Explore UNE's Environmental Studies 4+1 B.S./M.S. Track on the Coast of Maine

UNE’s Environmental Studies 4+1 B.S./M.S. program allows you to complete your undergraduate and master’s degrees in environmental studies in a total of five years, saving you both time and money.

As a qualified UNE undergraduate, this track enables you to obtain an M.S. degree, in addition to your B.S., through an expedited process that begins during your senior year of undergraduate work.

You'll complete much of your master's coursework during your fourth year, while also working on your thesis project. Your fifth year will be spent finishing your research and writing your thesis.

A U N E student takes notes while doing environmental field work

Why UNE for Your B.S./M.S. in Environmental Studies

UNE’s combination undergraduate/graduate program in Environmental Studies uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine the connections between humans and nature. Observing the world through the lenses of natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities, you will learn to develop and promote sustainable behaviors that improve life at all levels.

Prepare for Your Career With Unique Opportunities

From our optional first-year interdisciplinary Green Learning Community, which integrates courses in biology, environmental issues, literature, and economics, to our exciting study abroad experiences and our local, national, and international internships, which give you a chance to gain professional skills and hands-on experience, the sky is the limit at UNE. This multitude of opportunities prepares you to join the ranks of other UNE Environmental Studies graduates who have entered exciting professional fields in environmental advocacy, air and water resource management, ecological restoration, habitat conservation, park management, and environmental impact assessment.

Testimonial Place Holder

Marissa Hammond '12

Environmental Studies

Within my first weeks on campus, I landed a work study job with the Environmental Studies Department... I helped with various tasks involving the Department’s Salt Marsh Restoration Project. While volunteering, I met Jeremy Miller, a research associate at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. So, for the next two and half years, I spent time during the school year and summer interning and volunteering at the Wells NERR (sampling and processing for their ichthyoplankton monitoring program), gaining a vast array of skills, knowledge, and experience.

If it wasn’t for my experience volunteering, interning at the Wells NERR, and getting to know each member of the department on a personal and professional level, I don’t think I would have been such a competitive candidate for the (NOAA’s Ernest F. Hollings) scholarship. The scholarship came with funding for two years, along with a paid internship…at the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) field station in Orono, ME.

My internship with NMFS sparked my interest to pursue a graduate degree… I am entering into a Ph.D. program in the area of Fisheries Management and Policy (at Michigan State University)."

If it wasn’t for my experience volunteering, interning at the Wells NERR... I don’t think I would have been such a competitive candidate for the (NOAA’s Ernest F. Hollings) scholarship

Environmental Studies

Discover Diverse Habitats Across Southern Maine

Within a short walk or drive from our Biddeford Campus, you may explore a variety of unique habitats, including UNE’s 350 acres of contiguous forest. The State of Maine’s Natural Areas Program has labeled the land a habitat of significant value due to its high density of pocket swamps and vernal pools. The area is comprised of both uplands and wetlands and is home to many species, including wild turkeys, deer, coyotes, and moose.

A bit farther afield, you may study some of Northern New England’s most intriguing ecosystems.

Local Habitats

Our campus offers the chance to explore the lush coast and rich woodlands of Southern Maine.

  • UNE Nature Trail: Our trail system on campus runs along the Saco River.
  • UNE's 363 acres of forest: Explored in many classes, is also great for mountain biking.
  • UNE's Ram Island: Our one-acre research island in Saco Bay. 
  • Basket and Stage Islands: Accessible at low tide over the sand flats.
  • East Point Bird Sanctuary: Owned by the Audubon Society with views of Wood Island lighthouse.
  • Biddeford Pool: The largest tidal pool in Maine, great for observing coastal wildlife.
  • The Saco Heath: A raised peatland (bog), home to the carnivorous pitcher plants (protected by the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy).
  • Clifford Park: A 52-acre woodland preserve owned by the city of Biddeford, great for mountain biking and cross country skiing.
Regional Habitats

These protected lands serve as ideal day-trips from our campus.

  • Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region: 10,000 acres of biodiverse undeveloped forest.
  • Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: A national wildlife refuge that spans 50 miles of coastline between York and Cumberland counties.
  • The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve: Expands our knowledge about coasts and estuaries with an emphasis on ensuring healthy salt marsh ecosystems.
  • White Mountain National Forest: 800,000 acres of federally managed forest and mountains in western Maine and New Hampshire. A 75-minute drive from campus.
  • Acadia National Park: Comprised of a cluster of islands on the Maine coast, Acadia is positioned within the broad transition zone between eastern deciduous and northern coniferous forests and hosts several species and plant communities at the edge of their geographic range. A 3.5-hour drive from campus.
Student gather data from equipment outside

Reach New Levels of Research as a Environmental Studies 4+1 B.S./M.S. Student

Through in-depth, student-centered research, our five-year combined degree program in Environmental Science enables you to work closely with a faculty member who shares your specific interest, thereby providing you with not only a comprehensive undergraduate education in environmental studies but an opportunity to perform graduate-level work.

What will you study? Environmental Studies 4+1 B.S./M.S. Curriculum Overview

Academic and Technical Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in the M.S. in Environmental Studies 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 (5) years to complete the graduation requirements. After two (2) 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 (3) 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 their 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 School of Marine and Environmental Programs and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


The B.S./M.S. degree in Environmental Studies 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 fourth and 1 in the fifth year)
  • 3 credits of Research Methods (BIO 503)
  • Up to 19 additional course credits (minimum of 12-course credits)

Of the 12–19 additional course credits, a 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.

Program Required CoursesCredits
Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Studies108–120
BIO 503 – Research Methods3
Two (2) credits of ENV 530 – Graduate Seminar in Environmental Studies/Science*2
Twelve (12) credits of ENV 510 – Master’s Thesis Research12
Twelve (12) credits of electives in any 500-level or higher with the prefix ENV, BIO, MAR, or MAF where at least two (2) of the courses must be ENV12
Seven (7) credits of ENV 510 – Master’s Thesis Research or Elective in any 500-level or higher with the prefix ENV, BIO, MAR, or MAF**7
Minimum Total Required Credits36

*One (1) credit taken in the fourth year and one (1) credit taken in the fifth year

**Students can combine credits from both ENV 510 and electives in any 500-level or higher course with the prefix ENV, BIO, MAR, or MAF to reach the required seven (7) credits. They do not need to choose one (1) or the other.

UNE 4+1 Tracks

UNE offers 4+1 tracks for Marine Sciences, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or Environmental Studies.

Become Part of Our Environmental Studies Community

With our small class sizes, tight-knit students, and our caring faculty who strive to get to know you as an individual, you will feel at home in no time in the Environmental Studies family. Our program fosters a sense of community, and you can feel the spirit of collaboration in the air — both in the classroom and out in the field.

Live and Study in Biddeford, Maine

Students in UNE’s 4+1 B.S./M.S. track in Environmental Science study at our Biddeford, Maine, location, a gorgeous waterfront campus offering more than 4,000 feet of scenic shoreline where the Saco River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. In addition to benefitting from the ample research opportunities afforded by our proximity to the ocean, wetlands, and a privately-owned research island, you will enjoy spending time in this popular vacation destination with its friendly, welcoming people and a wide range of outdoor recreation activities.

Take a Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

coast on the biddeford campus with two sailboats in the water
Exterior picture of the Danielle Ripich Commons
UNE's Biddeford, Maine campus

Apply Today

Ready to begin your future in UNE’s Environmental Studies 4+1 B.S./M.S. program? Get started today.