Environmental Science & Policy
Master of Science
The Master of Science (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. The program’s 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 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.
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.
Students are encouraged to apply by January 15 for enrollment in the fall. Students seeking admission should have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and 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. Please contact Graduate Studies for additional program requirements.
Use the Course Planning Matrix to see when Environmental Science and Policy courses will be offered.
Program of Study
ESP Core Component – 6 credits
Integrative Skills Component (choose one course) – 3 credits
|ESP 5450 Environmental Outreach and Communication||3|
|ESP 5530 Science Based Research Design and Data Visualization||3|
Elective Component (choose from the list below) – 15-18 credits
|ESP 5040 Environmental Consulting||3|
|ESP 5050 Earth Surface Dynamics||3|
|ESP 5060 Ecological Economics||3|
|ESP 5070 Decision Making in Natural Resource Management||3|
|ESP 5080 Soils and Environmental Change||3|
|ESP 5090 Environmental Chemistry||3|
|ESP 5160 Land Conservation Techniques||3|
|ESP 5210 Forest Ecosystems||3|
|ESP 5320 Watershed Hydrology||3|
|ESP 5500 Special Topics in Environmental Science and Policy||3|
|ESP 5510 Analysis of Limnological Systems||3|
|ESP 5580 Climate Change||3|
|ESP 5660 Principles of Environmental Education and Interpretation||3|
|ESP 5700 Graduate Seminar in Ecology and the Environment||3|
|ESP 5720 Environmental Planning Seminar||1-3|
|ESP 5730 Contaminant Hydrology||3|
|ESP 5740 Ecosystem Management: Principles and Applications||3|
|ESP 5750 Environmental Ethics||3|
|ESP 5760 The Nature of Environmental Systems||3|
|ESP 5780 Applied Environmental GIS||3|
|ESP 5910 Independent Study in Environmental Science and Policy||3|
Research Component – 3-6 credits
Minimum Total for MS in Environmental Science and Policy – 30 credits
Getting started is easy!
To begin planning your program, contact:
- Shannon Rogers at (603) 535-2216