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The M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy and the Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy are offered by the Department of Environmental Science and Policy in the College of Science. These programs have been designated Green Leaf programs. For further information, please go to Green Leaf Programs and Courses.  The Department has partnered with the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation to offer graduate level courses covering a diverse selection of topics focusing on biodiversity conservation, ranging from adaptive management to statistics in ecology and conservation, to non-invasive genetic techniques.  Graduate students have the unique opportunity to learn alongside conservation professionals currently working in the field.  The unparalleled resources at the Front Royal, VA facility draw researchers from around the world.

The Department provides state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research: The Ted R. Bradley Herbarium houses over 60,000 dried vascular plant specimens with approximately 67% from Virginia, and the remaining 33% from the Southeastern U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Andros Island (the Bahamas), and South America.  The Microbiome Analysis Center (MBAC) at the Prince William campus, hosts a state-of-the-art molecular ecology and evolution biology laboratory complex including next-generation sequencing capability.  This center provides vital support to faculty, students, and visiting researchers utilizing molecular techniques and bioinformatics tools to explore ecological and environmental questions. The Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC) will include a 45,000 square foot, LEED gold environmental research and education facility called Potomac Science Center to be located at the Belmont Bay development near the mouth of the Occoquan River. Opening of the facility is scheduled for spring 2015. The center will occupy much of the space in the new waterfront building with wet labs for teaching and research, lecture rooms, offices for faculty, graduate students, and other researchers, a spatial analysis laboratory, and a library/resource center.  The new ESP Greenhouse sits atop the newly-renovated Exploratory Hall and supports a living plant collection ranging from aquatic plants to cacti for teaching and research.

Both the master’s and doctoral programs meet 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. Graduates from this program will have developed knowledge and skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of scientific data, as well as in the integration of scientific understanding into the public policy process. Areas of specific departmental focus include ecosystems, conservation, environmental biocomplexity, molecular ecology, sustainability science, environmental policy and management, and human/environmental interactions.

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Selected PhD dissertations and MS theses abstracts are available for download.

Forms and Policies

This section contains forms, guidelines, and important dates.

Graduate Admissions

Contains general admission information pertaining to the ESP department, including FAQ.

Graduate Courses

Excel and PDF lists of all graduate courses offered by the department (including those jointly offered).

Graduate Programs

Links to the University Catalog entries for each ESP graduate program listed.