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Courses in the online Master of Science in Soil and Water Sciences Environmental Science track are offered to accommodate place-bound students interested in environmental issues related to the soil and water quality of agricultural lands, forested lands, range lands, urban lands or wetlands. This track is designed for individuals who want to enhance their knowledge in environmental science and attracts participants ranging from extension agents, state and federal employees, consultants, and to continuing students who want to pursue an academic career.

How to Apply

See the SWS Graduate Programs Application page for details on deadlines and application requirements.

Program Requirements

View the SWS Graduate Student Guide for details on program requirements.

Who to Contact

Samira H. Daroub, Distance Education Coordinator,
Michael J. Sisk, Academic Program Specialist,

Tuition & Fees: Fall 2020 - Summer 2021

$565.00 Per Credit Hour For Graduate Courses (Course Level 5000 - 9999).  See the breakdown of the Fall 2020 - Summer 2021 Distance Education Tuition and Fees. Please note that tuition and fees are subject to an increase and are reviewed in late June/early July for the upcoming academic year.

About The Program

  • Time to degree ranges from two to four years.
  • Starting dates are Spring semester (January), Summer semester (May), or Fall semester (August).
  • 30 credits for either thesis option or professional/non-thesis option (major paper required).

A limited number of UF graduate credits with grades of B or better taken as a non-degree or post-baccalaureate may be transferred into the program to meet degree requirements upon approval.

Note: Tracks are unofficial terms. No tracks appear in official lists in graduate catalog or on the student transcript.  


Students wishing to enroll in this graduate track should have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in soil and water sciences or an equivalent degree in an allied field such as geology, natural resources, biology, ecology, hydrology, microbiology, environmental science, horticultural science, environmental engineering, agricultural engineering or agronomy. If your bachelor's degree is not in soil and water science or you don't have an equivalent degree in an allied field, you will generally have to complete pre-requisite courses (Chemistry 1 with Lab, Chemistry 2 with Lab, Biology 1 with Lab, and Biology 2 with Lab) at a local institution before applying for admission to the program. Admission criteria include a "B" (3.0) grade point average or better for the last two years of the baccalaureate program. High speed internet access is mandatory.

For more information on the SWSD program requirements, please see the SWS Graduate Student Guide(PDF).

Student Spotlight

C. Ryan Penton, 2004 Graduate

C. Ryan Penton graduated with an MS in Soil and Water Sciences from the Distance Education Program in 2004. In this video, he discusses his experience in graduate school via the distance education program. Ryan was part of the first graduating class to participate in the program. View Ryan's video: