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Courses in the online Master of Science in Soil, Water, and Ecosystem 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 2023 - Summer 2024

$565.00 Per Credit Hour For SWES Graduate Courses (Course Level 5000 - 9999).  See the breakdown of the Fall 2023 - Summer 2024 Distance Education Tuition and Fees for SWES Graduate-Level DE Courses. 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 or equivalent 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 SWESD program requirements, please see the SWESD Graduate Student Guide (PDF).

Career options

Many of our students are pursuing their M.S. degree online while working full- or part-time. Others come right from their undergraduate program. Whether in an existing job or looking for a new one, these are some of the positions our graduates have after completing their degree:

Principal Planner, county government Owner, Home Inspection Co. Environmental Consultant
Science Teacher Senior Scientist,
Environmental Consulting
Extension Agent
Environmental Attorney Research Scientist,
environmental remediation
Environmental Specialist, state government
Risk Assessor and Project Manager,
state government
K-12 STEM Outreach Instructor,
private university
Licensed Practical Nurse
Business Development Manager,
land management company
Owner, environmental consulting firm Environmental Health Specialist, county government
Natural Resource Specialist, federal government Environmental Consultant Adjunct Professor
Environmental Scientist Environmental Programs Administrator, county government Irrigation Consultant
Environmental Health District Director, state government Public Works Planning Manager, city government Water Quality Program Coordinator, public university
Senior Planner, county government Vice President,
environmental consulting firm
Hydrologist, federal government

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: