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University of Tennessee, Knoxville    
 
    
 
  Dec 14, 2017
 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental and Soil Sciences Major, MS


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Students seeking the Master of Science degree with a major in environmental and soil sciences will generally concentrate their studies in one of the environmental and soil sciences focus areas. The focus areas include soil and water chemistry; nutrient and elemental cycling; land management and reclamation; pedology, genesis, and classification; environmental climatology; soil biology and biochemistry; and soil physical processes. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. For additional information, see the environmental and soil sciences master's concentration homepage http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/gradStudies/ or contact the environmental and soil sciences program's graduate program director.

Admission

Applicants having a bachelor's degree in fields that are related or unrelated to environmental and soil sciences may apply although acceptance may be contingent upon the completion of prerequisite course work. To the Office of Graduate Admissions submit online application, application fee, official transcripts, and scores from the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The online application procedure will also direct the applicant to submit an updated resume, three letters of reference (or three Graduate Rating Forms) from persons capable of assessing the applicant's suitability for graduate work, and a statement of professional goals, research interests in environmental and soil sciences, and reasons for applying (less than one page).

Requirements

To obtain a Master of Science degree, the student must meet the following requirements in addition to those of the Graduate Council (as specified in the Master's Degree section at the front of this catalog).

Thesis Option

Upon consultation with the department head, the student will be assigned a major professor who acts as chair of the student's advisory committee. The student and the major professor will assemble a graduate advisory committee consisting of the major professor and a minimum of two additional faculty, each holding the rank of assistant professor or above. At least one-half of the committee members must hold teaching appointments. The advisory committee must be formalized by the end of the second semester of graduate study.

An approved program of study must be developed and submitted by the end of the second semester of graduate study. A minimum of 24 hours of graduate course work is required in the program of study, exclusive of 6 hours of 500 Thesis. The program of study is subject to the approval of the student's advisory committee, and must meet the following requirements.

  Hours Credit
1ESS 503  (3 times - 1 hour) 3
Courses numbered above 503 12
2Courses within the major (excluding 500-level courses numbered 500, 502, and 503) 9
ESS 500  Thesis    6
  Total 30

1Must be taken three times during the course of the program, the last of which must be in the student's final semester before graduation.
2Courses that are in the major include those in environmental and soil sciences, and ENVE 535 .

The student's committee may require additional course work beyond the 24 hours if the student's progress or background indicates a need or deficiency.

During the first two semesters of graduate study, the student must develop a research problem and present the written proposal to his/her committee. This must be done prior to enrollment in 500.

The student must pass a final oral exam (administered by the advisory committee) that integrates the student's thesis and course work. The student is expected to be conversant in the soil and environmental sciences, particularly in the thesis and allied areas.

A student who has started a degree program under the thesis option is not eligible to transfer to the non-thesis option after the end of the first semester of graduate study or after receiving a graduate assistantship stipend for more than one semester.

Non-Thesis Option

A student desiring the non-thesis option must declare his/her intention before the beginning of the second semester of study. The student must meet the following requirements, in addition to those of the Graduate Council (as specified in the Master's Degree section at the front of this catalog).

Upon consultation with the department head, the student will be assigned a major professor who acts as chair of the student's advisory committee. The student and the major professor will assemble a graduate advisory committee consisting of the major professor and a minimum of two additional faculty, each holding the rank of assistant professor or above. At least one-half of the committee members must hold teaching appointments. The advisory committee must be formalized by the end of the second semester of graduate study.

An approved program of study must be developed and submitted by the end of the second semester of graduate study. A minimum of 33 hours of graduate course work is required. The program of study is subject to the approval of the student's advisory committee and must meet the following requirements.

  Hours Credit
1ESS 503  (3 times - 1 hour) 3
ESS 593   3
Courses numbered above 503 (exclusive of 593) 18
2Courses within the major (excluding 500 and 502) 12
   

1Must be taken three times during the course of the program, the last of which must be in the student's final semester before graduation.
2Courses that are in the major include those in environmental and soil sciences, and ENVE 535 .

The student's committee may require additional course work beyond the 33 hours if the student's progress or background indicates a need or deficiency.

In lieu of a thesis, students are required to complete 3 hours of ESS 593  by participating in a single research program for a period of twelve weeks. The advisory committee approves the research problem. Satisfactory completion of this requirement requires a written, original research report that is acceptable to the student's committee.

A comprehensive written examination that integrates the student's course work and research problem must be passed. The exam is developed and administered by the advisory committee.

A student who has started a degree program under the non-thesis option may transfer to the thesis option upon approval of a potential major professor and the department head.

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