Environmental Science Program

Program Overview/Mission

Environmental Science is the study of how the parts of nature and human societies operate and interact. It is devoted to the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity for sustainable development, and the control of biological, chemical and physical agents in the environment (air, water, soil, and groundwater) to prevent adverse effects on human and other living organisms. 

  Environmental Science B.S.

The plan in Environmental Science leads to the bachelor of science degree. This plan seeks through an interdisciplinary approach to prepare students for opportunities in the private sector and in governmental agencies where environmental issues are being addressed. Graduates of the plan will also be prepared to pursue further academic training in Environmental Science. Students may also prepare for the professional certification examinations in Industrial Hygiene and/or Safety.

  1. Environmental Science with specialization in Environmental Biology
    The Environmental Biology Specialization prepares students to investigate, analyze, and determine solutions for environmental problems associated with natural populations and ecosystems, such as pollution, development and population growth. The curriculum provides opportunities for study in environmental toxicology, conservation biology and aquatic biology.

  2. Environmental Science with specialization in Environmental Chemistry
    The Environmental Chemistry Specialization prepares students to acquire knowledge and skills in fate and transport studies, instrumentations, and pollution control technologies. The curriculum provides theories to hands-on practice in courses, including sampling and monitoring, air/water pollution, soil/groundwater remediation, and environmental chemodynamics. 

  3. Environmental Science with specialization in Environmental Geology
    The Environmental Geology Specialization prepares students to recognize, investigate and analyze environmental problems associated with geology including groundwater. The curriculum is broad-based, including courses in remote sensing, ground water hydrology, wetlands and environmental geochemistry. 

  4. Environmental Science with specialization in Industrial Hygiene
    The Environmental Industrial Hygiene Specialization provides a broad academic background in the sciences with emphasis on health and safety applications.

  5. Environmental Science with specialization in Safety
    The Environmental Safety Specialization provides students with the skills and knowledge to recognize and control workplace safety hazards. This includes training using tested techniques while going beyond complying with applicable State, National, and Federal standards. The curriculum provides a broad academic background in the sciences with emphasis on safety applications.

Industrial Hygiene and Safety Accreditation Information

  Environmental Science M.S.

This plan is for Environmental Science M.S. students seeking the master's degree in either the face-to-face or the online format. For the face-to-face degree program, applicants must choose one of the five specializations when they apply.

  1. Environmental Science M.S. with a Specialization in Environmental Biology
  2. Environmental Science M.S. with a Specialization in Environmental Chemistry
  3. Environmental Science M.S. with a Specialization in Environmental Geology
  4. Environmental Science M.S. with a Specialization in Industrial Hygiene
  5. Environmental Science M.S. with a Specialization in Safety 
  Environmental Science M.S. (Fully Online Option)

Applicants interested in Environmental Science General or Occupational Health & Safety online degree program should select either the General track or an Occupational Health & Safety track. No other specializations are available in the online program. A limited selection of classes is available online.

All graduate students are required to complete a total of 36 hours of online courses including ENSC 6838 or ENSC 6731 for a major paper and the presentation of an online public seminar. Prior to enrolling in ENSC 5530, students must have a faculty adviser and an approved research topic. Following completion of ENSC 5530, and in consultation with their faculty adviser, on-line students will enroll in ENSC 6838 or ENSC 6731 and prepare their major capstone research paper.

Applicants must e-mail a personal statement specifying their area of interest - either (1) General or (2) Occupational Health and Safety to the College of Science and Engineering Academic Advising Office cseadvising@uhcl.edu so that, if the applicant is accepted, an appropriate faculty advisor can be assigned. The application cannot be processed without the personal statement. All other admissions documents are sent directly to UHCL Admissions Office, but the personal statement goes to cseadvising@uhcl.edu.

Program Degrees


 Invest a Little For a Big Return

UHCL’s Environmental Science M.S. ranked 7th nationwide by nonprofitcollegesonline.com in affordability among 35 online environmental science master’s degree programs.

Accreditation Information

The Environmental Science-Safety B.S. and Environmental Science-Industrial Hygiene B.S. programs at University of Houston-Clear Lake are accredited by the Applied Science Accreditation Commission of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) http://www.abet.org. As a result, the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) officially recognizes the Environmental Science–Industrial Hygiene B.S. and Environmental Science–Safety B.S. programs as meeting the standards for participation in the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) Qualified Academic Program.

The Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM) officially recognizes the degree programs for Environmental Science–Industrial Hygiene B.S., Environmental Science–Safety B.S., Environmental Science-Industrial Hygiene M.S., Environmental Science-Safety M.S., and Environmental Science Occupational Health and Safety Online M.S. as meeting the requirements for Associate Safety and Health Manager (ASHM) Designation.

Admission Requirements

  • Environmental Science M.S.
  • Admission Deadline

    Standard Graduate Admission Deadline

  • Application
    A standard university application is required.
  • Requirements
    • A GPA of 3.0 or higher on the applicant's last 60 hours of college credit is preferred, but a somewhat lower GPA may be accepted by some faculty committees, if the other criteria are favorable.
    • GRE Total Score of 290 (150 Quantitative)
    • A personal statement outlining academic background, academic and career goals, and declaration of a specialization under the Environmental Science degree plan. Two letters of recommendation are suggested, but not required. Students should submit a written statement to the CSE Academic Advising Office (cseadvising@uhcl.edu).
    • Additional Requirements – At least 34 undergraduate credit hours of natural science courses and 6 undergraduate credit hours of math courses prior to admission

Additional Admission Information

Graduate Application Process and Acceptance Criteria

  Faculty Acceptance Committees Determine Acceptance to Degree Programs

For each Master's degree, the College of Science and Engineering has a faculty acceptance committee which fully reviews each applicant file and determines if the applicant will be accepted. All transcripts and test scores are required for the review. Incomplete files are not reviewed. There is no probationary acceptance to CSE. No one, neither faculty nor staff, is empowered to project for you whether or not you might be accepted before your file is reviewed by the faculty committee. We provide the following information so that each individual can make an informed choice on applying to CSE programs. Online applications and additional application materials are available at UHCL Admissions.


Applications for the given semester will be not accepted after the dates given below. Earlier completion of application, well before this deadline, is strongly recommended.

U.S. Residents: For the terms listed all transcripts and test scores are due:

  • Spring December 1
  • Summer May 1
  • Fall August 1

International Applicants: For the terms listed all transcripts, test scores and documentation are due:

  • Spring October 1
  • Summer March 1
  • Fall June 1

CSE bases graduate admission on a combination of three criteria, which are part of the complete file. The standards for each of the three criteria vary among committees. Go to http://www.uhcl.edu/cse and select the graduate academic program of your choice to see program-specific criteria. Applicants must apply to only one program. Acceptance to one CSE program does not in any way indicate acceptance to any other program. If a student is accepted to one program and then wishes to change to another, the application must undergo the review process by the faculty committee of the desired new major. Again, please review the Web site and investigate your choices before choosing a major.

  Criteria for All Degree Program


A GPA of 3.0 or higher on the applicant’s last 60 hours of college credit is preferred, but a somewhat lower GPA may be accepted by some faculty committees, if the other criteria are favorable.  ALL transcripts from ALL colleges and universities the applicant has attended must be received in the Admissions office before the GPA is calculated by Admissions and before Admissions passes the file to CSE for processing and subsequent committee review.                           

Test Scores

GRE An official GRE score http://www.gre.org for a test taken within the past 5 years is required of all applicants (except as noted below). Only the general test is required; subject tests are not necessary. Scores over 5 years old cannot be officially reported by the testing service. The UHCL reporting code is 6916. There is no department code. Please allow at least three weeks for your score to be recorded in the UHCL system. The preferred GRE score is verbal + quantitative ≥ 1000 minimum, essay ≥ 3.0. Specific minimum acceptable scores vary by committee. Some majors supply more specific guidelines. Go to http://www.uhcl.edu/cse and select the graduate academic program of your choice to see program-specific criteria, if available.                           

  • GRE Exceptions or Exemptions
    • GRE Exception: For Computer Information Systems majors only, the GMAT will be accepted.
    • GRE Exemptions:  Waiver of the GRE test requirement may be granted to applicants with an earned doctoral degree (PhD, JD, MD, etc.) from an accredited university in the U.S. or an earned Master’s degree in a closely related field from an accredited university in the U.S. If you meet the exemption criteria, please contact cseadvising@uhcl.edu for information on how to request a waiver.                              
  • TOEFL International students, or students who are citizens of countries where English is not the national language, must demonstrate English proficiency.  Please view TOEFL requirements on the UHCL Admissions.                             

Related Degree and/or Preparatory Courses

Some CSE degree committees require a bachelor’s or higher degree in a closely related field while others are satisfied with an academic background that includes completion of a set of basic preparation course. Visit http://www.uhcl.edu/sce to find the requirements for individual programs. Most basic preparation courses should be completed before applying to the program. All basic preparation courses not completed prior to acceptance will be added to the degree plans of accepted applicants as requirements for graduation.

Program Faculty

Magdy Akladios
Magdy Akladios

Magdy Akladios

Department Chair of Physical and Applied Sciences and Professor of Industrial Hygiene and Safety ,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283 3744
Email: akladios@uhcl.edu
Office: B3531-4

Faculty Bio

George Guillen
George Guillen

George Guillen

Executive Director of Environmental Institute of Houston and Professor of Biology and Environmental Science ,

Contact number: 281-283-3950
Email: guillen@uhcl.edu
Office: N116

Faculty Bio

Cindy Howard
Cynthia Howard

Cynthia L. Howard

Program Chair of Biological Sciences and Professor of Biology and Environmental Science,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3745
Email: howardc@uhcl.edu
Office: 3525-12

Faculty Bio

Daniel Imrecke
Daniel Imrecke

Daniel Imrecke

Assistant Professor of Geology,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3766
Email: imrecke@uhcl.edu
Office: B3321-7

Faculty Bio

Sachiyo Mukherji

Sachiyo Mukherji

Lecturer of Environmental Chemistry,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3789
Email: Mukherji@uhcl.edu
Office: B3237

Faculty Bio

Bob Phalen
Robert Phalen

Robert N. Phalen

Associate Professor of Industrial Hygiene and Safety,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3753
Email: phalen@uhcl.edu
Office: B3531

Faculty Bio

Gerald Pollack
Gerald Pollack

Gerald Pollack

Lecturer of Environmental Science,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3742
Email: Pollack@UHCL.edu
Office: Bayou 3321-8

Faculty Bio

Richard Puzdrowski
Richard Puzdrowski

Richard L. Puzdrowski Jr.

Associate Professor of Biology, Biotechnology, Environmental Science and Cooperative Degree Program Advisor ,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3750
Email: puzdrowski@uhcl.edu
Office: B3525- 4

Faculty Bio

Dongmin Sun
Dongmin Sun

Dongmin Sun

Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Geology,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3787
Email: sundon@uhcl.edu
Office: B3525-10

Faculty Bio

Carl Zhang
Chunlong Zhang

Chunlong (Carl) Zhang

Program Chair of Environmental Science and Professor of Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry ,
Science and Engineering

Contact number: 281-283-3746
Email: zhang@uhcl.edu
Office: B3531

Faculty Bio

Student Data and Outcomes

Industrial Hygiene and Safety Accreditation Information