M.A. in Environmental Studies

Graduate Program Coodinator:   Ed Weber

Program Advisor:  Dr. Andy Bach

The MA degree in Environmental Studies prepares students to address complex environmental problems using a highly interdisciplinary approach. The program prepares students in the analysis, development, conservation, and management frameworks of environmental resources for careers in business, government, planning, consulting, teaching, and research.

Program specializations include:

  • Environmental Policy. Emphasizes environmental policy and especially the ecological, economic, political, and social factors which affect environmental governance processes.
    • Faculty advisors include Troy D. Abel, Kate DarbyJean Melious, Mark Neff, and Grace Wang.
      • The major research programs led by these faculty include: environmental justice, energy studies, science and environmental decision-making, and human dimensions of natural resource management.

ENVS Graduate Program Goals

Students who graduate from the ENVS Graduate Program will be able to:

  1. Critically understand an environmental issue using appropriate knowledge
  2. Investigate that environmental issue using an interdisciplinary framework
  3. Effectively communicate through written, visual, and oral means
  4. Independently design, implement, and complete a research project

ENVS Graduate Program Learning Objectives 

Upon graduation, Environmental Studies masters students will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the complexity of issues and processes which contribute to an environmental problem.
  2. Describe how their research is situated in the history and scope of environmental studies.
  3. Identify a range of theoretical frameworks and methodologies used in environmental studies and explain the appropriate contexts for their application.
  4. Demonstrate a fundamental knowledge of disciplines relevant to their research topic.
  5. Explain, justify, and correctly execute a method(s) appropriate to their research topic.
  6. Use effective verbal presentation skills to share their research plans and results.
  7. Use writing skillfully to communicate theory, methods, results, and relevance of their research project.
  8. Independently design, implement, and complete a research project (thesis or field project).


  • 4-year degree in Environmental Studies or related fields
    • Students with degrees in fields other than Environmental Studies will be considered but must acquire background, under advisement, through coursework or other approved methods.
  • Plan for completion of any outstanding prerequisites must be described in the statement of purpose.
  • Specific test requirements: GRE-general test.

Program Requirements (45 credits minimum)

  • Core Requirements (19 credits)

    • ENVS 501-Research and Projects in Environmental Studies (3-credits)

    • ENVS 502-Environmental Research and Projects Frameworks (3-credits)

    • ENVS 503-Communicating Research Results  (1-credit)

    • Choose:   ENVS 690-Thesis (12-credits) or ENVS 691-Field Project (12-credits)

  • Elective courses selected under advisement to total 45 credits

    • A maximum of 10 credits of approved 400-level work may be included in the program

    • A maximum of 4 elective credits of ENVS 595-Teaching Practicum, may be used towards this degree

    • A maximum of 10 credits of ENVS Directed Independent Study (ENVS 500)

    • Students are also encouraged to take up to two quarters of ENVS/ESCI 599 (Huxley Speaker Series), and those who hold Teaching Assistant positions are should enroll in ENVS 597J (Professional Development for TAs) their first quarter on campus.   Students are also encouraged to seek out other coursework in other departments, if applicable to your studies.  


  • Generally admitted during fall quarter only
    • Admission for subsequent quarters will be considered on a space-available basis  
  • Applicants must include a statement of purpose
  • GRE Test is mandatory
    • There is no minimum score requirement