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Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES)
M.S., M.P.S. & Ph.D.

Director: Ruth Yanai

The graduate program in environmental science (GPES) offers M.S., M.P.S. and Ph.D. degrees. GPES was created in the early 1970s as a unique response to the emerging institutional and analytical challenges of developing environmental problems. The program, which draws upon faculty from throughout the College, emphasizes a multidisciplinary social and natural science approach to environmental understanding and stewardship. It maintains a strong academic orientation, facilitating student and faculty engagement of fundamental environmental challenges such as resource utilization and sustainability, the uses and limits of scientific prediction, risk and sustainability, the uses and limits of scientific prediction and risk analysis, and a holistic concern for the health of the environment.

The mission of GPES is to provide interdisciplinary education, research and public service to prepare students to comprehensively address environmental concerns and problems, investigate practical solutions to them and foster effective environmental stewardship. The program provides for the following:

  1. Multidisciplinary approach: recognition of the necessity to approach environmental problems with input from several disciplines and professions,
  2. Holistic perspective: awareness of and deference to the interdependence of elements within broadly defined ecosystems, including physical, biological, social and economic systems,
  3. Topical grounding: competency to understand and apply the principles of a particular subject of environmental inquiry in sufficient depth to interact with other disciplines and professional fields,
  4. Realistic experience: internships, focused projects, theses and seminars provide for direct interaction of legal, economic, political and social systems which underlie decision making.

Students applying to GPES must select which area of study they intend to pursue.


The academic requirements of the graduate program in environmental science are designed to provide graduates with a sound preparation to meet the rapidly evolving challenges of the field as leading scholars and professionals. Programmatic requirements constitute a framework which includes a comprehensive core foundation emphasizing theory, issues and methods; extended knowledge within an area of study; and a synthesis experience.

In addition, students should have an academic background and/or work experience related to the selected area of study. Wherever possible, deficiencies should be made up prior to matriculation.

Relationship to Syracuse University

SUNY-ESF and Syracuse University (SU) share a campus. ESF students have access to all SU libraries and other facilities and may take courses from SU at no additional cost. Similarly, SU students have access to ESF facilities and courses. Environmental Studies students benefit from the broad range of courses ESF offers as well as from the many offerings at SU in political science, communication and rhetorical studies, arts, geography, anthropology, philosophy, etc. Graduate students have the opportunity to pursue several concurrent degree programs with SU.

Graduate Program in Environmental Science
134 Baker Lab
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210–2787 USA


Cariann Linehan
Fax - 315-470-6700

Improve Your World
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
1 Forestry Drive | Syracuse, NY 13210 | 315-470-6500
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