An electronic newsletter from the BSU School of Graduate Studies

Vol. 3, No. 9

February 2007


The Process

Registration: Grad classes

Starting the count of seven years to complete a degree

Form 1: Applying for admission to graduate studies

Completing 13-16 graduate credits after admission

Form 2: Applying for candidacy in a graduate degree program

Taking the written exam at the end of course work

Form 3: Proposing a research paper or thesis

Doing the work and writing the results

Form 4: Applying for graduation

Submitting the research paper or thesis for review

Form 5: Scheduling the oral examination

Defending your graduate work



This month . . .

·      Ins and Outs

The Environmental Studies Program

·      Title of Feature Article

·      Q&A: Question of the Month?


The Environmental Studies Program



The degree… 


Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies – this degree is designed to accommodate individuals’ needs and backgrounds and provides students with an array of curricular and research opportunities through the Center for Environmental, Earth, and Space Studies (CEESS).


The interdisciplinary curriculum focuses on natural and social sciences as they relate to environmental problem solving.  Each student is required to select a specialization, complete its requirements, and conduct a research project leading to a thesis.



The Center for Environmental, Earth, and Space Studies (CEESS)


The CEESS provides a focus for applied environmental research by students and faculty and the interdisciplinary academic environmental studies program.


Applied environmental research in the CEESS focuses on generic and regional problems related to pollution impacts and abatement and natural resource utilization and protection.


In 2004, Professor Emeritus Dr. Kenneth K. Tanji of the University of California, Davis stated in his External Consultant's Report that the Bemidji State University  CEESS was a “flag ship” for similar programs across the nation.


Students have opportunities to interact with authorities across disciplines through seminars, conferences, and cooperative research.



The Program


The Environmental Studies program is open year round.   Students may enroll at any time. 


There is no need to determine their specialty area before enrolling.  Students may determine the specialization with which they wish to participate after joining the program. 


Due to the fact that the program runs year round, students will need to be able to attend courses throughout the summer in order to complete all core requirements.  Otherwise, they will be unable to meet graduation requirements.





This degree requires a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university with course work equivalent to major or minor in natural or social studies.


The General Record Exam (GRE) is also required, with a total score of 1050 or higher and an Analytical score of 4.5 or higher on a 0-6 scale.


In addition to the GRE, students are required to take an entrance exam, or pretest, so that professors may ascertain how much knowledge an incoming student has before entering the program.  


Competency Requirements


All students must demonstrate competency in computer applications in applied statistics. This requirement may be satisfied by successfully completing SCI 6350 Computer Applications in Statistics with a 3.00 (B) or better.


The Thesis Paper and Graduation…


A thesis paper is required for this degree.  There is no research paper option at this time.


Students are also required to complete a posttest, which is essentially the same as the pretest and is meant to determine the amount of knowledge that the student has acquired during their time in the Graduate program.   It enables the CEESS to determine where the program may have weak points and need strengthening.


The posttest is separate from the written exam requirement for graduation, which should be taken 4 to 6 months before completing the Graduate program.  The posttest is taken at the completion of the program.



Graduate Assistants... 


The CEESS offers nine (9) Graduate Assistantships per academic year:


-    7 research-based graduate assistantships, which are supported by grants

-    2 teaching graduate assistantships


The GA Selection Process


Students often express interest in Graduate Assistantships when they apply for the Environmental Studies program.


These students are reviewed by members of the department and are selected according to the student’s interest and each professor’s current research projects.













Q&A: Question of the month?

Q: Can I use a research topic that I am currently investigating with a professor, or an internship topic that I have been working on, for my Graduate thesis?


A: Yes, students may use their projects for their thesis or for jumpstarting it.  Internship projects can be used in the same way.



Great advice from Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang:


When you start a program here, get ready to meet a tough challenge.  Many of our students, when they leave here to pursue their PhD’s, will have an easier time doing so after a Masters degree from BSU.







CEESS Specializations


Note: Research opportunities within each specialization are based on what the professors of each specialization are currently working on. For more information, contact the appropriate professor.



Environmental Chemistry
The environmental chemistry emphasis includes coursework in various aspects of chemistry that apply to natural processes, pollutant dynamics and analytical methodologies.


Environmental Ecology
The environmental ecology emphasis is focused on biological and ecological structure and function, and relationships to human activities.


Environmental Management

The environmental management emphasis is designed to integrate the skills of management with environmental science to provide the student a solid background in pollution prevention and control and industrial and municipal facilities.


Environmental Policy and Planning
The environmental policy and planning emphasis allows students to obtain intensive or extensive coursework in the social aspects of environmental problem solving.


Environmental Toxicology
The environmental toxicology emphasis deals with the fate and/or biological effects of contaminants.


The geohydrology emphasis is focused on the study of geological and hydrological systems and processes, especially the analysis of contaminant dynamics in groundwater systems.












If you have questions for your particular specialization, contact the following; or contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang, x4104 (



Environmental Chemistry

         Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang, x4104 (


Environmental Ecology

         Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang, x4104 (


Environmental Management

         Dr. Dragoljub Bilanovic, x2801 (



Environmental Policy and Planning

         Dr. Patrick Welle, x4103



Environmental Toxicology

         Dr. Fu-Hsian Chang, x4104 (



         Dr. Tim Kroeger, x2783 (





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