The objective of the Environmental Chemistry Area of Specialization (AOS) is to train scientists to apply basic chemical principles to the study of the environmental behaviors of natural and anthropogenic chemicals. Environmental chemistry includes interdisciplinary studies which integrate across subjects such as geochemistry, analytical chemistry, transport processes, and toxicology to determine the cycling and impact of chemicals in the natural environment. Excellent research facilities equipped with state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation are available at several of our campuses, including dedicated environmental chemistry laboratories at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) in Solomons, Maryland.

As both the Masters and Ph.D. are research-oriented programs, emphasis is placed on learning and applying the scientific method, employing strong quantitative approaches, and developing effective scientific writing skills. Students graduating from MEES through this AOS will find professional positions in Federal,state, and local government agencies (such as EPA, FDA, NIH), private chemical and manufacturing industries, academic institutions, and consulting firms.

The University System of Maryland has a wide and diverse set of course offerings in environmental chemistry, geochemistry and related areas, making it possible for students in all areas of this AOS to create a unique and rewarding program of study.  


A Bachelor's degree in the natural sciences or engineering, including a grade of C or better in the following courses:
1. Two semesters of Calculus
2. Two semesters of Physics
3. Two semesters of General Chemistry
4. Two semesters of Biology
5. Two semesters of Organic or other Advanced Chemistry (e.g., Biochemistry)

Core Courses and Other Requirements (M.S. and Ph.D.):

1. Two courses (400-700 level, 3-4 credits) in Environmental Chemistry or Geochemistry. For Ph.D. candidates, one course must be at the advanced level (700 level, 3-4 credits)
2. One course in Physical Transport Processes (400 - 700 level, 3-4 credits)
3. One course in Aquatic Toxicology/Ecology (400 or 600 level, 3-4 credits)
4. One 400 - 700 level 3 - 4 credit course from one of the other MEES AOSs (from an approved list)
5. One course or seminar in Environmental Management (a 3-4 credit course can satisfy item 4) (400 or 600 level)
6. One 3 - 4 credit course in Statistics/Biostatistics (600 level for the Ph.D., 400 level for the M.S.)
7. One graduate level seminar (MEES 608 or equivalent) for each year in residence (on average)
8. One or more courses in Physical Chemistry are strongly encouraged (2-4 credits each)
9. Courses in Experimental Design and Analysis and in Scientific Writing are also recommended 



Justin Meschter, MEES M.S. student, taking sediment cores for research on below ground biogeochemistry.