MA in Earth & Environment

NOTE: In academic year 2020–2021, the Department of Earth & Environment recoded all courses from ES and GE to EE.

The MA in Earth & Environment provides students with extensive coursework and research opportunities within the earth and environmental sciences, geography, remote sensing, sustainability, and energy, environment analysis, and policy. Upon completion of the MA, students should be prepared for further postgraduate training or employment in industry, government, or nonprofit agencies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate intermediate knowledge of the fundamental concepts and topics in a specific subfield of Earth & Environment.
  • Demonstrate understanding of key research questions, the research design process, and the quantitative and/or qualitative methods used in a specific subfield of Earth & Environment.
  • Communicate research questions and results to the scientific community and communicate about problems in Earth & Environment to a broader audience.
  • Integrate, synthesize, and apply scientific knowledge to societal problems, such as the sustainable use of energy and water resources, the identification and mitigation of risks posed by climate change and natural hazards, and the consequences of human activities on the environment.

Course Requirements

Students must complete 32 credits at the graduate level (500 level or above). Students pursuing the Master of Arts with Thesis may apply a maximum of 12 credits of 900-level research courses toward this requirement. Students pursuing the Master of Arts via Examination may not apply 900-level research courses toward the 32-credit total. Appropriate coursework will be determined in consultation with the student’s major advisor, and will be dependent upon the student’s background and interests.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.

Professional Development

The professional development requirement ensures that students are well prepared for academic study at BU and for pursuing their ultimate careers. The requirement may be satisfied through coursework; cocurricular activities sponsored by the University; professional or community organizations; or through activities approved by the student’s advisory committee/major professor.

Master of Arts with Thesis

Students pursuing a Master of Arts with Thesis must complete a written thesis, approved by at least three members of the department (usually the student’s advisor and mutually agreed upon second and third readers) and defend their research results in an oral presentation.

Master of Arts via Examination

Students pursuing a Master of Arts via Examination must pass a written comprehensive exam, which is typically administered during the last semester of coursework. Candidates are expected to demonstrate a thorough understanding of their major field of interest.