Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment

With our Environmental Chemistry, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment concentration you’ll learn to examine the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment, including the health hazards and social impacts associated with chemical pollution. You’ll study the chemical, physical, and biological reactions of pollutants in the soil, water, and atmospheric systems. You’ll also learn the effects of toxins in the environment and cutting-edge methods of regulating them. You’ll add training in environmental management and policy to ensure you can communicate your science to the public and policymakers. Finally, you’ll learn how to analyze sensitivity and exposure information to quantify risks associated with environmental contaminants.

O’Neill is a global leader in environmental chemistry, toxicology, and risk assessment education, research and public service. As a graduate, you will be well prepared for a number of roles including environmental consultant, scientist, or data or project manager. You will be poised for professional success in the private, nonprofit, or public sector, at national and international levels, or in the fast-growing and often innovative environment of state and municipal organizations.

How to apply

8MSES STUDENTS FOCUSED ON this concentration (Spring 2021)



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)
  • Changing Landscape of Toxic Chemical Regulation (E 514)
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 O’Neill you will need to work with an advisor.

Combining your MSES degree with an 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.

The above are examples of your course options. For a complete listing, see the official Indiana University Graduate Bulletin and work with your advisor as you make your schedule.

Current and past placements and internships

O’Neill’s dedicated Career Hub will assist you as you seek an internship or post-graduate employment, and our alumni community is an excellent lead source.

  • U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
  • National Environmental Education Foundation
  • National Oceanic Administration
  • EnviroForensics
  • Center for Biological Diversity

Check out the CDO’s Explore Careers & Outcomes page.

Gain real-world experience while still in school

You can join the O’Neill 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


Associate Professor; Adjunct Associate Professor, Chemistry; Director, Raff Laboratory

(812) 855-6525

Associate Dean for Research, Associate Professor

(812) 855-1392

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Rudy Professor

(812) 856-0863

Your experience at O’Neill is customizable. Students can explore their individual interests through challenging courses, student organizations, research opportunities, and internships.

Rio Schondelmeyer, MPA-MSES’17, works for Grant Thornton, Alexandria, Virginia
50 years at O'Neill