The programs offered conform to the Research masters pattern I (Thesis), and the Project pattern II (Course-based), the general requirements for which are indicated in the general regulations.
The Thesis-based Pattern I master's program follows the traditional sequence of graduate training with advanced courses (four half-credit courses, including ENSC 801 Environmental Studies Methods and ENSC 802 Global Environmental Problems) and the challenge of undertaking extensive original research. This research will result in the submission of a thesis that will be subject to a formal defense and the presentation of a public seminar preferably in the School's seminar series. The written thesis, based on a student's original research, will include aspects of at least two disciplines, such as ecology and economics, or toxicology and policy. The typical time to completion would be about six semesters.
The Course-based Pattern II master's program will also ensure the development of conceptual thinking, and analytical and interpretive skills. However, this program does not demand intensive research resulting in a thesis. Instead, the candidates will complete six half-credit courses, including ENSC 801 Environmental Studies Methods and ENSC 802 Global Environmental Problems and a library-based research project dealing with a specific interdisciplinary problem directly relevant to environmental studies. The study will result in the preparation of a major, formal paper (approximately 60 pages or 15,000 words) and the presentation of a public seminar preferably in the School's seminar series. This program could be completed in three semesters, and should be completed in five.
All MES students will be required to complete two core courses offered by the School, ENSC 801 Environmental Studies Methods and ENSC 802 Global Environmental Problems and participate in the Annual Research Day.
Students in the thesis-based option will take another two half courses, for a total of four plus a thesis.
Students in the course-based option will take a total of six half courses including the two core courses, four other graduate electives and a major paper.
All students may include a maximum of one 400- or 500-level undergraduate course as an elective with permission.
Elective graduate courses may be selected from those offered by a variety of departments. Permission of the department and instructor are required.
Students must choose their remaining required courses from those offered by the School of Environmental Studies and relevant departments (for a listing of possible courses, see the Environmental Studies web site, Graduate Courses).
A primary focus is to expose students with a science background to social science courses such as environmental economics, environmental geography, philosophy, and sociology, and vice versa for students with a social science background. The selection of appropriate courses will be guided by the supervisory faculty, and by the course instructor, and the course selected must have a clear connection to sustainability.