MA in Energy & Environment

Prepare for success in a changing, challenging field.

Drawing knowledge from natural and social sciences, humanities, engineering, and more, the MA in Energy & Environment unlocks the door to a career that leaves a mark on the world. Our graduates shape environmental policy and planning, excel at energy analysis and environmental consulting, and expand the reach of nongovernmental organizations. Students with a wide variety of backgrounds, from engineering to international relations, find our master’s program ideal for acquiring the high-demand skills necessary for careers in energy and the environment. Our world-renowned faculty equip you with the computer skills, quantitative techniques, and modeling tools you will need to succeed. Apply now.

Environmental Consulting

Consultants utilize their skills and expertise to provide specialized knowledge for clients who need to solve specific problems. They can work as independent contractors or in large firms and typically work on a variety of projects for both private and public clients. A consultant might assist the EPA in formulating rules for power plant operations, help a rural community government determine how to manage water resources, analyze the impacts of a toxic waste site, develop environmental impact assessments for private firms, or help an energy firm better predict future electricity demand. Our alumni work at industry-leading consulting firms:

Nonprofits and NGOs

Alumni at nonprofit organizations and other nongovernmental organizations work to address environmental and sustainability challenges from the local to the global levels. These organizations aim to fill gaps left by private firms and governments to solve otherwise unmet needs. Our alumni have built careers at a variety of notable organizations:


Many of our alumni have found positions working in government at all levels, both as researchers and policymakers. Our alumni have shaped environmental policy and helped answer pressing environmental questions with a number of governmental bodies:


Many of our alumni have gone on to work at both small and large private firms that conduct a wide range of business. Some of these firms provide specialized geospatial, environmental, or energy services, but many of our alumni have found the skills and knowledge gained in the Department of Earth & Environment to be valuable in private firms that do work in areas as diverse as finance and digital media:

Application checklist:

  • Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (all institutions of higher education you have attended)
  • Test scores (GREs for every applicant, TOEFL scores for international students)

Please visit our master’s programs admissions page for more details on required application materials and testing requirements.

The MA in Energy & Environment comprises eight courses or 32 credits: six core courses and two elective courses that are chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Core Courses (six courses)

  • CAS GE 516 Multivariate Analysis for Geographers*
  • CAS GE 519 Energy, Society, and the Environment
  • GRS GE 620 Methods of Environmental Policy Analysis
  • GRS GE 660 Food, Energy, and Water Policy
  • CAS GE 555 World Oil Markets or QST PL 852 Electricity Markets
  • CAS GE 712 Regional Energy Modeling or GE 550 Modeling Environmental and Social Systems
*Students with extensive backgrounds in statistics may, with permission of the MA program director, select a more specialized course.

Elective Courses (two courses)

  • CAS GE 509 Applied Environmental Statistics
  • CAS GE 522 The Development of Sustainable Environmental Responsibility
  • CAS GE 524 Environmental Justice
  • CAS GE 533 Risk Assessment
  • CAS GE 536 European Environmental Policy
  • CAS GE 560 Energy Transitions
  • CAS GE 598 Key Debates and Emerging Research in Land Change Science
  • CAS GE/IR 594 Global Environmental Negotiation and Policy
  • CAS GE/IR 597 Sustainable Development in Latin America
  • CAS GE/IR 599 Science, Politics, and Climate Change
  • CAS GE 600 Environment and Development: A Political Ecology Approach
  • GRS GE 625 US Environmental Policy
  • GRS GE 656 Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle
  • GRS GE 675 Urban Ecology
  • GRS GE/IR 710 Scientific Assessments of Environmental Issues: Process & Evaluation
  • GRS GE 805 Spatial Analysis Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • CAS ES 540 Air Pollution and Global Change
  • CAS IR 573 Introduction to Public International Law
  • GRS BI 648 Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
  • GRS MA 684 Applied Multiple Regression and Multivariable Methods
  • ENG SE 543 Sustainable Power Systems: Planning, Operation and Markets
  • ENG EK 546 Assessment of Sustainable Energy Technologies

·      Demonstrate a thorough understanding of (a) one or more current energy and/or environmental issues along multiple dimensions (resources, technologies, and markets), and their relationship of these dimensions to (b) fundamental concepts from economics and other social science disciplines (e.g., political science/international relations, or law), and (c) fundamental concepts from natural science

·      Demonstrate knowledge of quantitative and qualitative theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches used to analyze environmental problems and understand the effectiveness of policy interventions

·      Quantitatively analyze data and perform simulation modeling to characterize the impacts of energy and environmental policies on human systems

·      Communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, concepts in the natural and social sciences as they relate to environmental issues, and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the broader societal consequences of one or more environmental problems and policies

·      Apply analytical techniques from statistics, spatial science, and economics to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in the design and implementation of policies to address environmental issues