Prepare for Your Future in Environmental Science

The Master of Science in Environmental Biology is a degree program that can be completed in as little as 10 months. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for high-level problem solving at public and private environmental organizations. The degree includes a hands-on externship or research component in Colorado, culminating in an integrative capstone project.
Classroom

M.S. in Environmental Biology

Degree Overview

The Master of Science in Environmental Biology Program in Regis College is designed both for students who have a specific environmental career goal as well as for students who are undecided about the area of Environmental Sciences in which they would like to work or pursue further study.

Program Benefits

  • Complete an M.S. degree in as little as 10 months or as long as three years to best fits your career goals
  • Curriculum emphasizes skills crucial for success in the environmental workforce
  • Program fieldwork takes advantage of the diverse environments of our Colorado location
  • Students gain hands-on experience through a carefully chosen externship or environmental research project
  • Students receive individualized attention from a Ph.D.-credentialed faculty
  • Jesuit foundational philosophy based on cura personalis, care for the whole person
  • Cooperative, intensive, professional atmosphere
  • Amazing location - a beautiful campus with a classic academic feel located between vibrant urban Denver and the mountains

Learning Formats

This Program includes both day (afternoon) and evening courses. Coursework is classroom, laboratory, and/or field based. Four courses are offered in eight-week accelerated format. The other courses are offered in 16-week format. Courses are scheduled to allow students larger blocks of time for studying, working, completing an externship, and/or conducting research.

Academic Externships or Research Experience

The guided academic externship or research experience ensures that students put their education into the larger context of the environmental field, gain valuable real-world experience, and improve students’ ability to compete for environmental jobs. Denver has numerous state and federal government agencies, research larboratories, environmental consulting firms, natural-resource-based and companies, and non-profit environmental organizations to support a wide range of exciting environmental externships.

Field Experience

The program includes pre-semester fieldwork courses to ensure that students not only study the environment, but experience it directly and develop the skills to collect environmental data. In August, students will work with a Regis Faculty member conducting subalpine or alpine fieldwork in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. In January, students will work with a Regis Faculty member conducting fieldwork in the tropics or a coastal area of the United States. In addition, courses during fall and spring semesters will include field work in Colorado.

Program Requirements

Listed below are the required courses for completion of the M.S.in Environmental Biolgoy Degree. Please note that recent course requirement updates may not be reflected in the list below and you should contact the Office of Enrollment Services at 303.458.4126 for recent changes and updates.

Required Courses (3 credit hours)
BL 651A Field Ecology Practicum ( 1 ch)
BL 650A Environmental Biology Colloquium & Grant Writing (3 ch)
BL 656 Forest and Vegetation Ecology & Management (4 ch)
BL 657 Advanced Field Ecology Laboratory (1 ch)
BL 658 Advanced Behavioral Ecology (3 ch)
BL 652 Environmental Biostatistics & Research Design (3 ch)
BL 654 Advanced Ecology and Modeling (3 ch)
BL 651B Field Ecology Practicum II (1 ch)
BL 650B Environmental Biology Colloquium & Project (3 ch)
BL 662 Aquatic Ecology & Bioassessment (3 ch)
BL 668 or
BL 691
Enviro. Biology Externship (3 ch) or
Graduate Research in Biology (4 ch)
BL 660 Ecological Applications of Geographical Information Systems (3 ch)*
ENVS 650 Graduate Research in Biology (3 ch)
TOTAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: 32-25 credit hours

Course Descriptions

BL 650A Environmental Biology Colloquium (3.00)

Introduces scientific writing in the context of constructing a grant proposal. Fosters ethical consideration, scientific awareness, and analytical skills via the Biology Seminar Series and working with the primary literature in environmental biology. Guides and coordinates initial externship or research and Master's project work.

Co-requisite(s): BL 656

BL 650B Environmental Biology Colloquium and Project (3.00)

Develops student writing in the context of constructing a final Master’s project. Fosters ethical consideration, scientific awareness, and analytical skills via the Biology Seminar Series and working with the primary literature.

Prerequisite(s): BL 650A
Co-requisite(s): BL 662

BL 651 Environmental Biology Fieldwork (1.00)

Introduces students to field-work and develops data-collection skills in an alpine environment in Colorado. Students collect data for use in later Environmental Biology courses.

BL 651B Environmental Biology Fieldwork II (1.00)

Develops student field-work and data-collection skills in an environment outside Colorado or in a non-alpine environment. Students collect data for use in later Environmental Biology courses.

Prerequisite(s): BL 651A, BL 652

BL 652 Environmental Biostatistics and Research (3.00)

Introduces students to environmental study design and develops student ability to appropriately statistically analyze the resultant data and interpret the results using examples taken from the environmental literature. Emphasizes statistical reasoning, assumptions, computer-based analysis, results interpretation, and critical evaluation.

Prerequisite(s): prior undergraduate or graduate course in statistics

BL 654 Advanced Ecology and Modeling (3.00)

Introduces students to ecological topics that are then used as the vehicles to develop student understanding of ecological modeling. Emphasizes simulating and analysis of the dynamics and stability of ecological systems using computer models.

Prerequisite(s): prior undergraduate or graduate course in statistics, BL 652

BL 656 Forest and Vegetation Ecology and Management (4.00)

Introduces students to the composition and ecology of woody and herbaceous plant communities. Develops student ability to assess populations, community composition, and health of terrestrial ecological systems for conservation and management.

Co-requisite(s): BL 650A, BL 657

BL 657 Advanced Field Ecology Laboratory (1.00)

Develops student knowledge of data collection and ecological assessment techniques in a range of habitats.

Co-requisite(s): BL 656.

BL 658 Advanced Behavioral Ecology (3.00)

Introduces students to the mechanisms and functions of animal behavior with emphasis on the ecological and evolutionary bases of animal behavior. Develops student ability to assess animal behavior in ecological context using behavioral assessment techniques.

BL 660 Ecological Applications of Geographic Information Systems (3.00)

Develops student knowledge of the basic concepts, assumptions, theories, and structures of geographic information systems (GIS). Students use hands-on activities with up-to-date software for spatial analysis of environmental and ecological issues. Includes in-depth examination of use of GIS in the primary ecological literature.

Prerequisite(s): BL 652

BL 662 Aquatic Ecology and Bioassesment (4.00)

Introduces students to freshwater aquatic communities and develops student ability to use wetlands vegetation, aquatic invertebrates, and fishes in wetlands delimitation and bioassessment of aquatic environmental health.

Prerequisite(s): BL 652

Co-requisite(s): BL 650B

BL 668 Environmental Biology Externship (3.00)

Faculty-directed academic experience in an external environmental research or environmental employment setting. Focuses on linking the experience to environmental biology academic content, highlighting ethical issues raised by the experience.

Prerequisite(s): BL 650A.

BL 691 Graduate Research in Biology (3.00)

Laboratory or field research in biology under faculty direction. Focuses on linking the experience to graduate academic content, highlighting ethical issues raised by the experience.

ENVS 650 Environmental Regulation and Impact Assessment (3.00)

Focuses on the theory and methods of developing and writing environmental impact assessment reports. Introduces students to the regulatory guidelines of NEPA, ESA, the Clean Water Act, and other relevant regulatory acts with regard to environmental impact. Explores ethical, justice, scientific, economic, and political perspectives associated with assessing the environment.

How to Apply

Take the next step in receiving a values-based education at Regis by visiting our admissions page to learn more about application deadlines, checklists and what to do after you've been accepted.

Application Timeline – We practice rolling admissions, so apply early for the best advantage! Please see our FAQ for more information.

  • January 15th - Application Cycle Opens
  • May 1st - Best Chances Deadline - beat the crowd
  • May 31st – First Class List Deadline - avoid the waiting list
  • July 15th – Last Chance Deadline - application cycle closes

The program begins once a year in the third week of August.

Information Sessions

Information sessions are an excellent way to meet program faculty, students and staff and to learn more about the MS in Environmental Biology program. They are held on select Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. in the Biology Department suite, Pomponio Science Hall, Room 215. RSVPs to Envirobioms@regis.edu are encouraged but not required.

Upcoming Dates

  • Check back soon - upcoming dates will be posted in October 2014

Campus Visits

Campus visits and/or transcript evaluations may be scheduled by contacting the Regis University Office of Admission. Please email Biomedms@regis.edu.

Biological Sciences Seminar Series

Our seminar series speakers range widely and highlight a variety of research topics. If you are interested in attending the Biological Sciences Monday Evening Seminar Series as a prospective student, please request a schedule by email at Envirobioms@regis.edu.

Program Expenses & Employment

Financial Considerations

A master's degree is an investment in your future. It is important to plan for this investment financially as well as academically. Students are encouraged to contact our Office of Financial Aid for more information about financial aid and financing options. You will need to fill out a FAFSA form to apply for financial aid.

Tuition and Other Costs

Tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year includes all laboratory and university fees (tuition is $650 per semester hour and the program is a total of 35 semester hours), but does not include costs related to reaching fieldwork sites or externships. We recommend that students plan for another $2000 to cover these costs. In addition you will need to think about your cost of living expenses and health insurance, which is also required during your enrollment in the program.

Fieldwork Travel Expenses

The expenses for the August fieldwork course and for fieldwork within the courses during the regular academic semesters are covered by tuition for the program. However, the fieldwork in January will require students to purchase airfare, likely to Costa Rica, California, Texas, or Florida. Students may choose between the tropical or the coastal trip and will be responsible for booking and paying for their own airfare (estimated as ranging from $250-$1000) depending on current airfare and which of the two options offered each year that the student selects.

Living Expenses

Students are encouraged to budget in advance for their cost of living for the academic year. Graduate student housing is not available on the campus itself, but there are many options in the surrounding area that range from relatively reasonable shared accommodations to luxurious individual housing. Parking on campus is free and students can expect to easily find parking within a ten minute walk to their classes. Meal plans can be purchased through the university’s food services and there are basic kitchen facilities (fridge, microwave, sink) available for the storage and heating of brown bag meals.

Application Frequently Asked Questions

How do the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate and the M.S. in Environmental Biology differ?

The Master of Science in Environmental Biology is designed to allow students to complete a Masters degree that provides a diverse basis for students seeking careers in environmental areas or further environmental education. The required externship and colloquium courses focus on developing real-world experience, professional-writing skills, and advising students to ensure they make the best use of their degree. The Applied Environmental Biology Certificate courses are contained within the M.S.-degree requirements. Students may complete the M.S. in either an intensive 10 month format (in one academic year) or over 20 months (over two academic years) where students first completes the Certificate courses.

The four courses that comprise the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate are offered in the evening in accelerated eight week format and may be completed in a 10 month academic year. The Certificate is a good option for students working full-time who need or wish to acquire additional experience in Environmental Biology (specifically Environmental statistical analysis, Geographic Information Systems, and Environmental regulations).

How are courses scheduled?

The Environmental Biology course offerings are designed to leave all mornings and one full day free to facilitate externship/research activities, work, and studying. The courses in the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate and the first year of the two-year M.S. in Environmental Biology are all in the evening in eight-week accelerated format to accommodate those who may be working traditional hours.

Can I take one or two classes and not enroll in the whole program? Can I take classes as a Regis undergraduate or CPS student?

The graduate Environmental Biology courses can only be taken as a part of the Graduate Certificate or M.S. degree programs and the coursework is not open to additional students. The Applied Environmental Biology Certificate offers a way to take four courses focused on specific skills desired in environmental fields without committing to the full M.S. program. Students who complete the Certificate who then wish to complete the M.S. degree can apply to continue without completion of the GRE. Given the coordinated nature of the program, we also do not accept transfer credits except in rare circumstances.

As a Regis undergraduate student can I enter the program through the Guaranteed Admissions Program?

Regis University students may be eligible for Guaranteed Admission into Biology Graduate programs if they successfully meet all the requirements listed on the Admissions page for this program, including submitting the Guaranteed Admissions form by March 31, having a cumulative Regis grade point average of 3.00, and completing a set of designated courses to a particular grade standard. No GRE score, formal recommendation letters, official transcript submission, or additional application to the M.S. in Environmental Biology program are required if a student meets the criteria of the Guaranteed Admission Program. Regis College students not meeting the Guaranteed Admissions criteria remain eligible to apply to the Biology Graduate Programs (without application fee) and have their applications competitively reviewed. Students approved for Guaranteed Admission will automatically progress into the graduate program, after completing the requirements for the Regis undergraduate degree while maintaining the above conditions of eligibility.

As an undergraduate student at another U.S. Jesuit University can I enter the program via the Priority Admissions Program?

Students at another U.S. Jesuit College or University (AJCU-school) may be eligible for Priority Admission into Biology Graduate programs if they successfully meet all the requirements listed on the Admissions page for this program, including submitting the Priority Admissions form, reference letters, and transcripts by March 31, having a cumulative AJCU-school grade point average of 3.00, and completing a set of designated courses to a particular grade standard. No GRE score or additional application to the M.S. in Environmental Biology program are required if a student meets the criteria of the Priority Admission Program. Jesuit College or University students not meeting the Priority Admissions criteria remain eligible to apply to the Biology Graduate Programs and have their applications competitively reviewed. Students approved for Priority Admission will automatically progress into the graduate program, after completing the requirements for an AJCU-school undergraduate degree while maintaining the above conditions of eligibility.

Do you accept applications from international students?

Yes, however, it is important that international students have a Bachelors level degree, an excellent grasp of English and meet all the requirements for international students to study at Regis. Please see our International Applicants tab on our admissions page for more information.

Do I have to take the GRE?

A GRE (General Test) score is required for admission to the M.S. program unless you have successfully completed the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate or meet the requirements of the Regis College Guaranteed Admissions Program or the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities Priority Admissions Program. Admission to the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate Program does not require a GRE Score.

A GRE general test score must be submitted before your application will be considered for M.S. Program. The score may be submitted later, but the application will not be considered until it is received. However, students that meet the requirements for the Regis College Guaranteed Admissions Program, the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities Priority Admissions Program, or have completed the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate first are not required to submit GRE scores at all. Admission to the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate Program does not require a GRE Score.

Are there interviews for admission?

We do conduct short candidate interviews as a final step for candidates being considered for admission either on the phone or in person. Students will be contacted by the program coordinator for scheduling an interview with a faculty member.

May I submit updated or corrected materials after completing my application?

Yes. The online application system does not allow an applicant to revise or add to submitted applications. We will gladly accept relevant corrections or updates (additional transcripts, new GRE scores, letters of recommendation) to your file by emailing them to our team. Please note on your application if you plan to take an admissions exam at a later date.

Can GRE scores be submitted after the rest of the application is complete?

A GRE general test score must be submitted before your application will be considered for M.S. Program. The score may be submitted later, but the application will not be considered until it is received. However, students that meet the requirements for the Regis College Guaranteed Admissions Program, the American Jesuit Colleges and Universities Priority Admissions Program, or have completed the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate first are not required to submit GRE scores at all. Admission to the Applied Environmental Biology Certificate Program does not require a GRE Score.

I have been out of school for a while. Do I still need a letter from a professor?

At least one letter from college professor from whom you have taken courses is required for admission into these programs. A letter from current employer or volunteer supervisor is acceptable as one of the other two letters. If your situation makes a letter from a college professor unavailable, please contact the program coordinator at Envirobioms@regis.edu for consideration of a waiver of this requirement. For people who have been out of school for a more significant amount of time, a waiver is commonly granted.

What is the program admissions mailing address?

Environmental Biology
Regis University
3333 Regis Boulevard G-9
Denver, CO 80221

Could I work while I am a student in the Master of Science in Environmental Biology Program?

Yes, but our recommendations vary depending on the program you are completing and the time period over which you wish to complete it.

For students completing the M.S. in Environmental Biology in one year we recommend students work no more than 16 hours per week (preferably on the weekend). The one-year Master of Science program is full time and designed to allow students to complete a Masters degree in 10 months. In addition, students need to take their externship or research responsibilities seriously. Thus we very strongly recommend that students keep their outside commitments to a minimum.

For students completing the M.S. in Environmental Biology in two years we recommend students work no more than 40 hours per week in the first year (keeping overtime to a minimum) and no more than 30 hours per week in the second year. The second year of the program will include a required externship that will require significant time. For students that must work 40 hours we recommend deferring the externship or research until the summer of the second year, this will require a full two years (24 months) to complete the program, but will more reasonably allow someone to continue working full time.

For students completing the Graduate Certificate in Applied Environmental Biology we recommend students work no more than 40 hours per week (keeping overtime to a minimum). The accelerated nature of the eight-week sequential courses makes them rigorous such that they will require more time than a single course taken over sixteen weeks.

Are there any TA, assistantship, or other paid positions available within the scope of the program?

No, while many longer, research based MS and Ph.D. programs may offer these types of positions, it is not typical for a one year professionally-focused program to have them.