Specialization Information

M.S. and Ph.D. students can select one of five program options:

  1. General Study (no specialization)
  2. Agroecosystems Sciences
  3. Climate Change Science and Policy
  4. Water Issues
  5. Environmental Public Health

For General Study, all of the Core Coursework and Degree Requirments must be met. To earn a specialization, content-specific critera must be met in addition to the requirements for General Study.

General Study (No Specialization)

Agroecosystems Science

The whole-system approach to sustainable agricultural and food systems is the interdisciplinary area of agroecosystems sciences. Agroecology links ecology, culture, economics and society. Agroecosystems Science research areas include:

  • Local food system development, food system assessment and sustainability
  • Watershed ecology and participatory water quality management programs
  • Renewable energy from agroecosystems
  • Sustainability science and policy

Download the specialization overview, Agroecosystem Sciences (MS).pdf or  Agroecosystem Sciences (PhD).pdf, for a full description with requirements and objectives. Contact Douglas Doohan for more information.

Climate Change Science and Policy

Research on climate change at both the scientific and policy-making level inherently requires an interdisciplinary approach that bridges the gap between social and natural sciences. Research themes addressed by the climate change specialization program include:

  • The global water cycle including causes and consequences of sea level rise, and sustainability of water resources
  • The global energy economy, including conventional and alternative energy sources, technology, and policy
  • Rapid climate change including changes in the mean and variation in temperature and precipitation and their effects on managed and natural ecosystems, including biodiversity and agroecosystems

Download the specialization overview, Climate Change Science and Policy (MS).pdf or Climate Change Science and Policy (PhD).pdf, for a full description with requirements and objectives. Contact Gil Bohrer for more information.

Water Issues

Research on Earth’s water is interdisciplinary, requires ability to bridge the social and natural sciences and engineering. Water Specialization research areas include:

  • Water in global change
  • Water quantity, hydrologic forecasting and remote sensing
  • Water quality, the role of water in biogeochemical cycles
  • Consequences of human activities to aquatic ecosystem services
  • Consequences of aquatic ecosystem conditions to public health
  • Water rights in coupled human-natural systems
  • Water contaminant fate and ecotoxicity
  • Collaborative watershed planning
  • Transboundary water governance

Download the specialization overview, Water Issues (MS).pdf or Water Issues (PhD).pdf, for a full description with requirements and objectives. Contact Michael Durand for more information.

Environmental Public Health

Understanding the intersection between public health and the environment requires an interdisciplinary approach. Epidemiology, toxicology, and global health are all being affected by climate change. Environmental public health research interests include:

  • Global health and environmental microbiology
  • Environmental health science
  • Epidemiology, toxicology, and public health
  • The role of the environment in public health issues

Download the specialization overview, Environmental Public Health (MS).pdfEnvironmental Public Health (PhD).pdf, for a full description with requirements and objectives. Contact Darryl Hood for more information.

Clarification: ESGP Specializations are not OSU Graduate Minors or Interdisciplinary Specializations

The specializations listed above apply only to ESGP students. Once an ESGP student completes the requirements for an ESGP specialization, the accomplishment is written onto the student’s official university transcript as a note under the degree program.

By contrast, there are other graduate minors and interdisciplinary specializations available at the university level that are open to any graduate students, including ESGP students. These are like “mini-degrees” outside of any one student’s graduate program. More information about these university-wide graduate minors/specializations can be found at the Graduate School.


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