Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment

Protect what matters

Our Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology & Risk Assessment concentration, will allow you to examine the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment, including the health hazards and social impacts associated with chemical pollution. In this concentration you will study the chemical, physical, and biological reactions of pollutants in the soil, water, and atmospheric systems. You will also explore technologies used to manage and remediate contaminated sites, the toxicological effects of chemical exposure, and methods to assess and mitigate the risks associated with chemical use.

SPEA is widely recognized as a global leader in environmental chemistry, toxicology, and assessment education, research and public service. As a graduate in this field, you will be well prepared for a number of roles—from environmental consultant and scientist to data or project manager. You will be poised for professional success in virtually any setting—whether in the United States or around the world, in the private or public sector, and at any level of government.

How to apply

Add in-depth knowledge and detail

This concentration addresses the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment and the hazards and risks to human health and the environment associated with chemical pollution. Additional courses focus on the hazards associated with chemicals used by modern society, technologies available to manage and remediate contaminated sites, the toxicological effects of chemical exposures and methods to asses risks associated with chemicals in the environment. MSES students focusing in ECTRA are required to take one course (3 credit hours) in Environmental Chemistry, one course in Toxicology (3 credit hours) and the Risk Analysis course:

Environmental Chemistry (3 credit hours):
  • Fundamentals of Air Pollution (E 515)
  • PCB’s, Dioxins and Flame Retardants (E 521)
  • Aquatic Chemistry (E 539)
  • Organic Pollutants: Environmental Chemistry and Fate (E 564)
  • Environmental Soil Science (E 570)
Toxicology (3 credit hours):
  • Environmental Toxicology (E 520)
  • Toxicology in the 21st Century (E 555)
Risk Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • Environmental Risk Analysis (E 560)

On top of the ECTRA’s core classes, you are required to take three electives (9 credit hours) from the following list.

ECTRA Electives (9 credit hours):
  • Water Quality Modeling (E 502)
  • Hazardous Materials (E 542)
  • Subsurface Microbiology and Bioremediation (E 544)
  • Groundwater Flow Modeling (E 554)
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (E 562)
  • Instrumentation for Atmospheric Science (GEOL-G 547)*
  • Organic Geochemistry (GEOL-G 587)*

*For courses outside of SPEA you will need to work with an advisor.

Combining your MSES degree with the MPA can offer you unique advantages in pursuing a particular career. Integrating science and policy for better leadership. Our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests and help you design a program that is best or you.

Gain real-world experience while still in school

You can join the SPEA Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved

Learn from faculty with expertise and experience in environmental chemistry, toxicology, and risk assessment

Flynn Picardal

(812) 855-0733

  • Environmental microbiology, bioremediation, and biogeochemistry with a focus on the microbial reduction of iron oxides and nitrate, microbial iron oxidation, biotransformation of metals and chlorinated hydrocarbons, anaerobic carbon metabolism in coal beds, and combined microbial:geochemical interactions

Jonathan D. Raff
Associate Professor

(812) 855-6525

  • Applying interdisciplinary approaches to understand how thermal and photochemical reactions on surfaces affect the fate of pollutants in the environment and impact global climate

Joseph Shaw
Associate Professor

(812) 855-0732
SPEA 410

  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Environmental Genomics
  • Comparative Physiology

Philip S. Stevens
Rudy Professor

(812) 856-0863

  • Characterization of the chemical mechanisms in the atmosphere that influence regional air quality and global climate change