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MSES Curriculum

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) is designed to help you develop a high level of professional expertise and education in the interdisciplinary environmental discipline. In order to account for diverse student interests, the program of study allows flexibility to tailor a degree to the student’s interests. Additionally, we offer three formats for a final research project to complete your degree: thesis, leadership practicum, or mentored writing capstone. 

The culminating experience for MSES students is a thesis, mentored writing capstone, or a leadership practicum that is orally defended before a three-person faculty committee (plus a partner representative for the leadership practicum).  To receive a master’s degree in environmental studies, you must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours. Always consult with your MSES advisor and committee chair regarding course selection and requirements. 

Ohio University MSES Graduate Catalog

Students must complete all core courses, one research methods course and four electives approved in consultation with an advisor. At least one of these electives is required to be an Environmental Studies listed elective. Students choose to complete either a leadership practicum, a thesis, or a mentored writing capstone.

Core Courses (13 Credits) 

ES 6815 Sustainable Communities 3 credits
ES 5620 Environmental Science and Public Policy 3 credits
ES 6820 Ecology and Environmental Issues 3 credits
ES 6810 Environment and Society 3 credits
ES 6580 Colloquium 1 credit

Electives (12-15 Credits) 

Complete four electives, one of which must be an Environmental Studies listed elective. 

Research Methods (1-4 Credits) 

Complete one of the following courses. You may petition to receive credit for methods courses from these or other departments: 

PBIO 5150 Statistical Methods in Plant Bio 4 credits
EDRE 5010 Introduction to Research Methods 4 credits
GEOG 5710 Quantitative Methods in Geography 4 credits
GEOG 5711 Qualitative Methods in Geography 4 credits
GEOG 5712 Field Methods in Geography 4 credits
MATH 5510 Applied Statistics 3 credits
PSY 6111 Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
(must be taken with PSY 6100)
3 credits
PSY 6100 Data Management
(must be taken with PSY 6111)
1 credit
SOC 6540 Social Research Methods 3 credits
POLS 6010 Quantitative Research Methods 3 credits
MPA 6010 Research Methods in Leadership and Public Affairs 3 credits
MPA 6020 Quantitative Research Methods in Public Administration 3 credits
MPA 6030 Qualitative Research Methods in Public Administration 3 credits

Research or Thesis Credits 

Complete a minimum of one credit hour of the following: 

ES 6950 Environmental Studies Thesis 1 - 8 credits
ES 6940 Environmental Studies Research 1 - 5 credits

The thesis option involves conducting original research under the guidance of a faculty member.  This includes collection of original data that addresses significant research questions. You will analyze and interpret your data and present it in writing in the format required by Ohio University. Results will be presented in front of a committee of three interdisciplinary faculty members. 


Leadership Practicum

ES 6920 Environmental Studies Practicum 1 - 12 credits

The MSES program offers a Leadership Practicum for students who want to pursue research through a learning-by-doing partnership with a public or private organization. Students choosing the Leadership Practicum work in the field to explore and solve problems in collaboration with an agency or organization involved in environmental leadership across a wide variety of disciplines. In consultation with your external partner and interdisciplinary three-person faculty committee, you produce tailored Leadership Practicum products that capture your work and your findings. Leadership Practicums have covered a broad range of subjects reflecting the diversity of students' backgrounds and interests. 

  • Example of recent practicum partners have included: 
  • Land Conservancy NGO 
  • City government 
  • Solar energy manufacturing company 
  • Rural sustainability and environmental education NGO 
  • Primary school district 
  • International organization 
  • Science research center 
  • Powering the Solar+ Decade: Policy Drivers and Industry Innovations

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  • Improving Drinking Water Quality in Central Appalachia

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  • The Pursuit of Cooperation in Complex Governance Systems

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Reports and Publications

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  • Ohio Watershed Education

    Lessons and activities (Grades K-12) developed by the Appalachian Watershed Research Group to teach the importance of freshwater, how watersheds are a...
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  • Raccoon Creek Watershed Project

    The Raccoon Creek Watershed Project is responsible for project planning and maintenance, chemical and biological stream monitoring, as well as environ...
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