What is Environmental Chemistry?
Environmental Chemistry is a discipline which is concerned with chemical and biological phenomena which are happening in ecosystems of Earth.
Environmental Chemistry includes several specific subdisciplines - marine chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, soil chemistry, environmental remediation.
In the modern world, environmental chemistry deals with the issues of various pollution of the environment, its chemical component, and correspondingly affecting the life of human and other living beings. Here are the most important problems, which are studied by Environmental Chemistry:
- Acid rain and smog;
- The compounds of heavy metals and radioactive elements trapped in biosystems;
- Chemistry of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone, destruction of the ozone layer due to chemical emissions.
One of other subjects of Environmental Chemistry is the biota, which is the aggregate of all existing living beings on the planet Earth, as well as their influence on the level of solar radiation and climate.
Environmental Chemistry program structure
Usually Environmental Chemistry is taught as Master and PhD degree. Master’s study programs in Environmental Chemistry last from one to two years, graduates receive a MSc (Master of Science) degree. Study programs are very research-focused; the curricula depends on the research project of the student. Universities can help students with part-time job placement; some of them offer internships in nonprofit ecology organizations. After receiving a Master degree in Environmental Chemistry, many graduates apply for a PhD study program in this or relevant area to continue their research.
Entry requirements for Environmental Chemistry applicants
Environmental Chemistry is rarely taught as a Bachelor (or other undergraduate) study program. Usually those who wish to study Environmental Chemistry complete a Bachelor degree in a relevant and more basic area - for example, Chemistry or Ecology. This is a mandatory requirement for those who wish to apply for a Master study program in Environmental Chemistry. Applicants need to show high overall GPA score and particularly - in Chemistry and Ecology. They should also demonstrate their willingness for research activity in this area by providing a strong research proposal and/or motivation letter.
Some universities also require a relevant work experience of scientific publications - for these purposes volunteering environmental organizations will be useful.
Those who wish to study Environmental Chemistry in a foreign university need also to demonstrate language fluency in case of their native language is other from English. Universities accept the results of TOEFL, IELTS or other equivalent language certificate.