Master’s in Environmental Sciences & Policy
The Master’s of Science (MS) in Environmental Sciences & Policy offers opportunities to build your research skills in interdisciplinary science and policy. In our Environmental Sciences and Policy emphasis, students engage in research related to a range of natural resources (such as air, water, and land) from integrated perspectives of natural sciences and environmental policy. In our Paleoenvironmental Sciences emphasis, students develop broad competence in earth and environmental sciences, while specializing in an analytical technique used to reconstruct long-term environmental variability.
See our current listing of research project opportunities for new graduate students.
Explore research in this area
Remember, a successful graduate experience depends on finding the right program for you, and also the right advisor – a faculty member who shares and can support your research interests. You should plan to identify one or more potential faculty advisors well in advance of the application deadline, and to have at least one conversation about the match between your interests and opportunities in their lab.
- Division of Environmental Sciences
- Division of Sustainability
- Past & Present Climate Change
- Water Management, Policy & Science
- Ecology & Conservation
- Environment & Society
The Master’s of Science in Environmental Sciences & Policy (MS ES&P) degree program combines required interdisciplinary core courses with a breadth of specialized classes from across NAU. The degree program is characterized by strong advising by accomplished faculty for individualized student programs of multidisciplinary study, as well as research and applied projects that often reach across campus and into the greater community. The diverse student population including international and minority students forms a strong peer cohort that provides support for study and extracurricular adventures. The two-year program’s rigorous training in the natural and political sciences prepares graduates for successful environmental careers in industry, government, and the non-profit sector.
Once admitted to the MS ES&P program, students have the option to select between two distinct emphases: Environmental Sciences and Policy or Paleoenvironmental Sciences. Each emphasis area has a unique program of study as well as outstanding faculty support.
What do our graduates do?
Most alumni of the MS ES&P program have gone on to work for federal and state government agencies and in the non-profit sector. Other alumni have successfully transitioned into the private sector and have undertaken innovative, environmentally-progressive entrepreneurial projects. Others still have chosen to pursue Ph.D. degrees in related fields throughout the country and abroad.
One of the many reasons that our alumni succeed across professional sectors is that the research, program of study, and faculty advising are tailored to the interests and strengths of our students.
How to apply
First, get to know our faculty! It is very important that you reach out to faculty members you would be interested in working with before you apply. Faculty expect to receive emails from prospective students and will be happy to hear from you about your specific interests. They can also tell you more about their research and if they have space available in their labs.
Second, entry into any SES Graduate Program requires an online application through the Graduate College.
A completed application for admission will include:
- An online application for admission to the NAU Graduate College, with the required application fee;
- Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work;
- Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional supervisors (download the referee form from the online application);
- A statement of your interests and goals, and your reasons for pursuing an advanced degree;
- Names of the faculty advisor(s) you have been in contact with and would like to work with;
- Submission by the January 15 application deadline.
Opportunities to fund your graduate education
There are several funding and fellowship options available through the Master of Science Environmental Sciences and Policy degree program that students are encouraged to pursue. Most notably, Northern Arizona University was one of only four universities selected as a host school for the prestigious Wyss Scholars program. The MS ES&P program typically awards funding to several second-year graduate students through this scholarship. In addition, the MS ES&P program is host to the Western Regional Graduate Program, which provides tuition-reciprocity for students from western states.