The master of professional studies degree is a 39-credit-hour experience aimed at professional applications of environmental knowledge.
A total of 21 credit hours is required. These must include applied social science courses in environmental policy and regulation, and democratic processes. In addition, a total of six credit hours is required in environmental science and six credit hours is required in methods courses emphasizing applications of technical knowledge.
A minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework is required in the chosen area of study, as determined by the major professor and study area faculty. Students select a study area at the time of application for admission to the program.
Eight study areas are available to M.P.S. students:
Students select either an internship for three to six credit hours or prepare a synthesis paper for three credit hours. All students must present a capstone seminar in their final semester. No terminal comprehensive examination is required.
Applicants with a minimum of three years of post-baccalaureate, full-time professional experience directly related to the intended area of study may apply for six credit hours of advanced standing in the program, reducing their degree requirements to 33 credit hours. Partial credit for experience cannot be awarded. When awarded for prior work experience, the six credit hours are applied toward the synthesis requirement.
The master of science degree is designed as a two-year experience.
A core of applied social science courses (credit-hour requirements vary with area of study) is required. In addition, a total of six credit hours is required in research methods. Course options which satisfy these requirements are designated by the area of study faculty.
A minimum of 15 credit hours (excluding ENS 899) is required in the area of study, as determined by the major professor and area-of-study faculty. Area-of-study subcommittees maintain advising lists of courses pre-approved to satisfy the 15-credit area of study requirement. The student’s major professor or steering committee may designate additional courses. Five study areas are available to M.S. students: environmental policy and democratic processes, environmental and community land planning, environmental systems and risk management, water and wetland resource studies, and environmental communication and participatory processes.
A minimum of six credit hours of research is required resulting in a document that clearly demonstrates graduate-level accomplishments of the student, followed by a defense examination. Students must have an approved thesis proposal.
The Ph.D. program provides a unique opportunity to develop environmental policy-related research within a strong college community of environmental analysts and to draw upon the expertise of scholars at Syracuse University. Entering students are required to complete the equivalent of the GPES master's core either from prior graduate study or coursework taken within the first year of residency. Environmental and natural resources policy applicants are expected to have completed a master’s research thesis.