Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy

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The 21st century is marked by widespread environmental, social, and economic instability and uncertainty. At Clark, we aren’t daunted by these great challenges — we’re solving them.

Too many people face social and economic injustices, as well as growing environmental threats to their health and well-being — from food scarcity and water pollution to greenhouse gas emissions that affect our climate on a global scale. By using new, integrative ways of understanding this complexity, and by responding in partnership with impacted communities, we can reverse injustices and create healthier, more sustainable relationships between humans and the natural environment.

The M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P) program in Clark’s renowned International Development, Community, and Environment (IDCE) Department will prepare you to engage with these challenges — and turn them into opportunities — by bringing together science and policy, both in the U.S. and internationally. We need educated, creative professionals who can develop and deploy innovative solutions with an awareness of the broader social and global contexts. Are you ready to become an integrative 21st-century ES&P professional?

Why Study at Clark?

  • Ranked #15 in the world for development studies by QS World University Rankings
  • Benefit from our interdisciplinary curriculum, which integrates 10 concentration areas of your choice
  • Design and implement projects in partnership with impacted communities, policymakers, and businesses
  • Collaborate with diverse individuals of varied skill sets to address sustainability, resource conservation, climate change, water, and more

Student Spotlight

Sarah Maloney is Ready to Use What She Learned at Clark

The flexibility of the IDCE curriculum and faculty allows Sarah Maloney to explore other areas, such as GIS mapping and programming, as part of her master’s in environmental science and policy degree.

I’ve always really liked science, and I wanted to use it in a greater context. My advisers let me choose classes to meet my requirements that weren’t the usual.
—Sarah Maloney

The Essentials

Program Overview

The ES&P master’s degree is professionally oriented and academically rigorous.

The core courses and final project provide a firm foundation in science and policy knowledge, in addition to applied research and/or practitioner experience. The interdisciplinary concentration courses are taken with natural scientists, engineers, or social scientists — in one of IDCE’s focal areas.

Our students enjoy taking courses across many departments at Clark. They have the opportunity to learn something outside their area of study — building stronger bonds and horizon-broadening skill sets.

Understand complexity integratively. Respond in partnership with diverse social groups. Tackle provocative questions:

  • What does a more environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable future look like for New England, for Puerto Rico, and for the world?
  • How can universities, communities, policymakers, and businesses collaborate to envision, plan, and implement a sustainable future?
  • How can we increase the climate change resilience of towns, cities, and regions in unified ways across sectors such as water, energy, health, food, and transportation?
  • How can we conserve biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and mitigate human-wildlife conflicts — while meeting the livelihood needs of humans?
  • What are the health risks of pollution, and how can we reduce, mitigate, or eliminate those risks?
  • Critically examine and challenge conventional ideas, policies, technologies, and practices, such as U.S. energy policy or U.N. sustainable development goals
  • Acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of diverse data: quantitative, qualitative, spatial (GIS), and ethnographic/narrative
  • Knowledge of what it takes to collaborate with communities, businesses, governmental agencies, NGOs, researchers, donors, and activists
  • Capacity to develop systems-based understanding of an issue — and responses to it — within its environmental, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts
  • Ability to constructively engage with complexity, instability, and uncertainties that exist in the world
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Case Studies in Environmental Issues and Policy Analysis
  • Sustainable Development Assessment and Planning
  • Field Methods in Environmental Science
  • Humanitarian Assistances in Complex Emergencies/Disasters


4 semesters over 2 years
12 course units

  • 3 core courses
  • 2 methods/skills courses
  • 6 concentration courses (interdisciplinary elective courses in one of IDCE’s focal areas)
  • 1 Capstone project

Course Catalog

Explore the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment.