e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES)

Program inquiries: Cariann Linehan

The Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES) supports interdisciplinary environmental research and teaching at SUNY ESF and offers unique graduate programs that serve the needs of our students. GPES is comprised of faculty from each of the seven departments at SUNY ESF who understand the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations to manage and solve critical environmental problems.

  • collecting a sample
  • collecting a sample
  • group photo
  • an insect shedding
  • gathering data
  • collecting a sample
  • group photo
  • two students gathering data
  • two students gathering data
  • two students gathering data
  • two students gathering data
  • two students gathering data
  • collecting a sample from the river

Areas of Study and Degree Options

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

Masters degrees may be earned in six areas of study and Ph.D. degrees in all eight. Detailed information on degree options is found on the following pages:


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.


All completed forms should be brought to 202 Baker.

The State Education Department and SUNY establish policy that applies to all graduate programs. Graduate Policies specific to ESF have been adopted by the College Faculty and are available on the Graduate School website:

GPES is an interdepartmental program, which distinguishes it from the other graduate programs on campus. Like other programs, GPES has specific policies, procedures, and guidelines, which are detailed in the handbooks specific to each degree program: M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.

Contact GPES

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

Cariann Linehan, Office Coordinator
Fax - 315-470-6700


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.

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 Science 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.