Environmental Studies and Environmental Science


Dr. Noah Perlut (chair)

Degree name
Master of Science


The Environmental Studies programs strive to increase awareness and appreciation of human connections with the rest of nature and to stimulate advocacy for sustainable behaviors. The curriculum stresses sound interdisciplinary understanding of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities disciplines in order to explore past, present, and potential ways of living on the earth. We are concerned with environmental issues at local, regional, national, and global levels, and we especially desire to help individuals and communities practice sustainable living by means of our research, teaching, and service. Faculty and students collaborate in active and critical learning through community discourse, personal inquiry, and experiential learning. We intend that our students develop a personal aesthetic awareness of the earth and that they engage in the inquiry, discovery, critical thinking, and debate that characterize the study of environmental issues.

Program Description

This degree requires a total of 36 graduate credits, including a minimum of 12 thesis/research credits (ENV 590), 2 credits of Graduate Seminar in Environmental Studies (ENV 599; 1 in the fouth and 1 in the fifth year), 3 credits of Research Methods (BIO 503) and up to 19 additional course credits (minimum of 12-course credits). Of the 12-19 additional course credits, at minimum of two classes must be offered through the Department of Environmental Studies. A maximum of 12 course credits can double-count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.


  • Improve the competitiveness of our graduates for jobs and entrance into doctoral programs.
  • Continue to strengthen and diversify research productivity of faculty
  • Attract and retain high achieving students
  • Enhance the intellectual community involving faculty and students in our department

Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses Credits
ENV 510 - Research/Thesis 19
BIO 503 - Research Methods 3
ENV 5xx - Graduate Seminar I 1
ENV 5XX - Graduate Seminar II 1
ENV Electives 12
Total 36

Academic and Technical Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in the M.S. Biological Sciences program, the student's cumulative graduate GPA must be a minimum of 3.0.  A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 or who receives a grade below B- in any course taken for graduate credit will be placed on academic probation.

Program Completion Timeline

Students have a maximum of five years to complete the graduation requirements.  After two academic years (fall and spring terms), students who have completed their coursework but are still completing their theses are required to enroll in a minimum of three Thesis credit hours per semester to remain in the program.


A graduate student whose grade point average (GPA) for any semester falls below 3.0, or whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.0, or who receives a class grade below a B- for any class taken for graduate credit is automatically placed on probation. A student placed on academic probation will be granted one fall or spring semester to raise his/her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above, will be required to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the semester, and cannot receive a second class grade below B-.  Any student who fails to meet these criteria will be considered for dismissal by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Academic Policy


In normal length semesters, a matriculated student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty (a grade of W is assigned) at any time during the first two-thirds of the semester. If withdrawal occurs after that date, the grade of WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing) will be entered, subject to determination by the instructor. The grade of WF is computed in the grade point average. 


A student who believes she/he is unable to complete the work for a given course by the end of the term may apply for an extension by discussion with the instructor. At the time of this meeting, a plan must be agreed upon for completion of the course work, including a date of completion, not to exceed six weeks following the end date of the course. This agreement must be completed by the last day of class for the given course. Any student who does not follow the above guidelines will receive an F for the course. In exceptional circumstances (such as death in family, significant illness, accident), an additional extension may be requested. Any such request must be made in writing, reviewed, and signed by the instructor and the student’s advisor.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate expertise in their thesis research field
  • Develop outstanding scientific communication skills through written and oral presentations
  • Students will demonstrate mastery of the concepts and principals of Environmental Studies/Sciences
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of research design and have the ability to carry out a research project

Transfer Credit


  • Transfer credits are rarely awarded to students who transfer from another biological science program
  • Transfer credits will be reviewed and awarded on a case by case basis


  • No advanced standing available


  • No credit awarded for experiential learning



The University of New England Department of Biology participates in the Graduate Centralized Application Service (GradCAS). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.


Completion of Bachelor’s Degree in Biology (or other related area) from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation.

  • All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please see GradCAS application for additional information and instructions.


  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (inclusive of all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes).
  • All applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered for admission.


  • Satisfactory completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within 5 years of application.
  • Official GRE score reports should be submitted directly to GradCAS. Please refer to GradCAS application for program GRE code and submission instructions.


  • A current resume is required and should be uploaded directly to your GradCAs application.


Three (3) letters of reference are required* – submitted via GradCAS

  • Letters should come from a person of your choice who can speak to your academic and/or professional experience.

*Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable


International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information on acceptable tests and minimum score requirements.
  • Please refer to the GradCAS application for test score submission instructions.


  • Prior to or early in the application process, applicants are strongly advised to communicate with UNE faculty with whom they would like to work.
  • Meeting with faculty during the application process does not in any way negate the need to fully complete the application and admissions process.
  • Candidates are reviewed by program faculty and are admitted based on academics and experiences that might be the best fit with the department’s open research opportunities.
  • Applications completed after the posted deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • Applicants offered admission will be expected to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure a seat in the program.
  • The non-refundable deposit is applied toward fees not covered by the assistantship or grant received upon acceptance.
  • Should the candidate decide not to matriculate in the program, the deposit will be forfeited.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.


  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants.
  • All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements.
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates, individual candidates.

Tuition and Fees


Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.