Master's Degree Requirements

About the Master's Program

Our master’s program in Environmental Studies offers a unique opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary study of environmental topics and issues. Each student designs an individualized curriculum responsive to their educational and career goals. The degree typically takes two years to complete. 

Students who succeed in our program typically are self-starters, have academic and/or work experience that has given them a foundation of skills and led them to specific goals for their graduate program, and are collaborative and like working with others. 

Most students in our master’s program are aided by teaching or research assistantships (Graduate Employee appointments) that provide a tuition waiver, stipend, and benefits. Read more about graduate student funding and research support.

In addition to the flexible and interdisciplinary nature of our curriculum, students are supported by the world-class environmental resources of our university, the strong sense of community among the Environmental Studies students, faculty, and staff, and the environmental research opportunities and natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. 

Degree Requirements

The master’s degree program in Environmental Studies requires 57 graduate-level credits taken in five major components. 

Environmental Studies Core Courses: Three courses taken in fall, winter, and spring terms of the first year.  This sequence is designed to introduce students to the diversity of environmental scholarship on campus, to take them through the initial stages of developing ideas for their thesis or terminal project, and to introduce them to some research methods. 

Concentration Area Course Work: Two concentration areas of 12 graduate credits each (typically three courses). The concentrations provide depth in two disciplines or interdisciplinary themes of the student’s choosing. Environmental Studies cannot be a concentration area. Graduate courses are numbered 500-600. 

Electives: A minimum of 12 credits of electives. An Internship (ENVS 604) may be substituted for 4 of these credits. 

Thesis or Terminal Project:  Students may complete a master’s thesis, which is a written presentation of original research results, or a terminal project, which makes a synthetic or applied contribution in the form of a written, visual or technological product. A list of completed theses and projects is available in the Environmental Studies Program office. Both theses and terminal projects require enrollment for 12 graduate credits, a designated faculty advisor, and at least one additional faculty member who assists that advisor. 

Oral Thesis/Project Defense: An oral defense of the thesis or project is required. 

The degree requirements are described in detail in the Environmental Studies Master’s Handbook.


Graduate Coordinator:
Ben Hinde
Phone: 541-346-5052
Office Hours: M-Th 9-3, Friday Remote