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Environmental Studies and Public Administration Dual Program

Timothy Callahan

Program Director, Environmental Studies


Jo Ann Ewalt

Program Director, Public Administration


Program Description

The Master of Science in Environmental Studies and the Master of Public Administration programs offer a dual degree program that allows students the ability to attain two master's degrees in three years rather than four. This program is aimed at preparing students for professional level positions in public organizations that address environmental issues.

Program Missions

The Master of Environmental Studies (MES) program provides students with an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problems without sacrificing the training rigor of a specific academic discipline. The interdisciplinary emphasis is established through a carefully designed set of required courses that provide students with an understanding of environmental issues. The MES curriculum addresses these issues by teaching students the principles of scientific research, by giving students the tools to evaluate the potential environmental risks, and by helping students examine the role of public policy in environmental decision making.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) mission is to prepare public service leaders. Upon graduation MPA students will have the ability to think critically and creatively about public issues, the dedication and capacity to serve a diverse community and the skills to enter a professional position in a public organization. To accomplish this mission, the MPA program provides the following:

  • A rigorous core curriculum that examines the theoretical underpinnings of public service and provides concentrated areas of study in arts management, environmental policy, nonprofit management, and urban and regional planning;
  • An environment that nurtures a commitment to service;
  • Opportunities to support collaboration and the creation of partnerships among communities and public service organizations.

Degree Requirements

To attain both the MES and MPA degree separately, students must complete at least 80 hours of coursework. The joint program allows students to earn both degrees with a minimum of 56 hours rather than the 80. Each student is required to complete a set of core courses, a series of approved electives and an internship or thesis.

Core Curriculum

EVSS 601

Economic Theory for Policy Analysis (3)


Public Policy (3)

EVSS 659

Environmental Statistics (3) or

EVSS 624

Biometry (4)

EVSS 632

Social Science Methods for Environmental Studies (3)

EVSS 646

Graduate Core Seminar (2)

EVSS 610

Environmental Biology (3) or

EVSS 631

Pollution in the Environment (4) or

EVSS 640

Earth Systems Science (3) or

EVSS 650

Energy Production and Resource Management (3)

PUBA 600

Public Service Roles and Responsibilities (3)

PUBA 601

Research and Quantitative Methods for Public Administration (3)

PUBA 603

Managing Public Organizations (3)

PUBA 604

Managing Human Resources (3)

PUBA 605

Managing Financial Resources (3)

PUBA 701

Capstone Seminar (3)

EVSS 691/PUBA 777

Thesis (6)/Internship (3)

Total core – minimum 41, 42, or 43 credit hours

The student then selects a minimum of 5 elective courses from either program and approved by their advisor.

Internship/Thesis: each student conducts one project (6 credit hours) that consists of public administration and environmental studies aspects as directed by an advisory committee of four faculty members (for thesis) or one external project supervisor and three faculty members for internship.


An advisor will be assigned based on the student's program of interest. Students are expected to meet the standards of both programs as addressed in the Student Handbooks.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the dual program requires a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Applicants from any undergraduate discipline are encouraged to apply. Minimum requirements include:

  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0)
  • Scores from GRE tests taken prior to July 31, 2011 must have a composite score of 1100 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections and 4 on the writing assessment section. The minimum requirements for tests taken after July 31, 2011 require a minimum composite score of 305.
  • Must have undergraduate coursework in biology (two courses with labs), chemistry (two courses with labs), statistics (one course) and American government (one course). One year of another physical or natural science may be substituted for either biology or chemistry
  • Three letters of recommendation that specifically address the prospective student's academic qualifications and career potential in environmental studies and public administration.
  • A statement of personal career goals to be achieved by the student applicant during his/her time in the program.

Admission decisions will be made by the admissions committees in both programs. When decisions are mixed or an applicant appeals, both program directors must agree to admit the applicant to the joint program. Students currently enrolled in either the MES or MPA program are eligible to apply to the joint program.

Transfer Credit Policy

Students may seek approval from the admissions committee to transfer in 9 credit hours of courses equivalent to those offered by Environmental Studies, or 12 credit hours of courses equivalent to those offered by Public Administration, but in no case more than 12 credit hours total for their program of study in the Dual Degree Program. These courses require a grade of B or higher, or a grade of Satisfactory or Pass.

Application Deadlines

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
No summer admissions