Doctoral Program in Environmental Science and Public Policy

Environmental Science & Public Policy (PhD)

The doctoral program in Environmental Science and Public Policy is an inter-disciplinary program that draws on faculty and expertise from the Environmental Science and Policy departmental core faculty, as well as faculty from across the university. This includes the Departments of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, School of Systems Biology, Public and International Affairs, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Economics, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Sociology and Anthropology, the School of Public Policy, the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, and the College of Education and Human Development.

Master’s Program in Environmental Science and Policy

Environmental Science & Policy (MS) – this link points to the University Catalog info while a dedicated webpage is being created

Requirements for students admitted before Fall 2020

The master’s program in Environmental Science and Policy meets the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. These professionals will also contribute to the analysis and resolution of global problems, such as deforestation, insufficient world food supplies, acid deposition, population growth and public health, global climate change/warming, and depletion of the stratospheric ozone. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management and human/environmental interactions.

There are six current MS concentrations offered beginning Fall 2020:

Aquatic Ecology (AQEC)
Conservation Science and Policy (COSP)
Environmental Science and Policy (EVSP)
Environmental Science Communication (ESCM)
Environmental Management (EVM)
Energy and Sustainability Policy and Science (ESPS)

Requirements for students admitted Fall 2020 and later

The MS program structure has been modified so that all concentrations share a common core and then have different electives. This new structure will appear in the 2020-21 University Catalog and will be in effect for ESP students admitted starting in Fall 2020.

*The Earth Surfaces Process and Environmental Geochemistry (ESEG) and Environmental Biocomplexity (EVBC) concentrations are being phased out and incoming students will no longer be admitted into those.

**A new concentration in Energy and Sustainability Policy and Science has been approved to begin in Fall 2020.

—>View the new Environmental Science and Policy (MS) Program Structure starting Fall 2020

Master’s Level Certificate

Environmental and Sustainability Management Graduate Certificate

Environmental GIS and Biodiversity Conservation Graduate Certificate (offered by the GGS Department)

Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Program

Bachelor’s Degree (Green Leaf)/Environmental Science and Policy, Accelerated MS catalog info

To apply to the Accelerated Master’s Program, visit:

Non-degree Graduate Program

The non-degree graduate program is for prospective students who have little or no background in science, but wish to apply to a graduate program in the ESP department.  To be considered for the non-degree program, you must possess a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 3.00 GPA from an accredited U.S. college or university.  Applicants with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from a non-US institution are required to provide an international credential evaluation (WES or AACRAO preferred) and a minimum official IBT (TOEFL) score of 88.

Students who lack the prerequisite college level course work in biology and chemistry should complete a two semester sequence of introductory graduate level environmental chemistry (EVPP 506, Science of the Environment I) and biology (EVPP 507, Science of the Environment II) courses as a non-degree student to satisfy the biology and chemistry prerequisites for admission. This can be done by applying to be become a graduate non-degree student at Mason. These two courses would be in addition to your degree requirements. In addition, you will need to take a general ecology course (EVPP 607, Fundamentals of Ecology) which can be counted as a natural science requirement later if you are admitted to the program.

To obtain an advisor for the non-degree program, contact the Graduate Office Manager at