Environmental Management Degree Programs
What are Environmental Management Graduate Programs?
Environmental Management Graduate Programs analyze the regulations, policies and processes that protect the health of people and the planet. Participants might explore the ways to balance the needs of commerce with a respect for ecosystems, natural resources and human health.
Under the umbrella of Environmental Management Graduate Programs, there are a variety of masters and doctoral degrees to consider. At each of these levels, students could gain an ability to make eco-friendly decisions about the use of natural resources.
Some of the more general Environmental Management Graduate Programs are often split between environmental science and management classes and the business side of work — statistics, advanced mathematics, and project management. In tandem, students may need to complete a hands-on practicum, laboratory work and/or synthesize knowledge through a final project.
written by Rana Waxman
DID YOU KNOW?
When surveyed, 29% of Environmental Economists reported they had a Masters degree, 57% Doctorate degree.i
What Is Environmental Management?
Environmental management is defined as the attempt to mitigate human impact on and interaction with the environment to preserve natural resources. It includes administrative functions that develop, apply and monitor environmental policies of an organization.
While each program has its own course list, environmental management programs could might encourage students to probe a myriad of modern hot button issues. These could run the gamut from climate change and global warming to pollution, deforestation, soil erosion, landfills, or depletion of Earth’s natural resources.
Many environmental management schools have participants take a range of foundational courses along with research methods and track electives. These could take students in a specific professional direction. Business, finance, policy, health and safety or urban planning are some possibilities discussed below.
For instance, an environmental business degree might cover topics such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. These programs often meld the worlds of business and economics with the environmental, social and cultural aspects of sustainability, or “green business”.
For instance, partner school, University of Edinburgh offers a Masters in Carbon Finance through its business school. The curriculum could help students understand climate change science and policy from the lens of how these issues relate to finance and investment. Students could also learn about the procedures and concerns within the energy sector and carbon markets.
A land management degree program often focuses on all the ways humans develop and live on the land. As a broad field, it could touch on ecosystem health, conservation through sustainable resource management and other crucial concerns.
For instance, students might discuss how to plan with an eye to preservation of wildlife habitats and water resources. Course lists might include technical, legal, scientific, and policy tools of this field. A course in land measurement and mapping could introduce learners to geographic information systems (GIS).
Environmental policy and management programs often cover concepts such as environmental sustainability and change stacked with core sciences, ethics and technology courses. Students might analyze climate change policy to find regulatory and market-based approaches to policy.
Natural Resource Management
By comparison, natural resource management graduate programs highlight sustainable solutions for conserving natural resources. Natural resources include clean water, energy, minerals and biological resources. Topics in natural resource management might allow students to build a variety of skills in the following areas.
- Land-Use Planning
- Conservation Biology
- Energy Use
- Climate Change
- Renewable Resource Management
- Forest and Wildlife Management
- Natural Resource Policy
Masters in Environmental Management Programs
Masters in Environmental Managementprograms often aim to help students refine leadership skills in the environmental sciences. Students could gain the ability to analyze and use the natural environment proactively while considering the needs of the community and ecology.
Applicants need a Bachelors degree although things like GPA and specific undergraduate coursework or major is a variable. Apart from transcripts, students often need to submit several letters of recommendation, a resume, and essay.
Some Environmental Masters may take full-time students between two and three years, though there may be accelerated and part-time options available.
There are a variety of universities that offer environmental management masters programs, and several types of degrees may be available. Course lists and program objectives vary, so it is important to factor professional and personal aims into a search.
MEM: Master of Environmental Management
A Master of Environmental Management curriculum tends to draw coursework from both the natural and social sciences. Students often study at the intersection of science, management and policy to understand how to factor ecology into policy and business decisions.
MEM students might be required to take a series of courses in three major areas: (1) foundations, (2) electives, (3) capstone. Students might also have the option to enroll in a concentration.
- Environmental Policy Analysis
- Water Resource Science Management
- Ecosystem Conservation
- Sustainable Land Use
- Industrial Ecology and Green Design
Foundation coursework could cover topics such as economics, physical sciences, statistics, politics and conservation. At the same time, students could build leadership skills through courses in communication, finance and conflict resolution.
MSUS: Master of Sustainability
A Master of Science in Sustainability could help students think systematically about sustainability as it relates to the ecological, economic, social and business worlds.
The blend of topics, research and hands-on practice could help students develop a holistic grasp of the complex actions that lead to environmental problems. Students could build an ability to collaborate with multiple disciplines to identify and implement sustainable practices.
Curriculums could have students first take basic courses which could cover socio-ecological history, applied ecology, leadership and ethics. Along with key concepts, students could learn GPS mapping, statistics and how to perform a sustainability audit.
For instance, partner school, Pratt University might offer a class that discusses the sustainability indicators footprint. Students could learn how to use the Ecological Footprint Analysis. An EFA measures how much biologically productive land and water area an individual, a city, a country, or a region requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it regenerates.
Electives could challenge students to thoroughly explore a specific aspect of sustainability. These course topics are different in each school, so make sure to read lists and program descriptions.
- Urban and Energy Systems
- Ecology and Resource Management
- Business and Innovation
- Food Systems
- Policy and Regulation
PSM: Professional Science Masters – Environmental Informatics
A Professional Science Masters degree in Environmental Informatics fuses science, technology and business courses. A relatively new type of degree, it is often designed for students who have a Bachelors degree in natural resources.
Curriculums could start students out with a class in GIS and GPS theory, then move onto required segments. A well-rounded business section could include topics such as accounting, organizational leadership, linear statistics and strategic marketing.
Core courses could blend internship experience with topics in environmental social policy, GIS programming and environmental statistics. A course in remote sensing could survey key concepts and techniques of image analysis for natural resources, geomorphology and Earth surface processes.
Electives might allow students to learn experimental design and applied statistics. Additional topics might draw from the ones listed below.
- Web-Based Database Systems
- GIS Project Management
- Data Mining
- Industrial Pollution Prevention Systems
Students at partner school, Tennessee Tech could also take a class in Energy Management Systems. The course is a case study that presents the student with the techniques, technologies, regulations, and strategies that define industrial pollution prevention.
MS: Energy Policy and Climate
A Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate could address the challenges posed by climate change. Students could develop a firm grasp of climate change science as well as the impacts of climate change through time.
A diverse curriculum could enable students to build substantial expertise in energy law and policy making, as well as a basic sense of primary energy technologies such as fossil fuel-based systems and renewable energy options.
MS students might be required to take a series of compulsory courses and electives, then synthesize program content in a capstone project. Sample required topics could cover the following.
- Policy Analysis
- Energy and Climate Finance
- Energy Law and Policy
Students at partner school, John Hopkins could choose electives in some fascinating topics. For example, a class in wind energy could discuss wind turbines and power transmission, electric markets, legal issues and more. A course in climate modeling might appeal to the students who want to survey climate models and predictions.
Environmental Management PhD Programs
Students who aim for a terminal degree structured around research might consider a PhD in Environmental Management. Course work varies from program to program and could include a hands-on component, research in regional to international study areas, and publication of research findings.
Curriculums may be well-rounded to help candidates develop fluency in natural and physical sciences, statistics, economics, and policy.
Topics of study may be:
- Climate Change
- Soil and Water Quality
- Environmental Remediation
- Biofuels Markets
- Storm Water, Coastal, Natural Resource Management
- Biodiversity and Ecosystem Preservation
Admission requirements may be similar to those for a Masters degree with one possible exception. Applicants may need the sponsorship of a faculty member within the program. This faculty member might only provide a potential student his or her sponsorship if it is felt that one could be a good fit and likely to succeed.
In addition, applicants to some Environmental Management PhD programs may need to provide evidence of their completed Masters capstone of thesis.
Environmental Management Graduate Certificates
A Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management is a non-degree award that could help students build skills and refine knowledge. Credits earned through a graduate certificate may apply toward a Masters degree in grad schools with this feature.
An Environmental Management certificate might cover just a few courses (E.g. six) and could be structured or provide room to choose an elective or two. Students might gain managerial skills and strategies to navigate organizational structures, environmental issues, and technical problems.
Online or On Campus?
There are both campus and online graduate programs in environmental management. Online programs often have flexible formats though a dynamic program abroad or one that is walkable from work could have their own merits.
Do you live too far from university? Are you an at-work professional? How far are you willing to travel to university? Would you relocate? Do you need day or evening classes? All of these answers, and more, could help you determine what university and program might be appropriate. Take the time to research options. Then, use preferences to filter programs on this directory.
What Could You Do with a Degree in Environmental Management?
A graduate degree in environmental management could prepare students for diverse career paths, some of which are spotlighted below. Use your professional goals to help you plan out your studies.
Sustainability Specialists: Address organizational sustainability issues, such as waste stream management, green building practices, and green procurement plans.ii
Chief Sustainability Officers: Take charge of corporate strategies and communications with management, shareholders, customers and employees.iii
Industrial Ecologists: Apply principles and processes of natural ecosystems to develop models for efficient industrial systems. iv
Urban and Regional Planners: Develop all-inclusive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities.v
Climate Change Analysts: Research and analyze policy developments related to climate change.vi
How much does an environmental manager make a year?
Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data for Environmental Scientists and Specialists, the average annual salary (May 2016) was $ 68,910.vii
Find and Apply to Environmental Management Graduate Programs
Easily find and apply to Environmental Management grad programs that appeal to you. Remember to set filters for degree level and program format. Then, use the form provided by partner schools to quickly apply.
[i] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3011.01 | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1199.05 | [iii] onetonline.org/link/summary/11-1011.03 | [iv] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2041.03 | [v] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3051.00 | [vi] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2041.01 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm#tab-5 |
Loyola University Chicago
Washington University in St Louis