Connecticut Schools for Graduate Environmental Management Programs

Environmental Management Graduate Programs on Campus Overview

Environmental Management Schools address how to analyze and manage natural environments with an eye to human and ecosystem health. Dynamic courses are structured to help graduates initiate and craft eco-friendly strategies around natural resources, land use, and economics.

Students are shown how to lead and problem-solve around complex contemporary issues like sustainable energy and climate change.

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Environmental Management Graduate Programs: An Overview

At the graduate level, Environmental Management Schools offer a wide range of Masters and Doctorate degrees as well as certificates. Graduate environmental programs focus on studying the crossroads of environmental science, technology, ethics and business.

Environmental grad school curriculums include a series of compulsory courses to which students add a focal area that is in line with their career vision. Students could channel concerns into a chosen track, such as environmental policy and analysis, green business, sustainable sources of food and energy or another area.

Apart from what may be gleaned through theory and textbooks, students may have the opportunity to complete some type of hands-on practical internship, conduct research, and complete a final written project.

Environmental graduate programs often use the ecological diversity, natural resource wealth, and/or sustainable community movements of their region to enhance the overall classroom experience. This is a key reason for students to choose an on-campus program. Network with peers, take lectures where live discussion may be valued, and tap into local opportunities.


# of Climate Change Analysts that have a Masters degree: 79% i

Environmental Management Masters Programs

Masters in Environmental Management programs could help students build professional competency and refine the knowledge necessary to navigate complex environmental challenges. Three of the main types of Environmental Management Masters degrees are the:

(1) MEM

(2) PSM

(3) MS

A MEM course curriculum could be similar to that of the Professional Science Master (PSM). The primary difference is that the PSM may require extra credits. These extra credits aim to build skills in professional management and practices.

A MEM program is also similar to that of a Master of Science (MS) degree. The primary difference between the MEM and MS degrees is that MEM students must usually complete a project instead of a thesis.

Masters of Environmental Management (MEM)

A Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) degree curriculum could meld practical experience with a range of laboratory, field, and analytical approaches, diverse courses, and research topics. Full-time students might complete these requirements in about two years.

MEM schools generally require students to take some core foundation courses that often embrace general concepts, principles, and tools of the trade. From there, students often select an area of emphasis to build more in-depth knowledge. A masters project and portfolio might also be tailored to the students’ goals as per school requirements.

While course lists vary, topics could cover endangered species, the Clean Water Act, greenhouse gas emissions, and other topics such as:

  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Urban Ecology
  • Natural Resource Economics
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Environmental Management Economics

Apart from environmental science courses, students might study conflict resolution to build analytics and managerial skills. A course in eco-monitoring might discuss sustainable economics and climate change mitigation.

Master of Sustainability (MSUS)

A Master of Sustainability could allow students to explore the nature of system analysis and sustainability as it relates to the ecological, economic, social and business worlds. Participants might be required to complete a 200-400 hour placement in a professional or research setting in addition to their selected and compulsory courses.

Schools for sustainability often work from examples of their local socio-ecological scene and could include interactive in-class discussions. For instance, partner school Chatham University uses Pittsburgh and its environs as a case study model of a sustainable city. Students could critically assess evidence in several key areas.

  • Climate Change
  • Energy Consumption
  • Water Pollution
  • Urban Ecosystems
  • Children's Environmental Health
  • Agro-Ecosystems

Master of Energy Policy and Climate (MS)           

A Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate could aim to prepare graduates to face the human and ecological challenges posed by climate change. An environmental policy graduate school could also help students learn about the potentially transformative role of sustainable energy systems—fossil fuel-based systems and renewable energy options, for instance.

MS students might develop a firm grasp of climate change science and the potential impacts of climate change in this century and beyond it. Moreover, participants could enhance their expertise in energy law and policy-making along with other key topics such as:

  • Energy Technology
  • Climate Change Science
  • Energy and Climate Finance

Electives are generally chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor to accommodate individual career goals.

Environmental Management PhD Programs

Some environmental management schools may award a PhD, which is a research doctorate. Environmental Management PhD programs could provide a broad-based and interdisciplinary education to which students often anchor their research in a specific area.

At each university, a PhD may be formatted differently because active faculty and school research projects could infuse course list topics. Sometimes, it consists of four interrelated components, which are:

(1) Disciplinary emphasis

(2) Area of emphasis

(3) Research methods

(4) Breadth requirements

A disciplinary emphasis could focus on the widest academic area and usually draws from the grad school’s divisions, so they aren’t necessarily the same everywhere. Ecosystem Sciences, Organisms & Environment, and Society & Environment are some examples.

An area of emphasis is a narrower field within the student’s selected discipline. Some examples might include the topics below. See individual schools for details.

  • Ecosystem Function
  • International Forest Management
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Microbial Community Ecology
  • Mediterranean Grassland Ecosystems
  • Remote Sensing

Research methods are usually all about the techniques that are appropriate to use in the both the disciplinary emphasis and focal area. This type of preparation could include experimental design, sampling design, estimation, and hypothesis testing.

Breadth requirements are extra courses that broaden knowledge in areas such as applied social science, biology and physical sciences. PhD students usually take a detailed exam on this material, then could pass on to candidacy, and finally, on to prepare and defend a dissertation.

Environmental Management Graduate Certificates

An environmental management graduate certificate usually encompasses a short series of courses in a single topic. A certificate may appeal to those who want to study at the graduate level, but not to the extent of a full degree. An average program could require one year or less, and possibly, four to six courses.

Schools for EM certificates often have some type of mandatory coursework that targets the program theme and may also provide some wiggle room for electives. Students might, for instance, start out with a foundations course from a school’s MEM or MS program to study the trans-disciplinary nature of environmental issues.

From there, it may be possible to customize a course plan to include topics such as environmental law, environmental engineering basics and economics. An elective choice could cover one of the main EM tools such as GIS, auditing and risk assessment.

Some environmental grad schools may allow for a credit transfer from a certificate to a Masters program, though this usually has to be determined by the school.

Application Information

Applicants should first and foremost check what type of prior education is required as each environmental management school has its own set of standards.

Typically, an undergraduate degree is the minimum required education for Masters in Environmental management programs. A PhD program might require students to have both a Bachelor and Master degree. Also, students may need to reach out to a faculty member for sponsorship.

Along with transcripts and fee, a completed application may require some other accompanying documents such as a current resume, letters of recommendation and an essay. Prepare ahead by taking a look at the admission requirements, then make your list and gather your documents.

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