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Co-create knowledge to tackle complex challenges

The future of the planet is at stake: we must challenge convention

Right now, communities across the globe are facing existential threats to their ecosystems, with dire consequences for their health and wellbeing. The convergent challenges of toxic pollution, biodiversity loss, and climate change undermine our food, water, health, and energy systems, deepening social and economic inequities.

At Clark University, we are not daunted by these challenges – our creativity and resolve are inspired by them. Our Master of Science degree in Environmental Science & Policy will equip you with the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

A distinctive approach to address environmental challenges

The Environmental Science & Policy program will prepare you to enact just and sustainable solutions through collaboration and experiential learning. Our students learn by working alongside those most impacted by social and ecological inequities.

Grounded in rigorous environmental science, you will learn how to integrate diverse forms of knowledge, forge meaningful partnerships, and catalyze change in systems and structures.

Chart a just and sustainable future

Our curriculum focuses on the interaction between environmental knowledge, governance, and justice. You will learn to navigate and influence the complex governance structures that shape decision-making at local, national, and international scales. Internships, studio courses, and field work provide real-world experiences and insights.

STEM Designated Program. If you are an international student with an MS in Environmental Science and Policy, you may be eligible to work in the US for up to 36 months on Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Department of Sustainability and Social Justice

Our degrees inspire you to develop equitable solutions to urgent social, political, and ecological challenges. Through our program, students are equipped to help lead the building of a more just, sustainable, and climate-responsive world.

  • Deepen your knowledge of environmental challenges
  • Develop critical skills to catalyze institutional change
  • Collaborate across disciplines to understand and address complex social-ecological challenges
  • Gain real-world experience to build professional skills and knowledge

Critical Knowledge, Skills, and Experience:
The Environmental Science & Policy Curriculum

Required Environmental Science & Policy Courses
(Choose 2 units)
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Science (required)
  • Environmental Governance and Justice (option)
  • Science Meets Policy in the Real World (option)
Sustainability and Institutional Change
(2 units)
  • Sustainability Studies (e.g. Sustainable Development Assessment and Planning)
  • Social Change and Transformation (e.g., Climate and Social Justice; Policy Analysis)
Skills for Social and Environmental Change
(2 units)
  • Choose from courses in:
    • Spatial Analysis
    • Project Management
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Organizational Leadership
Methods of Inquiry and Subject Matter Electives
(2-3 units)
  • Deepen your skills in Qualitative, Quantitative, or Spatial Analysis
  • Take additional electives:
    • Place-based Ecological Knowledge
    • Climate Change, Energy, and Development
    • Cities, Regions, Climate Change and Health
Common Seminars
(1 unit)
  • Intersectional Justice Movements (0.5)
  • Principles and Ethics of Community Engagement (0.5)
Experiential Learning and Inquiry
(1-3 units)
  • Environmental Knowledge, Justice, and Governance Studio
  • Internships with the Regional Environmental Council, National Grid
  • Global Learning Collaborative in Mexico*
  • Field Research in Ethiopia*

*Open to students in our 12-unit research track.

Choice of three program tracks

10-unit track completed in three semesters (Fall or Spring start)

12-unit research track completed in four semesters, with students conducting primary research in the summer between their two years of study (Fall start only)

12-unit practice track completed in four semesters, with students engaging in a Global Learning Collaborative, either domestically or internationally (Fall start only)


Join our successful alumni

Our alumni are advancing sustainability, social justice and climate-change responsiveness by innovating policies, practices, behaviors and technologies in civil society, governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

  • Policy and Organizing Director at Environmental Action
  • Staff Scientist at Core Environmental Services
  • Risk Assessment Scientist at Kleinfelder
  • Environmental Hazards Program Coordinator at World Wildlife Fund
  • Climate Program Staff Associate at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society
  • Environmental Sustainability Program Manager at Intertek Group
  • Climate Science and Adaptation Specialist at the United Nations Environment Programme

Meet our engaged faculty

Our faculty work at the leading edge of environmental science and policy. They publish in high-impact journals (e.g. GeoHealth, Human Ecology, Environmental Health Perspectives), receive financing from major funders (e.g. National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Rockefeller Foundation), and share their expertise on boards and panels.

More importantly, they partner with impacted communities in their research and practice, working with local knowledge holders to understand complex challenges and co-create the capacity to respond – for a brighter future.

Explore the Department of Sustainability and Social Justice