The ENVS Master of Science program provides advanced training in a setting that prioritizes cross-disciplinary perspectives and problem-oriented scholarship. Our goal is to deliver the knowledge and skills needed to confront 21st century environmental challenges. MS students complete coursework that spans the natural and social sciences, values and ethics, and policy. Students gain specialized research skills by writing and defending an original master’s thesis.
To earn an MS in Environmental Studies, students must complete 36 hours of coursework and successfully defend an original master’s thesis in front of a committee of three faculty members.
Guidance Committee Meeting
During the first six weeks of a student’s first semester, a guidance committee of at least three faculty members will examine a student’s past academic and professional record and recommend a program of coursework for that student.
Thesis Proposal Meeting
Students must assemble a thesis committee of three faculty members and propose an original research project that will form the basis of the student’s thesis. The thesis proposal meeting is typically held at the end of the student’s first academic year.
Thesis Defense Meeting
The student will present the findings from their thesis project and respond to questions from the committee. The thesis defense meeting is typically held at the end of the student’s fourth semester.
In addition to the courses recommended by their guidance committee, students will complete the following required courses:
- ENVS 5000 Policy, Science, and the Environment
- ENVS 5003 The Theoretical Foundations of Environmental Methods
- ENVS 5510 Environmental Studies Colloquia Series (two semesters)
For additional information and resources for ENVS graduate students, visit the Environmental Studies Program website.
Dual Degree Programs
MS/MBA in Environmental Studies and Leeds School of Business
The ENVS Masters of Science program provides advanced training in a setting that prioritizes cross-disciplinary perspectives and problem-oriented scholarship. Our goal is to deliver the knowledge and skills needed to confront 21st century environmental challenges, this includes skills in business management and entrepreneurship. For these reasons, the Leeds School of Business and the Environment Studies Program collaborate to offer a dual MS/MBA degree program.
This dual degree program requires 36 credit hours of graduate coursework in environmental studies and 43 credit hours of MBA coursework (with 12 credit hours of environmental studies coursework applying toward the required 55 credit hours for the MBA). The MBA program will be considered the student's primary program. For more information, visit the Business School's MS/MBA webpage.
MS/JD or PhD/JD in Environmental Studies and Colorado Law
Those who wish to pursue advanced degrees across these fields have the option of two dual degree programs: MS/JD and PhD/JD. Students will complete coursework in the core areas of the law, the natural and social sciences, values and ethics, and policy. Graduates of the dual degree program in law and environmental studies have the skills to impact future policies in government, industry and nonprofits or to pursue research-focused careers.
This dual degree is offered in conjunction with the Law School. The Law School will grant credit for acceptable performance in graduate-level environmental studies courses toward the JD degree for up to 9 (for MS students) or 12 (for PhD students) credit hours of the required 89 credit hours for the JD degree. Environmental studies will grant up to 9 (for MS students) or 12 (for PhD students) credit hours of acceptable performance in law courses. The JD program will be considered the student's primary program. For more information, visit the Law School's MS/Juris Doctor and PhD/Juris Doctor webpage.
Internship Options for MS/MBA & MS/JD Students
Students pursuing one of the dual degree programs complete 36 graduate credit hours, including a 2-credit Internship for which a substantial internship report is written. A thesis is not required; however, dual degree students may opt to complete one.
Students who opt for this degree plan must complete the candidacy application by the posted Graduate School deadline. These forms require the signatures of the student's advisor and graduate director. Copies of the forms must be filed with the graduate coordinator. Both degrees must be completed simultaneously.
Among the knowledge and skills that we seek to provide to every student are:
- The ability to evaluate environmental policy goals in the context of competing societal objectives.
- Fundamental knowledge of the relevant environmental sciences to be intelligent users of scientific information.
- The ability to integrate knowledge from multiple disciplines in the context of complex environmental issues.
- An understanding of the local, state and federal decision processes that shape environmental issues.
- Familiarity with international governance and decision-making frameworks.
- The ability to think critically, creatively and holistically about environmental issues.
- The ability to work in interdisciplinary teams.
- Skill in communication with diverse audiences.