Environmental Biology

The Master's program in environmental biology is committed to supply Palestine with excellent scientific cadres who are able to understand and solve the current and future challenges facing the Palestinian environment, in a manner that is sound scientifically and that fits with the accuracy and sensitivity of the balance of the environment. This message is consistent with the Palestinian national strategy to preserve the environment and raise its awareness, its practices and the sound environmental planning. Moreover, the message is also consistent with the mission of Birzeit University that requires excellence in the fields of scientific research and higher education, and community service.

This program is intended offer higher studies in environmental biology for holders of BA degrees in Life Sciences or workers in several biological areas. Thus, the program strives to prepare specialists and researchers in the field of environmental biology to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge and the creation and development of environmental awareness and the importance of maintaining organisms, biodiversity, environment and natural resources from pollution.

After completing the program, graduates program acquire the following knowledge and concepts and shall be able to:

  • Shows knowledge of subject specific scientific terminology
  • Enumerates the important roles of microorganisms in their various environments
  • Shows knowledge of the factors affecting the living organisms.
  • Shows an understanding of ways to collect statistical data and analyzed using biological statistical packages.
  • Shows understanding of the characteristics of different biological communities and their development.
  • Shows the knowledge of the genetic components and the factors influencing them.
  • Analyzes the mutual relationship between living organisms and their environment and human activities.
  • Analyzes environmental problems and looks for possible solutions
  • Links scientific knowledge with real-life facts.
  • Designs specialized experiments in Environment Microbiology
  • Analyzes and interprets the results of the biological statistical analysis biological explanation
  • Tests methods for measuring biodiversity and classify organisms..
  • Employs technology in the study of the environment and ecosystems
  • Explains and compares animal behavior, links it to the environment, evolution and genetics.
  • Analyzes and explains the impact of pollutants on the basic elements of the environment.
  • Tests and analyzes the effect of different toxins and ways of moving into organisms
  • Employs the scientific research skills and the survey reference in the study and analysis of the environmental systems
  • Formulates a project for scientific research, and scientific papers.

Graduates of the program will be able to work in the following areas:

  • In various government sectors concerned with environmental matters such as the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Water and the Ministry of Agriculture.
  • In the private sector concerned with environmental studies, dissemination and increasing environmental awareness.
  • In various universities and institutes in the fields of teaching and research.
  • In scientific research centers and civil society organizations concerned with wildlife and the environment.
  • In universities and institutions concerned with the environment and wildlife regionally and internationally.
Program completion requirements
  • The successful completion of 36 credit hours according to the program outline including mandatory courses (15 credit hours), elective courses (15 credit hours) and 6 credit hours for thesis (track “A” students) or 6 credit hours for two seminar courses (track “B” students).
  • The  successful  completion  of  any  remedial  courses  that  have  been  required  by  the student upon acceptance into the program, before the start of the third semester in the program. The remedial courses are not accounted within the required credit hours for the program and are not counted towards the cumulative average of the program.
  • The cumulative average at graduation of at least 75%.

The program consists of 36 credit hours including 15 credit hours of mandatory courses and 15 credit hour of elective courses in addition to 6 credit hours for thesis (track “A” students) or 6 credit hours for two seminar courses (track “B” students), distributed as follows:


1. Compulsory Courses:(15 Credit Hours)

Course No.

Course Title



Research Methods






Environmental Biology



Environmental Microbiology






Advanced Biological Techniques


*The course includes practical part in the form of a small research project and / or a limited number of laboratory experiments and field visits.


2. Completion of (15) credit hours from the following:

Course No.

Course Title






Population Genetics






Environmental Pollution



Environmental Biochemistry



Biological Evolution



Animal Behavior



Environmental Virology






Molecular EnvironmentalBiology



Selected Topics


*The course includes practical part in the form of a small research project and/or a limited number of laboratory experiments and field visits.


3. Completion of (6) credit hours from the following:





Track A



Completion of at least 12 credit hours from the program

Track B