Graduation Requirements

Thesis Resources

Applying for graduation
Thesis Formatting Checklist
Graduate School Thesis Manual

Important Dates for Graduation

Below are some important dates for students to keep in mind the semester they plan to graduate. Please note that dates are subject to change based on individual student circumstances, extreme weather (e.g. hurricanes), or other extenuating circumstances. Students are eligible to submit an extension request to the EVSS office, but this must be done at least four weeks prior to the last day of classes. Students should always contact the EVSS office with questions and keep program staff updated on their defense timeline throughout the research process. Deviations from the earliest dates in this timeline can be made at the discretion of your advisor and the Director of the program

Spring 2024 

  • February 28th: Last day to submit a final written draft to your advisor for edits. 
  • March 13th: Last day to provide your entire committee with a written draft of your manuscript that has been approved by your primary advisor 
  • March 27th: Last day to turn in your notification of defense form to the office (this form should be turn in two weeks prior to your defense date) 
  • April 10th: Final day to defend research 
  • April 19th: Last day to turn in your thesis release form, successful defense form, signed title page to graduate school 
  • April 24th: Last day to submit your thesis to ProQuest 

The Degree Requirements

As of the 2022-2023 course catalog, the Master of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Studies degree requires a minimum of 38 credit hours. Please visit the course catalog system for all previous years' requirements.

Each student is required to complete a sequence of core courses. Students select electives from a range of approved courses, according to their area of interest. All students are required to complete either a thesis or an academic internship in order to fulfill the degree requirements.

Thesis Checklist (for full-time EVSS students)

EVSS thesis checklist

Core Courses

Students are required to take a minimum of 24 credit hours of core courses as outlined below. Students must complete a minimum of 14 credit hours of approved electives.

Environmental Studies
EVSS 611 3 hours Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies (Fall or Spring)
EVSS 659 3 hours Environmental Statistics
or EVSS 624 4 hours Biometry
and EVSS 632 3 hours        Social Science Methods for Environmental Studies
EVSS 602 3 hours Public Policy
and EVSS 601 3 hours Economic Theory for Policy Analysis
Natural Science**
EVSS 610 3 hours Environmental Biology
or EVSS 631 4 hours Pollution in the Environment
or EVSS 640 3 hours Earth Systems Science
or EVSS 650 3 hours Energy Production and Resource Management
EVSS 691 6 hours Thesis

* As a prerequisite to the core course EVSS 659: Environmental Statistics (offered in the Spring), each student must either take MATH 250: Statistical Methods I (an undergraduate course offered by the College of Charleston) or an equivalent college level statistics course OR pass the MES entrance exam in Statistics.

** Students focusing on Environmental Science will want to take a science core course outside of their specific area of concentration.

Student Progress and Evaluation

Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA during their course of study. Should a student's GPA fall below a 3.0, he or she will be placed on academic probation and given one semester in which to raise the average to the minimum.

EVSS students must achieve a minimum grade of "B" or better in five of the six core courses. Students may, with the approval of the Steering Committee, retake core courses in which they receive grades lower than "B." Failure to achieve the required grade upon retaking the course will usually result in dismissal from the program, as will a grade of less than a "C" in any course. Extenuating circumstances will be considered by the Steering Committee.

At the end of each semester, the student's record will be reviewed to determine whether he or she is making adequate progress toward the degree. Should a student fail to make adequate progress toward the degree, the Steering Committee may recommend termination from the program.

Requirements for the EVSS degree must be completed within five years from the matriculation date.