Environmental Studies (MS)

Master of Science in Environmental Studies

Our unique bioregional approach shows students how to connect deeply to their local ecological and human communities wherever they end up during their professional careers. The Master of Science in Environmental Studies program comprises 36 credits, which include five foundational courses and three areas of concentration to choose from–conservation biology, environmental communication, or a self-designed focus. The emphasis on practical and local application of knowledge and development of a professional network prepares students for success, whether they are just launching a career or looking for growth in an established position. Our M.S. in Environmental Studies students graduate with the knowledge and confidence to be leaders and join a nationwide community ready to make a difference.

Our Master of Science in Environmental Studies demonstrates that a thoroughly place-based approach to online education can build community at a distance and create a web of connected bioregional experts. 

Join a cutting-edge community ready to make a difference in the world.

Leading Faculty: Our faculty are nationally known as leaders in their fields, and have in-depth experience as teachers, researchers, and practitioners. 

Make Connections in Your Own Community: The bioregional approach encourages students to engage with stakeholders and make connections with professionals in their communities, building networks and making real-world contributions through applied assignments and capstone projects. 

Learn Online: Our online degree allows students to balance their lives. Classes are conducted online, with mentored studies opportunities. 

Integration with Other Graduate Programs: Choose electives from any of the other graduate programs we offer. 

A College Recognized for Environmental Leadership: The strong emphasis on ethics and sustainability that permeates our curricula and community produces graduates inclined to activism in environmental, political, and social issues. 




  • Demonstrate a solid foundation in environmental science, humanities, law/policy, and systems thinking, and show the capacity of each disciplinary area to shape engagement with specific environmental issues in their bioregion.
  • Analyze contemporary environmental issues at local, regional, and global scales through the lens of multiple disciplines.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the theories related to their specific area of focus in environmental studies.
  • Demonstrate oral communication skills that are informed, scholarly, and passionate
  • Develop and demonstrate through projects a suite of sophisticated skills related to applying theoretical knowledge to problem-solving.


  • Resource Manager 
  • Forest Service Researcher 
  • Environmental Lawyer 
  • Environmental Science Educator 
  • Corporate Sustainability Manager


From policy, law, and ethics to conservation, restoration, and education, environmental issues encompass many disciplines and the study of these interrelationships is increasingly important as we enter the Anthropocene and explore how to live more sustainably on on our one small planet.  With an bioregional emphasis on practical and local application of knowledge, this program allows students the flexibility to gain expertise and credentials to move ahead with their careers in their own communities.

The MS in Environmental Studies begins with a foundational core of five courses that build environmental expertise across the disciplines of policy, law, ethics, history, ecology. and leadership. Depth is developed in the choice of concentration: Conservation Biology, Environmental Communications, or a Self-design path developed in collaboration with Dr. Laird Christensen, the program director. Your concentration will comprise 5 courses; 2 required context courses and 3 supporting electives for a total of 15 credits. Students will also complete a Practicum (3 credits) and a Thesis or a Capstone Portfolio before graduating. This program is designed to be completed in two years. 

Core Courses include:

Ecology, Culture, Community (ENV57100)

Understanding Climate Change (ENV57876)

Environmental Law and Policy (ENV54500)

Ecology (ENV57101)

Environmental History and Philosophy (ENV50505)

Organizational Transformation and Leadership (SBM57501)


Practicum (ENV51020)

Capstone (COR57700)


Elective Courses: 
Conservation Biology, Conservation Genetics, Environmental Photography, Environmental Poetry, Field Botany, Field Journaling, Forest Ecology, Geographic Information Systems, Grant Writing, Land Use Planning & Policy, Limnology, Media Advocacy, Online Content Creation, Public Resource Management, Regional Analysis of Global Environmental Issues, Wildlife Law, and Writing the Environment. 

Note: Students can elect to take courses from other Master's programs at Prescott College to supplement or customize their degree. 


  • List of References
  • Completed Application
  • Current resume
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
Environmental Studies (MS) Faculty
Lori Curtis

Lori Curtis

Associate Faculty of Resilient Sustainable Communities, Environmental Studies


Laird Christensen

Laird Christensen

Director, MS in Resilient and Sustainable Communities & MS in Environmental Studies


Leah D'Emilio

Leah D'Emilio

Adjunct of Environmental Studies


Dianna Gielstra

Dianna Gielstra

Adjunct of Resilient Sustainable Communities, Environmental Studies