Master's Degree Program

Program Brochure

The Master of Science in Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate degree designed for professionals, practitioners, citizens and students who wish to strengthen their knowledge of the environment. The multidisciplinary nature of this program provides the student with a unique balance of the scientific background necessary for sound environmental decision-making within the context of educational, political, sociological, economic and legal frameworks. This approach is intended to produce future and current environmental professionals with the broad perspective necessary to be effective leaders in the field.

Admission Requirements

To ensure consistency in course sequencing, the majority of admissions will occur in the fall semester of each academic year. The deadline for submitting applications for fall admission is April 15 at midnight EST, but priority consideration will be given to applications received by March 15. In the event of openings for spring admission, the deadline is October 15 at midnight EST but priority consideration with be given to applications received by September 15.

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in Environmental Studies program are required to submit the following to the Graduate School:

  1. An application for graduate admission
  2. Official transcripts of all prior university or college work (undergraduate and graduate)
  3. Official scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) less than five years old
  4. Three recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields
  5. An essay describing educational and professional experiences, reasons for pursuing graduate study in environmental studies and career goals
  6. Optional writing sample

Applicants seeking admission to the program must meet the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, or its equivalent (due to the diversity of areas of emphasis within the program, it is not required that the successful applicant possess a degree in Environmental Studies)
  2. Strong academic performance in an undergraduate curriculum indicated by a minimum of a GPA of 3.0 or higher, or its equivalent
  3. Indication of graduate academic potential reflected by satisfactory performance on the Graduate Record Examination
  4. Indication of graduate academic potential reflected by three letters of recommendation from individuals in professionally relevant fields
  5. Concurrency of personal goals with the focus of the environmental studies graduate curriculum

Individuals who fall below one of these criteria may be admitted if other factors indicated potential for success. Individuals with identified deficiencies may be accepted provisionally with specified plans and goals for the remediation of these deficiencies. Such remediation may include a requirement of additional hours beyond those normally required for the degree.

A limited number of funded teaching assistant positions will be available. If you have an interest in being a teaching assistant, please be sure to note this on your application.

You can apply on-line at:

https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=uncw-grad

Degree Requirements

The program requires the satisfactory completion of 33 credit hours of approved graduate level courses consisting of the following: 15 credit hours of core classes designed to provide a foundation in environmental studies; 3 credit hours of practicum or final project designed to link theory with practice; 15 credit hours in an approved concentration. A maximum of 6 total credit hours from any combination of EVS 591, EVS 597, and/or EVS 598 may be applied toward the degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

The student will demonstrate an understanding of fundamental concepts, issues, and policies in environmental studies.

The student will demonstrate the ability to critique ideas and opinions on advanced topics in environmental studies.

The student will demonstrate the ability to utilize contemporary field research methods and equipment.

The student will demonstrate the ability to investigate, evaluate relevant literature, and research an advanced topic in environmental studies.

The student will demonstrate the ability to statistically analyze the data derived from environmentally-related research.

The student will demonstrate the ability to present information on an advanced topic in environmental studies using contemporary techniques and technology.

The student will demonstrate an overall knowledge and application of concepts related to environmental studies in a professional setting.

Core Requirements (15 credit hours)

All students are required to complete the following classes:

EVS 501 Introduction to Environmental Problems & Policy (3)
EVS 515 Field Methods in Environmental Studies (3)
EVS 518 Research Methods in Environmental Studies (3)
STT 501 Applied Statistical Methods (3)

One course from:

BIO 534 Advanced Topics in Ecology (3)
ECN 525 Environmental Economics (3)
ECN 530 Natural Resource Economics (3)
ENG 557 Theory and Practice of Technical Communication (3)
EVS 505 Advanced Environmental Studies (3)
EVS 564 Natural Resource Policy and Administration (3)
EVS 570 Advanced Environmental Law and Policy (3)
HST 533 Seminar: U.S. Environmental History (3)
PLS 543 Environmental Policy Analysis (3)
PLS 544 Resource Economics (3)
PLS 562 International Environmental Policy (3)

Applied Learning (3 credit hours)

To ensure that students are able to employ skills and knowledge gained in the program within an applied, capstone setting, they are required to complete either the Seminar/Final Project or the Practicum in Environmental Studies. Both courses provide extended opportunities for fieldwork, research or creative projects and helps the student to bridge related theory with practical applications. Determination of which curricular direction will be taken is based upon the level of prior professional experience in the environmental field, requiring progressive levels of responsibility. Those individuals with 3 or more years in the field will complete the Seminar/Final Project. Those with less than 3 years will complete the Practicum in Environmental Studies. Students are required to complete a minimum of 3 credit hours of applied learning.

EVS 595 Seminar/Final Project or (3)
EVS 597 Practicum in Environmental Studies (1-6)

Concentrations (15 credit hours)

All students are also required to pursue a concentrated area of study in Coastal Management, Marine and Coastal Education, Environmental Education and Interpretation, or Environmental Management. Students can also elect to plan their own curriculum in the Individualized Study concentration. Students electing to pursue the Individualized Study concentration should consult with the Environmental Studies graduate coordinator. A maximum of 6 total credit hours from any combination of EVS 591, EVS 597, and/or EVS 598 may be applied toward the degree.

Coastal Management

All students pursuing a concentration in Coastal Management must complete the following:

EVS 520 Foundations of Coastal Management (3)

12 credit hours of elective approved by the EVS graduate program advisor

Marine and Coastal Education

All students pursuing a concentration in Marine and Coastal Education must complete the following:

EVS 525 Foundations of Environmental Education and Interpretation (3)

12 credit hours of elective approved by the EVS graduate program advisor (3 hours must be in approved natural science courses and 3 hours must be in approved physical science courses)

Note: EVS 595 or 597 placement of students in this concentration must be at an approved Marine and Coastal Education site

Environmental Education and Interpretation

All students pursuing a concentration in Environmental Education and Interpretation must complete the following:

EVS 525 Foundations of Environmental Education and Interpretation (3)

12 credit hours of electives approved by the EVS graduate program advisor

Environmental Management

All students pursuing a concentration in Environmental Management must complete the following:

EVS 540 Foundations of Environmental Management (3)

12 credit hours of electives approved by the EVS graduate program advisor

Individualized Study

All students pursuing an Individualized Study concentration must complete the following:

15 credit hours of electives approved by the EVS graduate program advisor

For a description of the courses, click here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Jeffery Hill, Graduate Program Coordinator (910.962.3264 or hillj@uncw.edu). If you have specific questions regarding graduate school at UNCW, the Graduate School website offers a wealth of information, or you may contact Kimberly Harris at the Graduate School (harrisk@uncw.edu; 910.962.7449).


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