General Science, M.S.

General Science, M.S.

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College of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Shixiong Hu, Ph.D., Graduate Program Coordinator,

Biological Sciences

Dr. Maria Kitchens-Kintz, Ph.D., Chair,


Dr. Dennis Erb, Ph.D., Chair,


Dr. Robert Cohen, Ph.D., Chair,

Master of Science in General Science

  • The Master of Science in General Science degree program (Application of GIS & RS concentration) will provide a unique opportunity for students to combine Geotechnology, the environmental sciences and other related fields in the context of multidisciplinary study. It will also train the students with professional skills they need in career development, such as environmental communication, written communication, project management, and leadership.

    The students should expect to learn the latest Geotechnology (GIS, RS and GPA) and how to apply this technology to the environment-related fields and careers. Students in this program will gain hands-on skills via field data collection, laboratory analysis, environmental modeling, and internship experiences for future careers.

    Job opportunities are growing and diversifying as geospatial technologies prove their value in areas such as environmental science. The degree will meet the increasing demands of geotechnology in related governmental agencies, the private sectors and local, regional and national NGOs.

    National Affiliation

    The M.S. in General Science - Application of GIS/RS in Environmental Science has received national affiliation as a Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree.

    Program of Study

    30 credits -–Thesis Program

    34 credits — Non-thesis Program

    36 credits — Concentration in Application of Geographic Information System/Remote Sensing(GIS/RS) in Environmental Science

    Thesis Option — 30 Semester Hours


    GSCI 570

    Introduction to Research

    3 credits

    GSCI 572


    3 credits

    Major Field and Related Electives

    24 credits

    Non-Thesis Option — 34 Semester Hours


    GSCI 570

    Introduction to Research

    3 credits

    GSCI 571

    Independent Research Problems

    Semester hour arranged

    Major Field and Related Electives

    29 -30 credits

    Concentration in Application of Geographic Information Systems/Remote Sensing(GIS/RS)in Environmental Science – 36 Semester Hours

    A. Physical and Environmental Science (9 - 12 Semester Hours):

    Two from the following courses:

    BIOL 528


    3 credits

    BIOL 542

    Biology of Aquatic Macrophytes

    3 credits

    BIOL 543

    Stream Ecology

    3 credits

    BIOL 563

    Conservation Biology

    4 credits

    BIOM 560

    Marine Ecology

    3 credits

    BIOM 565

    Management of Wetland Wildlife

    3 credits

    BIOM 583

    Wetland Ecology

    3 credits

    GEOG 522

    Watershed Hydrology

    3 credits

    GSCI 543

    Environmental Quality

    4 credits

    GSCI 549

    Environmental Science

    3 credits

    One or two free electives within the category of Physical and Environmental Sciences


    B. Geo-Technology (9 Semester Hours):

    GEOG 502

    Applied Geographic Information Science

    3 credits

    GEOG 503

    Advanced Geographic Information Science

    3 credits

    GEOG 511

    Introduction to Remote Sensing

    3 credits

    C. Professional Skills (9 Semester Hours)

    Oral and Written Communication skill course

    ENGL 515

    Computers and Writing

    3 credits

    One from the following Leadership and Team Building skill courses

    POLS 501

    Public Administration: Theory, Scope, and Methods

    3 credits

    POLS 537

    Problems in Public Administration

    3 credits

    POLS 566

    Public Budgeting and Finance

    3 credits

    POLS 567

    Public Personnel Administration

    3 credits

    MGT 502

    Organizational Strategy

    3 credits

    MGT 503

    Organizational Leadership

    3 credits


    and other approved electives


    D. Internship (6 - 9 Semester Hours)

    One or more of the following:

    GSCI 571

    Independent Research Problem

    Semester credits arranged

    GSCI 577

    Independent Study in General Science

    Semester credits arranged

    BIOL 586

    Field Experience and Internship

    Semester credits arranged

    BIOM 569


    BIOM 582

    Field Methods in Oceanography


    Field Studies in Oceanography

    3 credits

    Additional Requirements:

    Admission Requirements:

    • B.A or B.S degree in environmental studies, geography, GIS, earth science, marine science, environmental chemistry, recreation and leisure, and any other environment-related major.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) scores are required for all international students unless their undergraduate degree is from an English language institution. (It must be documented that English is the only language of instruction in the institution.) The required scores on the TOEFL are 560 (paper-format test), 220 (computer-format test) or 83 (internet based test).

      Completion Requirements:

    • Successful completion of GRE (i.e. 450 for verbal, 650 for quantitative, and 4 for writing)

Course Descriptions

  • GSCI 501 Laboratory and Classroom Techniques in Science Teaching (3:3:0)

    • This course is designed toward the practical aspects of effective science instruction. It deals with the means and devices employed in the instructional process. Simulated classroom situations are developed and prepared by the student representative of imaginative science teaching.

  • GSCI 502 Contemporary Topics in Science (3:3:0)

    • This course deals with the nature and theoretical basis of recent noteworthy advances in science. Interdisciplinary in design, the course draws its content from the various disciplines of the natural sciences. Emphasis is placed on topics being reported on in professional journals in advance of their textbook presentations.

  • GSCI 504 Introductory Astrophysics (3:3:0)

    • This is a course in modern astrophysics stressing the application of physical concepts to the study of the heavens. Topics will include radiative transfer, astrophysical radiative processes, stellar structure and evaluation, compact stars and black holes, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, and cosmology. Prerequisites: PHYS 121, PHYS 361, and MATH 141.

  • GSCI 512 Contemporary Topics in Biochemistry (3:3:0)

    • This course will elaborate on the chemical principles fundamental to understanding biochemical processes and their regulation. Topics covered may include enzyme mechanisms and kinetics, molecular aspects of signal transduction, organization and maintenance of the genome and regulation of gene expression and recombinant DNA techniques. Reading of current journal articles, class discussions, and oral presentations will be integral components of this course. As a contemporary topics course, students may take this course during a different semester for an additional three credits. Prerequisite: Students should have had a previous course in biochemistry, such as CHEM 315 or 317.

  • GSCI 520 The Development of Modern Physical Science (3:3:0)

    • This course examines the past works and philosophical thought of noted physical scientists. Emphasis is placed on the nature of scientific discovery and the processes of science.

  • GSCI 521 Statistical Physics (3:3:0)

    • Large-scale thermodynamic systems are studied by taking averages over numerous important parameters pertinent to statistically treatable systems. Topics include: characteristic features of macroscopic systems, statistical description of systems of particles, microscopic theory and macroscopic measurements, general thermodynamic interaction, elementary kinetic theory of transport processes.

  • GSCI 522 Thermal Physics (3:3:0)

    • This course deals with heat and thermodynamics and application to special systems; kinetic theory of gases and statistical mechanics; fluctuation and transport processes.

  • GSCI 524 Physical Measurement (3:2:2)

    • This course is designed for those in industry and for students whose responsibilities include or will include measurement (inspection, design, etc.) and for in-service teachers whose work will be enhanced by greater insight into these areas which are included in the syllabus.

  • GSCI 525 Electromagnetic Theory (3:3:0)

    • An application of Maxwell’s equations to problems in electrostatics and electrodynamics, including boundary value problems with dielectrics and conductors is presented.

  • GSCI 526 Applied Electromagnetic Theory: Radio Waves and High Frequency (4:3:3)

    • This course will apply Maxwell's equations to the propagation of electromagnetic waves in free space, wave guides and coaxial cables. The transmission line equation will be developed and analyzed for the case of real practicable transmission line. Maxwell's equations will be used to analyze antennas.

  • GSCI 528 Theoretical Physics (3:3:0)

    • The main thrust of this course will be the application of various standard mathematical techniques to the solution of upper level problems in Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Wave Theory, Fluid Dynamics, Statistical Mechanics, Quantum Physics, and Relativity. Students considering advanced study or employment in the field of Physics or Engineering are highly encouraged to enroll. Prerequisites: PHYS 328, PHYS 361.

  • GSCI 530 Energy Resources and Applications (3:3:0)

    • This course develops the history of present energy dependence of the United States and some foreign countries. It will also develop the underlying physics concepts. A number of future scenarios are investigated numerically and carefully. Use is made of the WAES report and the ECOMSETS computer projections.

  • GSCI 531 Organic Chemistry (3:3:0)

    • This course deals with the theoretical and practical aspects of mechanisms and sterochemistry as applied to the reactions and syntheses of organic compounds.

  • GSCI 533 Physical Organic Chemistry (3:2:3)

    • This course is a survey of physical organic chemistry including reaction mechanisms, structure reactivity correlations, and organic photochemistry. Laboratory experiments will stress the use of modern instrumental techniques in the elucidation of structures and mechanisms.

  • GSCI 536 Medicinal Chemistry (3:3:0)

    • This course is a survey of the various classes of pharmacological agents being utilized in the treatment of various disorders. Included are considerations of mode of action, design and synthesis, and current efforts in the field of development of new drugs. Graduate students will be required to complete a paper in addition to other assignments.

  • GSCI 541 Analytical Chemistry I: Quantitative (4:2:4)

    • This course is a study of the theories and methods of gravimetric and volumetric analysis with a brief introduction to the use of some modern analytical instrumentation. Precision and accuracy in laboratory work and training in chemical calculations are emphasized.

  • GSCI 542 Inorganic Chemistry (3:3:0)

    • Structural and bonding principles, type of reactions, reaction mechanisms and their chemical interpretation will be introduced. The descriptive chemistry of selected elements and their inorganic compounds will be discussed.

  • GSCI 543 Environmental Quality (4:3:3)

    • This course deals with the chemical aspects of environmental quality. Emphasis is placed on the identification, chemical characterization, and controls of pollutants. Topics include air, water, pesticides, food additives, and solid waste.

  • GSCI 546 Seminar: Curricular Trends in Science (3:3:0)

    • This course is a study of the current effort in science curriculum design. Major curricular projects in the various sciences are explored in terms of philosophy, objectives, and content selection. Research and pertinent periodical literature in the curricular aspects of instruction in the sciences are examined.

  • GSCI 547 Workshop in Science Teaching (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course is directed toward the practical aspects of effective science instruction, providing for firsthand participation in real or simulated teaching situation. The course is characterized by an updating of the student’s background in specific areas of science teaching and the development of the skills, theory, and techniques necessary to implement recent curricular developments.

  • GSCI 548 Teaching Science for Involvement - A Cooperative Approach (3:3:0)

    • This is an activity-oriented course aimed toward the development of competence and confidence in the science underlying practical applications. A major concern is the development of science literacy through group interaction and experience with practical equipment. The course is designed for those interested in both secondary and elementary school science teaching.

  • GSCI 549 Environmental Science (3:3:0)

    • This course deals with the chemical and physical aspects of the identification, characterization, and controls of pollutants. Topics include air, water, radiation, pesticides, food additives, solid waste, and toxic substances. Prerequisites: CHEM 124, 126 or equivalent.

  • GSCI 551 Selected Topics: Chemistry (3:3:0)

  • GSCI 552 Selected Topics: Physics (3:3:0)

  • GSCI 553 Selected Topics: Biology (3:3:0)

  • GSCI 554 Selected Topics: Earth Science (3:3:0)

    • Emphasis is placed upon the development of scientific content and theory. The course work will include coverage of traditional course offerings from within the disciplines most relevant to the contemporary aspects of the science, complemented by a critical view of certain of the discipline’s basic tenants.

  • GSCI 555 Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics (3:3:0)

    • This course is a study of selected topics in theoretical chemistry including quantum mechanics, group theory and symmetry, and chemical bonding including molecular orbital theory. The use of computer programs in the illustration of chemical principles will be emphasized. Cross-listed as CHEM 452. Graduate students must complete a research paper or project. Prerequisite: CHEM 353 or permission of instructor.

  • GSCI 561 Analytical Chemistry II: Instrumental (4:2:4)

    • This course is a study of principles and applications of modern analytical methods with emphasis on physiochemical measurements. Topics include potentiometry, plarography, chromatography, conductometry, and spectroscopy.

  • GSCI 565 Polymer Chemistry (3:3:0)

    • The basic concepts of polymer chemistry are introduced in this course. Topics included will be the mechanics and kinetics of polymerization, the synthesis of polymers and the relationships between molecular structure, conformation and morphology of polymers and their chemical and physical properties.

  • GSCI 570 Introduction to Research (3:3:0)

    • This course is an orientation to graduate study and research designed to acquaint the student with the methods and materials of graduate study. It is required of all graduate students in a degree program.

  • GSCI 571 Independent Research Problem (Semester hours arranged)

    • This course deals with the utilization of selected research techniques to attack a specific problem. Preparation and presentation of a formal report. It is required of all students in the non-thesis program. Requires prior or concurrent completion of GSCI 570.

  • GSCI 572 Thesis I (3:0:0)

    • This course focuses on the development of the thesis problem and design of experiment, collecting of data, analysis, and organization of data and writing of the formal thesis report.

  • GSCI 573 Thesis II (3:0:0)

    • See GSCI 572. This course is concerned with completing the thesis to the satisfaction of the student’s advisory committee. GSCI 572 is a pre- or co-requisite.

  • GSCI 577 Independent Study in General Science (Semester hours arranged)

    • Under the auspices of a qualified member of the faculty of the Graduate School, the student pursues a pattern of readings, study, and research related to professional knowledge and understanding in general science. Topics should be established prior to enrollment. Prerequisite: Permission of the chair of the graduate faculty in general science.

  • GSCI 580 Radioisotopes (3:2:3)

    • Studies of the origin of nuclear emissions, properties of nuclear radiation will be discussed. Measurements of their properties such as absorption and attenuation coefficients will be made. Skill in the use of the single and multichannel analyzers will be developed and used in determining nuclear spectra. Reading of current publications in the field will be essential to the essence of this course. An experimental project or paper will be required of all graduate students.

  • GSCI 581 Quantum Physics (3:3:0)

    • The wave nature of the universe and its probabilistic interpretation are considered. Topics include postulates of Quantum mechanics, the one-dimensional oscillator, the hydrogen atom, the Pauli principle, and atomic spectroscopy.

  • GSCI 591 Special Problems in Physics (3:3:0)

    • This course introduces the student to detailed and complete treatments in problems which require expertise from several areas.

  • GSCI 593 Atomic and Nuclear Physics (3:3:0)

    • This course examines the quantum-mechanical basis of atomic and nuclear structure, and studies the phenomena of atomic and nuclear transitions. Topics covered: Nuclear models, nuclear decay, nuclear reactions, elementary particles.

  • GEOG 502 Applied Geographic Information Science (GIS) (3:3:0)

    • This course is designed to provide an in-depth understanding of the concepts and applications of GIS, with a focus on GIS analysis methods and their applications. Major topics include spatial data processing and analysis, terrain mapping and analysis, spatial database design and management, and geodatabase. The technical focus of the course includes computer lab tutorials and group projects using the leading desktop GIS software. Pre-requisite(s): MATH 110 and GEOG 341.

  • GEOG 503 Advanced Geographic Information Science (GIS) (3:3:0)

    • This is an advanced GIS course focusing on spatial analysis and modeling approaches. Major topics include exploratory analysis of spatial data, network analysis, exploring spatial point patterns, area object and spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation. The lecture session focuses on the principles and concepts of geospatial analysis. Students will also use a computer laboratory to learn the GIS software through a series of exercises. Pre-requisite(s): MATH 110 and GEOG 341.

  • GEOG 511 Introduction to Remote Sensing (3:3:0)

    • This course is designed to introduce the principles and applications of remote sensing and the techniques of digital image processing. It will cover the interaction between energy and the earth's surface, the major sensor systems, techniques for image enhancement and classification, and the applications of remote sensing. Students will also use a computer laboratory to learn the remote sensing software through a series of exercises. Pre-requisite(s): MATH 110; one of the following three courses: GEOG 110, GEOG 120, or GEOG 341.

  • GEOG 522 Watershed Hydrology (3:3:0)

    • This course is designed to provide an introduction to different components of the hydrologic cycle at the watershed scale. The emphases will be on surface processes and watershed responses to perturbations such as climate change and land use/land cover change. This course will cover the fundamental principles of hydrology and their applied uses. The ultimate goal of this course is to help students understand and learn how to mitigate water-related environmental problems, such as floods, droughts and water pollution.