In the Center for Sustainability Studies, we offer both thesis and non-thesis pathways to a MS degree in Environmental Studies.

Master of Science in Environmental Studies

Both pathways require a set of course work, which is outlined in the graduate catalog.

To determine which pathway is right for you, we recommend that prospective students contact a faculty member who works in an area of interest to you, prior to applying to our program. This allows the faculty to make a more informed decision on prospective student’s application. Additionally, working with a faculty member allows prospective students to identify an area of study that is most likely to lead to successful completion of your master’s degree.

Environmental Studies MS Thesis Track

The thesis pathway is geared towards students who want to demonstrate empirical skills through development and completion of a master’s thesis. Students who have completed the thesis track have gone on to Ph.D. programs or employment in industry, government or academia.

Environmental Studies MS Non-Thesis Track

The non-thesis track is geared towards students wanting to pursue a professional path and they work on projects in conjunction between the student, faculty and community partners.

Center for Sustainability Studies Faculty Research Interests

Below is a descriptive list of Center for Sustainability Studies faculty who are actively advising graduate students:

Dr. Anna Carlson: Policy and Planning with a particular interest in sustainability and renewable energy development.

Dr. Carl Isaacson: Water quality with particular interest in how people’s actions impact the functioning and health of aquatic systems.

Dr. Samantha Jones: Dendrochronology and local forest dynamics.

Dr. Paul Kivi: Environmental Economics

Dr. Mark Lawrence: Community planning with a broad coalition of environmental professionals.

Dr. Michael Murray: Economics with a focus on public policies targeting full employment, production theory, structural and technological change and its impacts on employment.

Dr. Miriam Rios-Sanchez: Remote sensing and digital elevation model techniques for geological sciences, regional groundwater exploration, aquifer elevation management and natural hazards.

Dr. Bill Sea: Resource management with a focus on environmental change on northern forests, remote sensing of near-surface hydrology and managing resilience of southeast Asian wetlands subject to environmental change.

Dr. Jeff Ueland: Applying GIS and spatial methodologies with a particular focus on changes in land cover of wetlands at various scales, broad-scale climate changes, spatial and Bayesian statistical methods and complex adaptive systems.

Please contact any faculty member you are interested in working with. We look forward to meeting and talking to you.


Rolling Admission: Fall applicants should submit their application and additional materials by April 1 for preferred consideration.

Application Requirements

  • Graduate Application for Admission
  • Official transcripts of bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Overall undergraduate GPA: 2.75*
  • One-page letter of intent stating the Environmental Studies Specialization you want to pursue, your academic background, professional working experience (if any) and any additional information that you believe will assist those who are reviewing your application
  • Two Professional Recommendations (faculty, employers, supervisors, etc.)
  • International students must provide Proof of English Proficiency.

*Students with an undergraduate GPA below 2.75 or who are within 11 semester hours of satisfying undergraduate degree requirements may qualify for provisional admission.

Contact the School of Graduate Studies for more information.

Tuition & Aid

We offer in-state/reciprocity tuition rates to all of our graduate students. Please visit the Financial Aid website for more information on options for funding your education.

Some students may qualify for a graduate assistantship, which includes a tuition waiver and stipend. GAs, in return, are expected to complete certain teaching and/or research assignments for the department.