Shippensburg University

Geoenvironmental Studies


1871 Old Main Drive

Shippensburg, PA 17257

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

Shippensburg designed its master of science degree in geoenvironmental studies to provide scientists, planners, researchers, and educators with skills in four areas of emphasis: (1) a broad understanding of the environment; (2) technical and managerial skills needed to solve environmental problems; (3) experience with geotechnology (GIS,GPS, and related field techniques); and (4) practical field experience.

To be awarded a master of science degree in geoenvironmental studies, you must complete a minimum of 36 hours of graduate work, distributed as follows: At least 24 credit hours in geoenvironmental elective courses; a 6 credit hour internship or a 6 credit hour thesis (a 3 credit research course is required with the internship option); a practical written exam is given after completing 21-27 credits of course work; no more than 4 classes can be taken for credit at the 400 level.

To assure that you have the appropriate balance between social and natural sciences, you will plan your program in consultation with a member of the geoenvironmental studies graduate faculty. In view of your professional goals, your faculty advisor will help you decide whether you should write a thesis or engage in an internship.

The thesis option is available for those students who plan to continue their education beyond the master’s degree level or who are interested in developing a research topic.

At Shippensburg, you will find the environment conducive to study. Located in Shearer Hall, the Department of Geography-Earth Science is well equipped with facilities including two GIS-oriented computer laboratories, a faculty/student research laboratory, soils laboratory, rock and mineral laboratory, climatological, and micrometeorological station, and air photo and map library. There is a wide range of field equipment and instrumentation including a total station and global positioning systems for topographic remote sensing, geologic, land use, meteorologic, hydrologic, soil, and subsurface surveys.

The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratories contain state-of-the-art PC environments with high-speed internet access, and are designed for geographic data visualization, analysis, and problem solving. Desktop GIS and cartographic software includes the current releases of: ESRI(R) ArcGIS 10.x and several extensions, ERDAS(R) Imagine, Macromedia (R) products, and CorelDraw. Statistical software includes the latest versions of SPSS and the R environment for statistical computing. Students can access geographic data services, work with aerial protographs and satellite images, and make professional- quality maps. Other equipment includes Trimble GPS receivers and software, color printers and a large format plotter.

Shippensburg University campus is ideally located for field work and internships related to geoenvironmental studies. Harrisburg, PA and Hagerstown, MD are forty minutes from the campus along Interstate 81. The campus is located in the beautiful Cumberland Valley with South Mountain, the Piedmont and Ridge and Valley Province nearby. Field study, relating geoenvironmental class experience will be conducted in the region reviewing geology, soils, hydrology, land use, biodiversity, and air quality.

Graduates of the program are today operating at every level of government, teaching at every level of education, and working with many types of consulting firms and industry. They have accepted such positions as: physical scientist with the federal government; environmental planner for counties in Maryland & Pennsylvania; conservationist with the Dauphin County Soil Conservation District; field representative with the Pennsylvania DER or DCNR; head planner for a city in Florida; physical scientist with the United States Geological Survey; senior hydrogeologist; solid waste planner; GIS manager; environmental scientist at consulting firms. Others have gone on to pursue a doctorate in preparation for college teaching or top-level positions in public or private enterprises.


Shippensburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, AACSB International, ABET Inc., Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC), American Chemical Society, Council on Social Work Ed

International Student Requirements:

The recommended score for the TOEFL is 68 for the internet-based test or 500 for the paper-based test. (Shippensburg University's test code for the TOEFL is 2657). The recommended score for IELTS is 6.0. International applicants from a country where English is the native/official language may be exempted from the TOEFL or IELTS requirement, however the GRE or GMAT is required.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

# of Credits Required: 36

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): $454 PA resident; $681 non-resident/$463 non-resid USD

Classification: Master's College or University I

Locale: Distant Town

Size & Settings: 6,000-9,999

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