MSU has more than 50 students enrolled in an online program to obtain a master’s degree in environmental sciences. The program, which had 11 students when it was created in fall 2012, has grown faster than administrators expected.
MSU launched the program after receiving a $48,500 grant from the Office of the Provost. Students have the option to participate in independent study and internship opportunities and 15 MSU courses are offered. The program has 13 faculty members teaching the online courses. Each semester, students usually take one to two three credit classes. Students can attend the virtual classes whenever is convenient for them and the flexibility attracts students who would not otherwise have the time or resources to take such a class.
While many of the students enrolled in the class live on the west coast, the farthest student enrolled is a U.S. Marine stationed in Japan. The average age of the students is 35, and of the students 60 percent are female and 40 percent are male.