F.A.Q.'s

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Is it necessary to take the Graduate Record Exam for admission? What scores are required?

Yes, the Graduate Record Exam is required for admission.  While there is no required score for admission, the admissions committee typically looks for scores above the fiftieth percentile in Analytical and Quantitative.  You may petition the Graduate Director for a waiver of the GRE if you have three or more years of relevant professional experience.

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What undergraduate GPA is required for admission to your program?

Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 to be considered for admission to the program.

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What prerequisites do I need for the Environmental Science Master's program?

  • Eight credit-hours of undergraduate environmental science (two semesters with labs)
  • Eight credit-hours of chemistry (two semesters with labs)
  • Two semesters of calculus (or one semester each of calculus and statistics)
  • One semester of a geographic technology (e.g., introductory course, GIS, GPS, remote sensing)

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What if I am missing one or more of these prerequisites? Can I still apply?

Yes! Candidates from different backgrounds or those who are lacking one or more of the prerequisites should contact the MSES Office to discuss their admission opportunities.  For some applicants and some requirements, missing prerequisite courses may be obtained once enrolled at Villanova.  

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Can I switch from the thesis to the non-thesis option, or vice versa, once enrolled in the program?

Transfer from the thesis to non-thesis option or vice versa is possible, but may result in the loss of some credits.  Students considering a change in status should consult with their mentor and the MSES Director as soon as possible. 

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What are you looking for in the MSES Supplemental Application Form? What should I highlight when discussing my research interests and career goals?

We use the MSES Supplemental Application Form to learn more about you! There are no right or wrong answers, but we’d like to know more about why you are applying to our program, what you hope to gain from it, and your research interests and career goals.  In addition to highlighting your most relevant experiences and interests, tell us about the environmental issues you’d like to pursue.   

We also use the MSES Supplemental Application Form to match you with a suitable undergraduate course if you are offered a departmental Graduate Assistantship.

Lastly, we request that you provide the names and contact information for three references who are willing to comment on your academic and/or professional background.  The references will be contacted independently and asked for a letter on your behalf if you are finalist for a Graduate Assistantship. 

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What if I don’t yet know what research I want to work on, or with what faculty member I would like to work?

You can find information on current research in the Department on our research page and should contact faculty directly about specific on-going projects.

For students on the Research and Thesis Track, we recommend that you have a general idea of the area of research you are most interested and the faculty member you would like to work with. You are encouraged to contact faculty early on in the application process. Faculty members must agree to be your thesis mentor before you can enroll in classes (but not necessarily at the time of admission).

For students on the Non-Thesis Capstone Track, there is more flexibility about selecting a research project or area of research interests. Non-Thesis students are also encouraged to review the research page, as this will provide an excellent overview of our faculty interests, the types of topics you can expect to be covered in courses, and the types of projects that may be available to you for your Capstone research.

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Are there fellowships available for your program?

Yes, full-time students who apply for fall admission can apply for Graduate Assistantships. The Graduate Assistantship provides a tuition waiver as well as a yearly stipend of roughly $15,000. Students who receive Graduate Assistantships work as research assistants for graduate faculty members or teaching assistants in undergraduate laboratories.  There are also funding options outside the department in other offices across the university.  Click here for more information and deadlines.

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How do I apply for the fellowships?

There is no separate application for the fellowships. Students who wish to be considered for them should simply check the box indicating interest in being considered for fellowships on the application.

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Can I be considered for a fellowship if I apply for spring admission?

No, only applicants for fall admission are eligible for fellowship consideration.

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What are the deadlines for applying?

The deadline for admission for the fall is July 20. If you want to be considered for a graduate assistantship, the deadline is March 1 for the fall.  If you have missed a deadline, please contact Ms. Kathleen Cooper at (610) 519-3342 or at kathleen.f.cooper@villanova.edu to discuss your options.

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Where can I get information about housing if I am moving to Villanova from out of town?

The Office of Graduate Studies has created a housing guide and blog to assist in the search process. 

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If I am an international student, who do I contact with questions and concerns about visa status, I-20s, etc.?

The Office of International Student Services located on the 2nd Floor of the Connelly Center can assist in this area.

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Contact Us

Graduate Program Director:

Dr. Lisa J. Rodrigues, Associate Professor

Telephone: 610-519-7534

EMail: lisa.rodrigues@villanova.edu

Office: Mendel Hall, G67H

Program Coordinator:

Ms. Kathleen Cooper

Telephone: 610-519-3342

EMail: kathleen.f.cooper@villanova.edu

Office: Mendel Hall, G67B