Four students examine a specimen in a bucket by a stream

Environmental Sciences, MS

UMass Boston's Environmental Sciences master's program embraces the field as a metadiscipline integrating the natural and social sciences. The School for the Environment is nationally recognized for its preparation of MS-level environmental practitioners whose research and practical knowledge advances natural resource conservation, climate change impacts and responses in coastal marine systems, new methods and technologies for the remote study of the planet, and the development of sustainable policies and management strategies to conserve and protect human-natural systems.

Application Deadlines:

Deadlines: January 15 , October 15 for spring 
Letters of Recommendation: 2
Other: Faculty advisor commitment, 3.0 undergraduate GPA

What the School Offers to Ensure Your Success

In addition to the significant support provided by the director and faculty of the environmental sciences MS program, our Academic Achievement Services Center (AASC@SFE) offers a breadth of programs and activities designed to support you in your journey. Whether you seek additional support for your classes, need assistance in identifying an internship host, seeking information about fellowships or grants, looking for professional development opportunities or gearing up to enter the job market, AASC@SFE is always here for you. AASC@SFE offers support and connections for advising, student support (academic, financial, health), career services and opportunities, connections to internship hosts and employers, and more.

What You Can Take

Current students should consult the graduate student handbook for the year that they enrolled in the program.

MS students may choose either a thesis or non-thesis option. Both require a minimum of 30 credit hours. Full-time MS students normally complete their degree requirements in four semesters. Part-time MS students are encouraged to take two courses per semester. All graduate courses approved by the student’s advisor count toward the credit requirement.

All MS students complete a common core course across 2 semesters providing a transdisciplinary grounding in the systems approach to environmental problem solving.  All MS students must also complete a graduate level statistics course and 2 semesters of seminar in environmental sciences. MS students also complete 6 credits of thesis or project and additional electives including a minimum of 1 course in the environmental natural sciences and 1 in the social environmental sciences to reach the minimum 30 credits required for degree completion.

Learning Objectives for this program can be viewed here.

Thesis Track
Non-Thesis Track

Program Faculty

Program Contact

FAQ to provide information on frequent questions or concerns:

  1. Should I contact faculty members directly?
    1. Yes, reach out and talk to faculty whose research interests you.  To be accepted in the program you need a faculty advisor.
  2. Is there a separate application I need to fill out to be considered for a teaching assistantship?
    1. No, your general application is all that is required.
  3. I'm applying for a master's degree, can I still get a teaching assistantship?
    1. Possibly, preference is given to doctoral students.
  4. Can I start my graduate degree in the spring semester?
    1. Yes, however, most students start in the fall semester.  
  5. Can I get an application fee waiver?
    1. In special situations this is possible, please contact the graduate program director directly and discuss your situation.

Should you need further assistance please refer to the link below or contact Graduate Program Director Michael Tlusty at

SFE general inquiries on our graduate program

Request Info