Master of Science (MSc) in Environmental Sciences

Link to our MSc video

View our video on the MSc program

The objective of the MSc program is to develop and train graduate students that possess a high level of knowledge in the field of environmental science, expertise in specific aspects of environmental science (their thesis research focus), training in laboratory and field techniques, and excellence in writing and oral communication. MSc students will possess a strong foundation on which they can be highly successful in science-related positions in government, industry, and consulting, or carry out high quality research at the PhD level.

Link to the Graduate Calendar: MSc program 

Below are some common Questions and Answers:

Who is this program for?

This program is for recentt graduates or working professionals looking to upgrade their credentials for career advancement.  The research experience that is central to this two-year program together with several courses in Environmental Sciences will prepare you for a wide variety of careers, including collecting and analyzing field or lab data sets to address a particular environmental science question, project management in the environmental industry, assessing and managing environmental risks, establishing or ensuring compliance with environmental policies, and training others in environmental sciences.

What courses will I take?

There is one required course that MSc students must take.  The required Research Seminar in Environmental Sciences (ENVS 6900) focuses on developing writing and communication skills by having the students develop a research proposal that is both written and presented to the class. Students will also be able to choose from a number of disciplinary specific seminar courses, independent study courses and lab or field courses spanning the following broad areas of expertise within the school: Earth and atmospheric science, soil sciences, and environmental biology.  Students may also select related courses from other departments on campus.   For more information, visit our graduate courses page.

Will I get any experiential training?

A central part of the MSc program is the completion of a research project or thesis. Students will experience research first-hand under the supervision of a faculty advisor, that will involve formulating a research problem, collecting and analysing one or a combination of field and lab data, critical analysis and interpretation of those data in the context of existing literature. You can also chose courses that are almost entirely field and lab-based, combining hands-on experience with the tools and methods for that field of study.

How do I apply?

Admission requirements

Apply to the SES MSc Program

What is the collaborative specialization in One Health?

Our world is faced with many complex health challenges in which human, animal and environmental health are intertwined. This program will prepare future leaders to work at the forefront of these complex health challenges, crossing disciplinary boundaries, conducting multidisciplinary research, mobilizing knowledge, and informing policy.  In addition to the requirements of your program in SES (MES, MSc, PhD), students must complete two required courses (ONEH*6000 and ONEH*6100/6200) as well as successfully conduct research and defend a thesis or major research project that applies a One Health approach. Additional requirements will be specific to each student’s primary program.   Visit the One Health website for more information: graduatestudies.uoguelph.ca/programs/onehealth.

Link to graduate calendar:  https://www.uoguelph.ca/registrar/calendars/graduate/current/gradspec/oneh.shtml

What is the collaborative specialization in International Development Studies (IDS)?

Students can choose to combine their MSc in Environmental Sciences with an IDS designation (MSC.ENVS+IDEV). The collaborative IDS program offers an interdisciplinary framework for the study of international development that combines training in a selected academic discipline with exposure to a broad range of social science perspectives. This designation gives extra flexibility on the job market while permitting disciplinary specialization required by most PhD programs.
In addition to the MSc in Environmental Sciences course requirements, students take the IDS seminar and one course from each core area: Sociology/Anthropology, Geography, Economics and Political Science. Completion of the IDS program adds the designation "International Development Studies" to the MSc degree. Visit the IDS website for more information or e-mail ids@uoguelph.ca .

Link to graduate calendar: MSc collaborative specialization in International Development Studies

What is the collaborative specialization in Toxicology?

The School of Environmental Sciences participates in the MSc collaborative Specialization in toxicology.  Participating departments include the Departments of Animal Biosciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Integrative Biology, Mathematics and Statistics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Pathobiology, Plant Agriculture and the School of Environmental Sciences.  Students complete the requirements of the SES MSc program (1.5 credits), including two courses in toxicology (Advanced Principles of Toxicology and Advanced Topics in Toxicology).

Link to graduate calendar: MSc collaborative specialization in Toxicology

Where are recent SES MSc graduates working now?

Based on 124 graduates from 2007-2018 found through an online search (out of a total of 200 MSc students from those years), all were employed as follows: 25 % found jobs in the academic sector, 21% in the public sector (15% government and 6% in other public institutions) and 45 % in the private sector.  The remainder have found employment in not for profit (3%), and self-employment (5%). In the academic sector, our students have jobs such as program coordinator, research associate, technician, extension educator, supervisor of DNA services, college professor or PhD or postdocs.  In the public sector, our recent graduates are employed in provincial and federal government ministries and agencies (e.g. Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ontario Ministry of Environment Conservation and Climate Change, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Government of Northwest Territories) as well as Conservation Authorities, Invasive species centre, Ontario Clean Water Agency, Health system, and School board.  In the private sector, our recent graduates have found jobs in a variety of environmental, agricultural and engineering consulting firms as well as growers, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies.  Here they hold positions such as Environmental Scientists; Analytical Chemist; Risk Assessors; Project, Operations, or Production Managers and Coordinators; Lab or Environmental Technicians; Quality Assurance/Quality Control Specialists; Ecologist or biologist (microbiologist, fisheries); Executives (e.g. Chief Operating Officer; Account or Executive Director; Senior Business Development Associate).  

Where do I get more information?

Graduate Program Assistant, School of Environmental Sciences Alexander Hall 260; tel. +1 519 824 4120 ext. 53937 email: ses.gradsec@uoguelph.ca