Department of Environmental Science


A Master of Science degree program in environmental science was initiated in 1990 on the Tri-Cities campus of Washington State University (WSU). The Environmental Science Program is administered by the School of Earth and Environmental Science (SEES). The Program was established on the Pullman campus in 1968 to provide students an opportunity to earn an interdisciplinary degree that will enable them to better understand and manage the full scope of environmental issues.The Environmental Science Program on the WSU Tri-Cities campus was developed to provide the same opportunities to students in the Mid-Columbia Basin. The Program is intended to provide students with an interdisciplinary, applications-oriented education in environmental science. It is designed to provide an instructional background that will enable graduates to utilize a scientific approach to study natural ecological processes and to address current and future regional and/or worldwide environmentally related issues.

The goal of the program is to provide an educational background so that graduates will:

  • Have a basic understanding of the behavior and interactions of the physical, chemical, and biological components of the environment,
  • Be knowledgeable about historical perspectives of human’s interactions with the environment,
  • Have the relevant laboratory, field, and other professional skills necessary to address environmental issues,
  • Be resources of information and, likewise, also know when and where to get additional assistance to help address complex environmental issues,
  • Be knowledgeable about environmental regulations, safety requirements, and related issues,
  • Be knowledgeable about pathway analysis, environmental toxicology, and risk assessment,
  • Be able to communicate with the public as well as with technical peers,
  • Serve as interfaces with engineers and other environmental specialists, and
  • Address environmental problems with a rational and ecologically sound approach.


Full course descriptions can be viewed at the WSU Tri-Cities Catalog website:

  • 502 Human Health and the Environment
  • 504 Ecosystem Management
  • 509 Applied Radiological Physics
  • 516 Radiation Biology
  • 524 Environmental Health Assessment
  • 531 Fundamentals of Environmental Toxicology
  • 532 Applied Environmental Toxicology
  • 535 Resolving Environmental Conflicts
  • 544 Environmental Assessment
  • 545 Hazardous Waste management
  • 548 Environmental Law
  • 550 System Dynamics Models
  • 556 Insecticides: Toxicology and Mode of Action
  • 557 Herbicides: Toxicology and Mode of Action
  • 558 Pesticide Topics
  • 585 Aquatic System Restoration
  • 586 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • 590, 591, and 592 Special Topics
  • 593 Seminar in ES/RP
  • 597 Technical & Public Communications in Environmental Science