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Arid Land Studies

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The Master of Science in Arid Land Studies (MSALS) is a unique interdisciplinary graduate program designed to prepare students for careers in the study and management of natural resources, environmental issues, and economic and social factors associated with sustainable development of arid and semiarid lands.

Program Overview. The interdisciplinary nature of this two-year program is ideal for students who wish to expand their knowledge in different areas of study rather than specialize. Students in the MSALS program choose three subject areas related to the sustainable use and management of drylands, including both science and humanities. Then they design a unique program to suit their individual career goals.

Courses normally focus on one of three subject areas: (1) agricultural sciences and natural resources, (2) geosciences, and (3) water resources and environmental toxicology. However, any graduate courses taught at Texas Tech can be taken as electives upon recommendation of the program faculty advisor. No more than 12 credit hours may be taken within any single college except the College of Arts and Sciences. Qualified MSASL students may choose the thesis option (24 hours of graduate coursework plus 6 hours of thesis and 6 hours of research credit). A co-advisor will be chosen to guide the research element of the program. The 36-hour non-thesis plan is also available.

Admissions Criteria. Applicants to the program must satisfy the requirements set by the university and the Graduate School. In addition, students interested in the MSALS program must have two letters of recommendation and a statement of career goals either emailed to heather.bradley@ttu.edu or mailed to Heather Bradley, Texas Tech University, PO Box 45004, Lubbock, TX 79409-5004. Competitive scholarships may be available.

Joint/Dual Degrees with International Partners. Students admitted to MSALS program have the option of applying to the interdisciplinary joint/dual master's degree program offered by Texas Tech and its partners: Sheffield University in the United Kingdom and Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in Germany. This program builds on the unique research expertise of each institution. Students accepted into this program are also accepted at one of the partner universities. They will spend one year at each university and then two months interning at the third institution. Instruction is in English, but enhancing cross-cultural competence is a goal of the program.

For additional information, see www.iaff.ttu.edu/home/icasals or contact the International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies (ICASALS), 806.742.3667. For academic questions, email Dr. Gad Perry (gad.perry@ttu.edu); program inquiries and applications should be sent to Heather Bradley (heather.bradley@ttu.edu).