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Graduate Degree Programs
M.P.S. in Environmental Leadership, Justice, and Communication

The online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree in Environmental Leadership, Justice, and Communication prepares students with essential skills for applied careers in the human dimensions of environmental problem solving and sustainability.

The MPS in Environmental Leadership, Justice, and Communication is a 30 credit-hour experience focused on developing analytical capacities and problem-solving skills for environmental professionals, community leaders, decision makers, and advocates. The MPS is fully online and is designed to be accessible to working professionals and other non-traditional students.

The curriculum can be completed in as short as one year or over a longer period of time, depending on how many courses a student takes per semester. To earn the MPS, students complete three stand-alone advanced graduate certificates, each composed of three 3-credit courses: in Environmental Leadership (9 credits); Environmental Justice & Inequality (9 credits), and Science and Environmental Communication & Public Relations (9 credits). In their final semester, students participate in a 3-credit applied capstone project oriented towards their professional and/or civic objectives.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the policy context, political and socioeconomic forces, and key stakeholders of an environmental problem or environmental decision process
  2. Critically engage research and evidence on the unique environmental vulnerabilities and conflicts that marginalized communities face
  3. Examine factors influencing public perceptions of science, risk, and environments
  4. Develop and clarify a personal set of values, strengths, and opportunities for growth as an environmental problem-solver or change-maker
  5. Facilitate environmental decision processes that integrate scientific knowledge, public values, and diverse ways of knowing
  6. Design and evaluate communications, advocacy, and public engagement efforts on environmental issues
  7. Apply research-informed tools and methods to address uncertainty, inequality, and conflict in environmental problem-solving

All courses are offered online and designed to accommodate working professionals' schedules. Course activities include readings, instructor-developed video presentations and podcasts, guided exercises, online discussions, and completion of class exercises toward a final project. Students regularly engage with the professor in online discussions, synchronous learning sessions, and phone or online office hours.

We understand flexibility is important. Want to test the waters and enroll in just one course? No worries! Pick the course that sounds most interesting and register as a visiting student.

Program Courses

The Environmental Leadership, Justice, and Communication M.P.S. program consists of the following courses. Refer to the ESF College Catalog for current course descriptions

  • EST 555 - Public Relations Management for Environmental Professionals (3 credits, Fall)
  • EST 606 - Public Perception and the Communication of the Environment, Science and Risk (3 credits, Spring)
  • EST 608 - Environmental Advocacy Campaigns and Conflict Resolution Application (3 credits, Fall)
  • EST 615 - Environmental Justice: Policy, Management and Society (3 credits, Fall)
  • EST 616 - Global Perspectives on Environmental Justice (3 credits, Spring)
  • EST 617 - Measuring Environmental Inequality (3 credits, Spring)
  • EST 612 - Environmental Policy and Governance (3 credits, Spring)
  • EST 635 - Public Participation and Decision Making: Theory and Application (3 credits, Spring)
  • EST 640 - Environmental Thought and Ethics (3 credits, Fall)
  • Capstone course, one of:
    • EST 798 - Problems in Environmental Studies, or
    • EST 898 - Professional Experience