Graduate Education in Environmental Studies and Sciences
The landscape of graduate programs in environmental studies and sciences is complex, but we can offer the following general guidelines for choosing a graduate program.
Preparation: General Considerations
In general, a student intending to go to graduate school should aim for a GPA of 3.00 or better; 3.5 or above may be necessary to get into the most competitive programs. Most programs will also require that you take the GRE general test, and some may require subject area tests as well. (There is no subject area test in environmental studies or sciences.)
PhDs are usually required for careers centered on research. These include teaching at the college level or working as a researcher for a policy institute or private corporation. A PhD can also be a valuable credential for teaching at the secondary level.
Getting a PhD usually takes several (five, six, or even seven) years, a great deal of self-discipline, and a true passion for scholarship. Many programs offer financial support in the form of fellowships, teaching or research assistantships, but you will nevertheless forgo substantial earnings while in school.
If you decide to pursue a PhD, you will have to decide whether to choose a traditional discipline or enter one of the relatively new interdisciplinary environmental graduate programs.
Degrees and other Professional Degrees
A master’s degree can prepare one for a PhD program, but most of these programs focus on preparing students for specific careers. It usually takes 2-3 years to get a master’s degree. The variety of master’s programs can be bewildering. Your choice will depend on the kind of career you want:
Public Policy and Consulting:
Managing land, animals, water and air:
- Masters in a traditional science discipline