College of Science and School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
Northeastern’s new MS in Environmental Science and Policy, a joint program between the College of Science and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities’ School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, provides interdisciplinary training and environmental problem-solving expertise to the next generation of environmental professionals.
The Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy program emphasizes a broadly interdisciplinary and synthetic approach that integrates knowledge in the environmental sciences with the social sciences.
Many critical challenges of our time relate to the complex and multi-layered interactions between humans and our environment. Human society is becoming increasingly aware of its reliance on natural ecosystems and the services they provide—such as food production, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling—and yet human activities continue to compromise the delivery of these services at an accelerating rate. Striving toward sustainability and resilience of coupled human-natural ecosystems is among the greatest challenges confronting our society because it mandates a major shift in the prevailing way of life, reaching into the institutional systems that involve production, transportation, urban and suburban development, and governmental regulation.
The program emphasizes a broadly interdisciplinary and synthetic approach that integrates knowledge in environmental science (conservation biology, climate change, fisheries science, ecosystem function, biodiversity, and restoration ecology) with social sciences (environmental sociology, economics, public policy, and development) and humanities (environmental history, philosophy, and ethics). The goal is to equip professionals with the substantive breadth in knowledge and skills necessary for integrated analysis in this era of global change, and to empower environmental professionals to think critically about the underlying causes of environmental problems, the reciprocal relationship between coupled human-natural ecosystems, and the range of potential policy approaches available to decision-makers to address these critical challenges.
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