

    Offered in Summer

    Find this course:

    2016 Summer Term 1

    EA 665 - Professional Project

    Units: 1 - 6

    Environmental assessment project conducted under the mentorship of a member of the graduate faculty.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term 2016 Summer Term 1 2016 Fall Term

    GIS 510 - Introduction to Geographic Information Science

    Units: 3

    An overview of operations and functions of geographic information systems [GIS]. Students develop expertise in spatial reasoning, problem definition, and skilled application of GIS software through lectures, readings, and extensive hands on experiences. All course materials are delivered through the Internet. Credit will not be given for both GIS 510 and GIS 410.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    Choose One

    PS 536 - Global Environmental Law and Policy

    Units: 3

    International organizations, laws and policies addressing global environmental problems including: population growth, atmospheric pollution, climate change, use of oceans, forests and biodiversity. Relationship between environment and Third World economic development.

    Offered in Spring Only

    Find this course:

    2016 Summer Term 1

    Electives

    Choose from 5 to 8 credit hours of coursework, selected in consultation with the faculty advisor from online and distance education courses offered across the university.

    BAE 502 - Instrumentation for Hydrologic Applications

    Units: 3

    Basic theory of instruments and measurements. Physical parameters of interest, available methods and sensors for assessment. Sensor characteristics. Dataloggers and sensor-datalogger communications. Data transfer, management, and processing. Emphasis on hydrologic and water quality research applications. Course offered by Distance Education only.

    Offered in Spring Only

    BAE 573 - Introduction to Surface Hydrologic/Water Quality Modeling

    Units: 3

    Concepts in basic hydrologic, erosion and chemical transport used in modeling. Evaluation of typical hydrologic/water quality models on watershed systems. Usage of state-of-the-art models in project examples.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    BAE 575 - Design of Structural Stormwater Best Management Practices

    Units: 3

    The design of structural stormwater Best Management Practices [BMPs] used in the urban and suburban environments is reviewed, including stormwater wetlands, bio-retention areas, sand filters, innovative wet ponds, green roofs, permeable pavement, and reinforced grass swales. The course is application oriented and includes a pair of field trips.

    Offered in Spring Only

    YEAR: Offered Alternate Odd Years

    BAE 576 - Watershed Monitoring and Assessment

    Units: 3

    Water measurement and structure sizing. Identification of water quality problems and water quality variable selection. Monitoring design, water quality sampling equipment, and sample collection and analysis. Statistical analysis and presentation of water quality data.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    BAE 578 - Agricultural Waste Management

    Units: 3

    This course covers principles of managing, handling, treating and applying animal and poultry manures and organic byproducts from an engineering perspective. Topics include waste characterization, descriptions of systems and technology, land application principles, preparation of waste management plans, biochemical/biological processes, and potential impacts to the environment. Assignments include homework, quizzes, projects, and discussions that emphasize problem solving and analysis.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    BAE 590 - Special Problems

    Units: 1 - 6

    Selection of a subject by each student on which to do research and write a technical report on the results. The individual may choose a subject pertaining to his or her particular interest in any area of study in biological and agricultural engineering.

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    CE 573 - Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering

    Units: 3

    Concepts in environmental microbiology including cell structure and function, phylogeny, survey of environmentally relevant microbial groups, metabolism under different redox conditions, catabolism of macromolecules, methods in microbial ecology. Relationships to engineering processes and systems will be emphasized.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    CE 574 - Chemical Principles of Environmental Engineering

    Units: 3

    Inorganic and organic environmental chemistry including acid-base equilibria, precipitation, complexation, redox reactions, and natural organic matter. The role of these factors in controlling the fate of contaminants in engineered treatment systems and natural environments.

    Offered in Fall Only

    CE 584 - Hydraulics Of Ground Water

    Units: 3

    Introduction to ground water hydraulics and hydrology. Hydrologic cycle, basic ground water hydraulics, numerical solution of governing equations, ground water hydrology of North Carolina, well design and construction, flow net development, and ground water contamination sources.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Fall Term

    CE 588 - Water Resources Engineering

    Units: 3

    Extension of concepts of fluid mechanics and hydraulics to applications in water supply, water transmission, water distribution networks and open channels to include water-supply reservoirs, pump and pipe selection, determinate and indeterminate pipe networks, and analysis of open channels with appurtenances.

    Offered in Fall Only

    FW 726 - Quantitative Fisheries Management

    Units: 3

    Current methods for assessment and management of exploited fish populations, including sampling methods, data analysis and modeling. A required research paper or project.

    Offered in Fall Only

    YEAR: Offered Alternate Even Years

    GIS 520 - Advanced Geospatial Analytics

    Units: 3

    Focus is on advanced geospatial analysis and technologies. Students enhance geoprocessing skills and understanding of the analysis capabilities of geospatial technology, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results in decision support and modeling systems. All course materials are delivered through the Internet and student activity can be accomplished with student owned computers.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    GIS 521 - Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

    Units: 3

    The application of geographic information systems [GIS] to surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. In addition students will develop spatial computation methods to support hydrological analysis in land use planning, landscape management, and engineering assessments.

    Offered in Fall Only

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    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    GIS 582 - Geospatial Modeling and Analysis

    Units: 3

    The course explains digital representation and analysis of geospatial phenomena and provides foundations in methods and algorithms used in GIS analysis and modeling. Special focus is on terrain modeling, geomorphometry, watershed analysis and introductory GIS-based modeling of landscape process [water, sediment]. This course includes analysis from lidar data, 3D visualization, and principles of open source GIS. Introductory level knowledge of GIS or surveying/ geomatics principles is required.

    Offered in Spring Only

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    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    MBA 554 - Project Management

    Units: 3

    Life cycle view of organizing and managing technical projects, including project selection, planning, and execution. Methods for managing and controlling project costs, schedules, and scope. techniques for assessing project risk. Use of popular project management software tools. Application of project management tools and methods to product development, software, and process reengineering projects.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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    2016 Spring Term

    CE 573 - Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering

    Units: 3

    Concepts in environmental microbiology including cell structure and function, phylogeny, survey of environmentally relevant microbial groups, metabolism under different redox conditions, catabolism of macromolecules, methods in microbial ecology. Relationships to engineering processes and systems will be emphasized.

    Offered in Fall Only

    Find this course:

    2016 Fall Term

    SSC 532 - Soil Microbiology

    Units: 4

    Soil as a medium for microbial growth, the relation of microbes to important mineral transformations in soil, the importance of biological equilibrium and significance of soil microbes to environmental quality.

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term

    SSC 562 - Environmental Applications Of Soil Science

    Units: 3

    Identification and evaluation of basic factors influencing movement of potential pollutants through soil and their underlying strata. Development of understanding of processes of soil and site evaluation for waste disposal and transport of pollutants through soils.

    Offered in Spring Only

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    2016 Spring Term

    SSC 570 - Wetland Soils

    Units: 3

    Wetland definitions, concepts, functions and regulations; chemical, physical and morphological characteristics of wetland soils. Wetland soil identification using field indicators and monitoring equipment; principles of wetland creation, restoration and mitigation. Special project required for SSC 570. Two mandatory field trips. Field trips for distance education students are not required but optional. Credit will not be given for both SSC 470 and SSC 570.

    Offered in Fall Only

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term 2016 Fall Term

    Professional Project

    EA 665 - Professional Project

    Units: 1 - 6

    Environmental assessment project conducted under the mentorship of a member of the graduate faculty.

    Offered in Fall Spring Summer

    Find this course:

    2016 Spring Term 2016 Summer Term 1 2016 Fall Term

     

    Tuition Level: Graduate

    Resident
    Cost per Credit Hour: $411.88
    Total Estimated Cost for 30 Credits Completed at NC State: $12,356.40

    Non-resident
    Cost per Credit Hour: $1,007.88
    Total Estimated Cost for 30 Credits Completed at NC State: $30,236.40

    Approximate cost per semester: $3,706.92 based on 9 credit hours

    Note: There may be additional fees associated with Distance Education courses for verification of student identity for proctored examinations. These fees will be paid directly by the student to the proctor or facility and are not charged to your student account.

    More about Online and Distance Education Tuition

    Entry Semester Application Deadlines and Details
    FallApr 15
    SpringOct 15
    Summer 1
    Summer 2