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Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies graduate program is an interdisciplinary program with specializations (secondary core areas) in Sciences, Policy and Values & Theory.  Other programs of study can be designed based on available courses and faculty support and expertise.

Beginning in Fall of 2016, a new professional master’s degree, the MENV (Masters of the Environment) will be offered. Please note that the MENV application is separate from the other ENVS program applications. 

Purpose Statement:
The graduate program in Environmental Studies trains students for careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Graduates will have:

  • The ability to deal with real-world programs.
  • The ability to evaluate 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.
  • The ability to think critically, creatively, and holistically about environmental issues.
  • The ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, and
  • Skill in public speaking and writing for non-specialist audiences.

Website:  Environmental Studies - Prospective Students

Degrees Offered:

Degree Details: 

Please check the ENVS program website for the most up to date information on graduate degree requirements.

MS
The degree requires completion of 36 credit hours as follows: 8 hours of a common core ; 6-9 hours of Theory and Methods; and 8-10 hours of electives chosen to broaden and deepen the graduate training. Both a thesis and nonthesis option is offered.

MS/MBA
This is a dual degree program offered in conjunction with the Leeds School of Business. Requires 36 hours of graduate work in Environmental Studies and 43 hours of MBA course work (with 12 hours of Environmental Studies course work applying towards the required 55 credits for the MBA). The MBA program will be considered the student's primary program.

MS/JD or PhD/JD
This is a dual degree program offered in conjunction with the Law School. The Law School will grant credit for acceptable performance in graduate level Environmental Studies courses towards the JD degree for up to nine (for MS students) or 12 (for PhD students) hours of the required 89 credits for the JD degree. Environmental Studies will grant up to 9 credits (for MS students) and 12 credit hours (for PhD students) of acceptable performance in Law courses. The JD program will be considered the student's primary program.

PhD
The degree requires completion of 32 course credit hours as follows: 8 hours of a common core; 6-9 hours of Theory and Methods; 6 hours of required Interdisciplinary Electives and 8-10 hours of electives chosen to broaden and deepen the graduate training. Thirty (30) dissertation hours are required, for a total of 62 credit hours. The degree requires passing the comprehensive examination and preparation and successful defense of the doctoral dissertation.

MENV
The MENV program is a 17-month, 42 credit cohort-based in-residence professional degree program designed for new or early career professionals. The program focuses on applications and problem solving. It has five parts: (1) core curriculum (9 hours), (2) choice of topical specializations (12 hours) that are supported by (3) skills courses (6 hours), (4) electives (6 hours), and (5) a capstone project (9 hours). In Fall of 2016, students may choose from three topical specializations: Policy & Management, Planning & Community Engagement, or Renewable & Sustainable Energy. 

Admissions Requirements: 

Please refer to Environmental Studies Program: How to Apply for more information and specific directions.  PhD, JD/PhD, MS, and joint MS/MBA or JD/MS applicants must:

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  2. Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0.
  3. Provide GRE scores.
  4. Provide 3 letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation are due by Tuesday, December 29, 2015.
  5. Provide a personal statement of academic interests (a required part of the online application).
  6. Complete and submit the ENVS Graduate Program Supplemental Information Form with your online application. (form also available within application)

MENV applicants should refer to MENV: How to Apply

  1. Hold a baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.
  2. Provide GRE scores (strongly recommended, but not required).
  3. Provide 2 letters of recommendation. All letters of recommendation are due by Tuesday, December 29, 2015.
  4. Provide two personal statements (required as part of the online application):
  • Essay 1: Personal Information. Discuss your background, academic or personal achievements, life experiences, etc. that have helped shape who you are today. (750 words)
  • Essay 2: Statement of Purpose: Discuss what your primary interests are what you hope to accomplish. Elaborate on why the MENV can help you achieve your future goals. (500 words)
  1. Complete and submit the ENVS MENV Supplemental Information Form with your online application (form also available within application)

Minimum Standards for Applicants
GRE required with a recommended minimum score of 50% or above for all applicants EXCEPT MENV. MENV applications are strongly recommended, but not required to submit GRE scores. 

Exceptions:  MS/MBA applicants may submit GRE scores.  MS/JD and PhD/JD applicants may submit LSAT scores.

Financial Support: 

A limited number of teaching assistantships are awarded each year for MS and PhD students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for outside fellowships (NSF, etc.) or research assistantships with individual professors.  MENV applicants are not eligible for financial support through teaching or research assistantships. All admitted students should submit a FAFSA.

Fall Domestic Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Fall International Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Contact Information: 

University of Colorado Boulder
Environmental Studies Program
4401 Discovery Drive
397 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309

Phone 303-735-1043
Fax 303-492-5207

Website: http://www.colorado.edu/envs/prospective-students/graduate-students

MS, MS/MBA, MS/JD and PhD inquiries: envsgrad@colorado.edu

MENV inquiries: menvinfo@colorado.edu