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DEGREE Environmental Chemistry and Technology Research, MS

Masters degree in environmental chemistry and technology

If you have a strong background in chemistry and want to apply your interest and expertise to challenges in environmental systems, our interdisciplinary Environmental Chemistry and Technology program will provide you the experience you need to make a difference. As a master’s student in the program, you’ll received advanced instruction and research training in environmental chemistry and environmental technology, along with exposure to faculty from a variety of disciplines.

At a glance

Civil and environmental engineering department

Professors of practice who mentor our students
civil engineering graduate ranking among public universities
environmental engineering graduate ranking among public universities

Learn more about what information you need to apply.


Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline This program does not admit in the spring.
Summer Deadline This program does not admit in the summer.
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not exclusively in English, must provide an English proficiency test score earned within two years of the anticipated term of enrollment. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Requirements for Admission policy:
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

Application Process and Requirements

All applicants must meet the Graduate School’s admission requirements to be considered for admission.  Departmental admission is by committee review.  Applications submitted after the fall deadline through March 15 will be reviewed if complete and will be considered for admission by the program is space is still available. To check if space is available, please email:

In addition, applicants must also meet the department’s requirements listed below to be considered for admission:


A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 is required. Applicants from an international institution must demonstrate strong academic achievement comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree. The Graduate School will use your institution’s grading scale. Do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.


Applicants seeking admission should have a background in the fundamental areas of general, organic, physical, and analytical chemistry. In addition, applicants should have some background in applied sciences which can be fulfilled with a minimum of 6 credits in natural sciences such as botany, zoology, bacteriology, earth science, material science, biochemistry, or engineering. Applicants who have not met these requirements must do so prior to the completion of the master’s degree.


Funded offers for MS (research) and PhD students, in the form of research assistantships, project assistantships, and/or teaching assistantships come directly from individual faculty members.   Please contact interested faculty before or after you have applied to inquire about assistantship opportunities. Funding is not guaranteed with admission. Admitted applicants will be contacted directly by faculty regarding funding opportunities.

Complete Application

A complete graduate application is required before an application will be reviewed by the faculty. Late applications may not be reviewed for funding opportunities. A complete graduate application contains the following:

Graduate School Application

Applicants must submit an online application to the UW–Madison Graduate School. See Graduate School Admissions to apply.

Statement of Purpose

Submit a statement of purpose of 1,000 words or less in the online application. This statement should cover your technical areas of interest, coursework emphasis, research experience, professional goals, faculty members you are interested in working with, and any other items relevant to your qualifications for graduate school.  See the Graduate School for additional guidelines for the Statement of Purpose (scroll to bottom of page).

Three Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted through the online application. These letters should be from people who can judge the applicant’s academic, research, and/or work performance.  See the Graduate School for FAQs regarding these letters.

Academic Transcripts

Upload the most recent copies of your transcripts to the online application, from each institution attended.  Study abroad transcripts are not required if coursework is reflected on the degree granting university’s transcript. Unofficial copies of transcripts are used for departmental review. If the applicant is recommended for admission, then the Graduate School will follow-up with instructions for official transcript submission. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the Environmental Chemistry and Technology program unless requested.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Upload your most recent resume or curriculum vitae in the online application.

English Proficiency Score

Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Scores are accepted if they are within two years of the start of the admission term. Self-reported exam information is acceptable during departmental review; however, if you are recommended for admission, official test scores must be sent directly to the Graduate School from the testing body. See Graduate School Admission Requirements for more information on the English proficiency requirement. (NOTE: TOEFL scores may be sent electronically via ETS using institution code 1846)

Application Fee

A one-time application fee is required.  See the Graduate School frequently asked questions for fee information.  Fee grants are offered by the Graduate School on a limited basis and under certain conditions, as outlined here.  The department does not offer an application fee waiver due to the large volume of applications received.  However, if you are working with a specific faculty member, then they may offer you a fee voucher.


Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates


Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Students accepted into the program can expect to be fully funded through through fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships on research projects. Admission decisions are based on the student’s qualifications and research interests, the availability of funding, and the focus of funded research projects. Funding includes a waiver of tuition (excluding segregated fees), health benefits (including family coverage), and a yearly stipend.

Civil and environmental engineers are changing the world. Aging infrastructure. Climate change. Clean water and air. Natural hazards. Energy. These are just a few of the grand challenges facing civil and environmental engineers, and our research is leading the way toward sustainable solutions.

We focus on eight cross-disciplinary research areas that involve collaborations with faculty and students from across the department, as well as other departments within and outside of the College of Engineering.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Curricular Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be graduate-level coursework. Refer to the Graduate School: Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement policy:
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Refer to the Graduate School: Grade Point Average (GPA) Requirement policy:
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all courses counting toward degree requirements.
Assessments and Examinations The thesis pathway requires a formal thesis.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required Courses

Students are required to develop a plan of courses with their advisor. Additional courses beyond the core courses may be included with approval of the student’s academic advisor and the approval of the Environmental Chemistry and Technology Academic Planning Committee.

Note that CIV ENGR 500 Water Chemistry or an equivalent advanced Environmental Chemistry course, is a prerequisite for many of the core Environmental Chemistry and Technology courses. If these requirements have not been met prior to entering the program, this should be considered when planning the coursework.

Core Courses
Environmental Inorganic Chemistry
CIV ENGR 703 Environmental Geochemistry1-3
or GEOSCI 875 Advanced Topics in Geology
Environmental Organic Chemistry
CIV ENGR/​M&ENVTOX/​SOIL SCI  631 Toxicants in the Environment: Sources, Distribution, Fate, & Effects3
or CIV ENGR 704 Environmental Chemical Kinetics
Air Chemistry
CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN  701 The Chemistry of Air Pollution2-3
or CHEM 629 Atmospheric Chemical Mechanisms
Environmental Technology
CIV ENGR 609 Special Topics in Water Chemistry (Advanced Water Analysis topic)3
or CIV ENGR 629 Special Topics in Environmental Engineering
Additional Coursework
CIV ENGR 909 Graduate Seminar – Environmental Chemistry & Technology 11
or CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  911 Limnology and Marine Science Seminar
CIV ENGR 790 Master’s Research or Thesis 24
Total Credits30

Students must enroll in CIV ENGR 909 Graduate Seminar – Environmental Chemistry & Technology or CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  911 Limnology and Marine Science Seminar each semester. PhD students are required to present a seminar at least once during their master’s program.


Students must complete a minimum of 4 research credits of CIV ENGR 790 Master’s Research or Thesis with their faculty advisor. If supported with a graduate assistantship (TA, RA, PA), students should enroll in the appropriate number of research credits each semester to achieve full-time status as required by credit-load rules.

3182 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Matt Ginder-Vogel, Director of Graduate Studies
2205 Engineering Hall, 1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on policies, rules and regulations.

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Our research is making a global impact, especially in mobility, water and building, and energy, infrastructure and environmental considerations thread through everything we do.

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