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Degree Options

The Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) Graduate Program offers 3 different Degree Options to fit the needs, interests, and goals of our students:

Students pursuing the M.S. are encouraged to first choose one of these three options that best matches their current needs and future professional ambitions. Whether you want to attend graduate school full-time or part time, whether you have just received your undergraduate degree or have been in the workforce for years, there's an option for you. After you choose an option, you'll be able to further specialize your degree with an Area of Emphasis. Interested students may also find it helpful to see what our current students are up to.

Thesis Option

(31 credits)

  • Do you wish to pursue advanced research opportunities in the broad realm of environmental science and policy or related disciplines?
  • Do your career goals ultimately require formal and dedicated research training from a hypothesis-driven framework?
If this sounds like you, the Thesis Option might be a good fit. Once you have chosen this option, you will consult with your Major Advisor and Thesis Committee to determine a specific Area of Emphasis. See the How to Apply page for information on advisors. Click here for more information on the process of developing a thesis and to see the list of required courses.

Three people on a boat

* Please Note: Students are initially admitted to the ES&P program under the Course-Based Degree Option unless an advisor from the ES&P graduate faculty has agreed to supervise a student's thesis.
** Internship and Course-Based Option students may switch to the Thesis Option if a project develops through on-campus interactions and an ES&P graduate faculty member agrees to advise the student.

Internship Option

(34 credits)

  • Do your career goals require postgraduate education and conceptual training in environmental science and policy and related fields, but not formal research experience or training?
  • Are you seeking applied experience in the field or laboratory, generally outside of the university setting?
Here are some examples of students that this option may be right for - those seeking to blend environmental science and policy with...
  • Sustainable business applications
  • Outreach and education
  • Policy development and environmental regulation
  • Promotion of clinical environmental health and regulation of environmental contaminants
  • Environmental consulting
  • Invasive species management
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Landscape design
If this sounds like what you are interested in, look into the Internship Option.
Students that select this option are expected to locate, pursue, and complete an internship in a setting most aligned with their future career goals. The chosen internship must incorporate a significant independent project to complement coursework. Click here to see some examples for internship-based projects, the list of required courses, and more specifics on the internship requirement.
 

Researcher looking through a telescope over a frozen pond

** Internship and Course-Based Option students may switch to the Thesis Option if a project develops through on-campus interactions and an ES&P graduate faculty member agrees to advise the student.

Course-Based Option

(37 credits)

  • Do you need or desire the most flexible pathway towards earning your Master's Degree?
  • Are you a professional already employed in the applied environmental science or public policy field? Or primary or secondary education?
  • Do you wish to build a more competitive foundation for pursuing related careers in business sustainability, ecological restoration, or various medical fields?
  • Are you interested in...
    • Teaching opportunities at the community college level?
    • Development of advanced skills in environmental consulting, geographic information technology, environmental data analysis, etc.?
    • A deeper understanding of environmental policy and policy implementation?
Students who select this option will also choose an Area of Emphasis, just as the Thesis and Internship Option students, but Course-Based students may also seek to further personalize their degree in the areas of education, business, or mathematics. Therefore, some elective credits may be substituted from other UW-Green Bay campus programs with approval of the ES&P Program Chair. 
Although there is no formal defense or written exam required to earn the M.S. degree under this option, students are encouraged to seek elective credits through independent research or internship opportunities with faculty. Click here for more information on course requirements.

Researchers on expedition

** Internship and Course-Based Option students may switch to the Thesis Option if a project develops through on-campus interactions and an ES&P graduate faculty member agrees to advise the student.