The environmental field in the 21st century is evolving fast to respond to complex interdependencies between the natural environment and human development.
Clark’s innovative Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) master’s degree develops students’ abilities to integrate natural and social sciences to respond to local and global challenges. The Accelerated B.A./Master’s Program provides more intensive graduate study of ES&P in combination with a liberal arts B.A. degree. ES&P’s expertise in risk and vulnerability assessment, environmental justice, institutional dynamics, watershed stewardship, renewable energy, and capacity building resonate worldwide. Classes and experiential learning give students essential skills for analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
As a member of a closely knit family of graduate programs including International Development & Social Change, Community Development & Planning, and Geographic Information Sciences for Development & Environment, our ES&P program is unique. Students are exposed to multiple perspectives and creative, integrated thinking in the classroom and in research.
Departmental Eligibility Requirements
Students in any undergraduate field are accepted for the Accelerated MS degree, though ES&P undergraduate majors do have a significant advantage in preparation. Majors in other disciplines may have to supplement their studies with a number of preparatory ES&P courses listed below:
Requirements for non-ES, (non-science) majors:
- One introductory ES&P course: e.g. EN 101 or EN 120
- One semester of statistics: e.g. GEOG 110 or BIOL 106
- One introductory science course from the following list: BIOL 101 ; BIOL 102 , BIOL 103 ; CHEM 101 ; CHEM 102 ;PHYS 110 ; PHYS 111
- Two elective science courses, chosen from the list of Science electives for the undergraduate ES&P track or from the list of Natural Science electives for the undergraduate GES major.
Requirements for non-ES, (science) majors:
- Two social science courses from the list of social science electives for the undergraduate ES&P track.
Students are required to meet with the ES&P Accelerated Degree Program adviser as a formal part of the admissions process. This meeting is intended to assist prospective students in assessing the appropriateness of the degree to their professional aspirations. The student applies to the MS program by completing the Online Application no later than May 1 of the junior year. Please note that application deadlines differ for students who are graduating off cycle (either a semester early or late) or who have advanced standing; such students should contact Graduate Admissions for alternative dates.
Program of Study
The master’s degree in ES&P requires 12 graduate course units. These include three Core Courses (3 units), one Final Project (1 unit), two Skills/Methods Courses (2 units), and six Elective Courses (6 units) to provide breadth and depth. For the Final Project students can complete either a thesis (subject to approval), research project, or practitioner project. Instead of the Final Project, a Coursework Portfolio can be compliled from existing work, and an additional elective taken since the Portfolio does not count as a unit.
Students can take up three 300-level courses of relevance to ES&P during their senior year, taken in IDCE, GEOG, BIO, PHYS, CHEM, GSOM and/or ECON programs.
In the second semester of the senior year, the students begin work on their final course project, which continues in to their graduate year.
The master’s degree in ES&P requires 12 graduate course units. These include three Core Courses (3 units), one Final Project (1 unit), two Skills/Methods Courses (2 units) and six Electives Courses (6 units) to provide breadth and depth. For the Final projects, there are several options:
- Thesis (after approval of a proposal, with two Faculty Readers) - Typically for those considering a doctoral path or professional research path.
- Research Paper (one Reader) - Typically based on secondary data analysis.
- Practitioner Paper (one Reader) - A deliverable based on the student’s professional experience (e.g. consultancy).
- Collaborative Final Project- (led by faculty) - Tackling larger problems and issues, and providing students with team-based experience that reflects the professional setting.
- A 3rd Methods/Skills focus via extra one Unit/Course and related to the student’s concentration or self-designed course of study.
Students in this program may take longer than the fifth year to complete the Final Project. Students must register as a non-resident if they do not complete the requirements in time for August degree conferral. Students have up to two semesters of non-residency status (fall and spring) to complete all requirements for the master’s degree.
Students will pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 in the first semester of graduate study. Students also pay a $20 graduate activity fee and a $25 IDCE student activity fee in the fall and spring semesters as well as a one-time enrollment fee of $100. Students are responsible for paying for housing, food, books, and other personal items.
Students in the Accelerated Degree Program are allowed one year of non-residency status after the fifth year presumably to complete research and the practitioners report or master’s paper. Please note there is a $200 fee (per semester) associated with the non-residency status registration.
Students are required to meet with the designated program adviser and have them sign the Accelerated Degree Program Adviser Form. The signed form confirms the student and program adviser have discussed the requirements of the program. This form is also available on the Graduate Admissions website.
The designated program adviser is:
Professor Timothy Downs
*Once you have started your fifth year, you may be assigned a different academic adviser.
Any students considering applying to the Accelerated Degree Program should read and understand the Accelerated Degree Program Policies and Procedures .