Environmental Science & Policy

Master of Science

DescriptionDegree RequirementsAdmissions Requirements
The MS in Environmental Science and Policy is designed to expand students’ understanding of the natural, social and physical dimensions of environmental issues. Students work with faculty members in areas such as forest ecosystems, hydrology, climate change, environmental economics, and land use planning to learn about the relationship between science and policy.

Our multidisciplinary approach helps students develop the ability to think analytically and creatively about environmental issues in order to understand the scientific basis of environmental problems, as well as the social, political and economic factors that shape appropriate management and policy responses.

The program is intended to be flexible to meet the varied needs of individual students. Although most students are full time, our program is designed to accommodate part-time students and students interested in taking courses for professional development. Up to 12 credits can be taken without matriculating in the program. Depending on availability, full-time graduate students may be eligible to receive graduate assistantships, which include a stipend and tuition benefits. Contact the program coordinator for more information about funding opportunities.

The Center for the Environment helps facilitate this degree program along with PSU’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy. The department oversees the curriculum and offers student support. Center lends its expertise and knowledge in engaging on- and off-campus partners, providing oppor­tunities for students to work on research projects.

Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when Environmental Science and Policy courses will be offered.

The 30-credit program has two core courses, Watershed Systems and Environmental Law, Policy and Management, providing students with a comprehen­sive foundation in environmental science. In addition, students take either Research Design and Data Analysis or Environmental Communication and Outreach. A six-credit thesis or a three-credit research project is also required. Students work with their advisors to develop and conduct their research project.

ESP Core Component – 6 credits

Integrative Skills Component (choose one course) – 3 credits

Elective Component (choose from the list below) – 15-18 credits

Research Component – 3-6 credits

Minimum Total for MS in Environmental Science and Policy – 30 credits

Students are encouraged to apply by January 15 for enrollment in the fall. Students seeking admission should have training in the basic sciences, social sciences, and calculus and/or statistics. Our strongest students have course work in multiple areas including general biology, ecology or biogeography, physical geography or geology, physics, chemistry, sociology or anthropology, calculus, and statistics. Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty and the program coordinator to identify a prospective advisor during the applica­tion phase.

Admissions requirements for MS in Environmental Science and Policy requires the following materials to be submitted through our online application

  • 3.0 or better in undergraduate coursework
  • Official transcripts from any/all college level work
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Current Resume
  • Statement of interest
  • GRE test scores
  • NH Residency Verification form (NH residents only)
  • $75 application fee