Fast Track Geology, BS and Environmental Science, MS

Program Description

The university allows the opportunity for high-achieving students to count a select number of graduate credits toward their undergraduate degree and thereby obtain a graduate degree at an accelerated pace. Students interested in the Fast Track from Geology to Environmental Science must meet the following application criteria:

  • Currently seeking a BS in Geology at A&M-Corpus Christi.
  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 SCH (and a 3.0 GPA in all science and math courses) at the time of Fast Track application.
  • Classified as a Senior with successful completion of at least 90 SCH, including 
    CHEM 1411General Chemistry I4
    CHEM 1412General Chemistry II4
    GEOL 1403Physical Geology4
    GEOL 1404Historical Geology4
    MATH 2413Calculus I4
    PHYS 1401General Physics I4
    or PHYS 2425 University Physics I
    PHYS 1402General Physics II4
    or PHYS 2426 University Physics II
    GEOL 3411Mineralogy4

Students accepted into the Fast Track program will be given permission to enroll in up to six hours of prescribed graduate courses during their last semester of undergraduate studies. The hours for these graduate courses will “double-count” toward both the undergraduate and graduate programs. The BS and MS degrees will be awarded sequentially (i.e., upon completion of each degree) and not simultaneously. Students will be allowed to continue enrollment in the graduate program upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must provide the following at the time of application:

  • A completed application form. Application fees are waived for Fast Track applicants.
  • Official transcripts of all college and university coursework.
  • An essay of at least 300 words describing their educational and career interests, goals, and challenges.
  • Three letters of evaluation from persons knowledgeable about their potential for success in graduate studies.
  • Identify a faculty member willing to serve as their graduate advisor. Applicants will not be admitted to the program without a graduate advisor.
  • Official GRE scores by the time the student is reclassified to MS.

No criterion is weighted more heavily than any other criterion. Applications received or completed after the deadline for admission during one semester may be considered for admission in the following semester at the applicant’s request. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

Academic Preparation

Students accepted to the degree program with insufficient background in science, computer science, mathematics, or communication skills will be required to take undergraduate or graduate prerequisite courses prescribed by their advisory committees. These courses may or may not apply towards the total required for the master’s degree.

Fast Track Curriculum in the Senior Year

BS, Geology students accepted in the Fast Track will have up to six hours of undergraduate elective credit replaced with six hours of graduate credit during the final semester of the senior year. A Fast Track student, in consultation with the faculty adviser, will be able to substitute six hours of undergraduate courses from BIOL, CHEM, COSC, ESCI, GEOL, GISC, MATH, PHYS, or other disciplines as approved. 

In place of the six hours of undergraduate courses, the student will take two of the following graduate courses instead:

  • ESCI 6302 Federal Environmental Laws and Regulations (3 sch) or ESCI 6360 Coastal Management and Ocean Law (3 sch) or BLAW 5330 Environmental Law and Policy (3 sch)
  • GEOL 5490 Advanced Topics (4 sch)
  • ESCI 6130 Oil Spill Management Lab (1 sch) & ESCI 6230 Oil Spill Management Theory (2 sch)
  • ESCI 6170 Hazardous Waste Treatment Technologies Lab (1 sch) & ESCI 6270 Hazardous Waste Treatment Technologies Theory (2 sch)
  • ESCI 5596 Directed Independent Study (1-5 sch)
  • GEOL 5596 Directed independent Study (1-5 sch)
  • An approved graduate elective.

See the Graduate Catalog for a complete description of the degree requirements for the MS in Environmental Science.