VISION - In the 21st century, environmental professionals need both interdisciplinary breadth and disciplinary depth. This is the model that some have called the T-shaped graduate. Disciplinary depth is the pillar of the T that provides command of specialized literature and the meticulous skills required to conduct sound research. Interdisciplinary breadth is the crossbar of the T, providing language and conceptual frameworks that allow communication across different fields of knowledge. Together, these develop experts who understand the context of their research and can work effectively in multidisciplinary teams.

PROGRAM - Doctoral students pursue a Ph.D. in one of ESPP's partner doctoral programs. In addition, they complete the coursework and other requirements for the Dual Major in Environmental Science and Policy. The Dual Major provides students with knowledge about the diverse disciplines brought to bear on contemporary environmental problems. It is designed to provide an understanding of how various disciplines conceptualize environmental issues and how scientific information can be utilized in environmental decision-making and in creating environmental policy.

ESPP courses are open to all MSU graduate students, not only those enrolled in the dual major.

APPLICATION PACKAGE - To apply, you should forward to ESPP the following materials:

  • Fillable application form, to be signed and returned to ESPP.
  • A letter requesting admission to the ESP Dual Major and describing your professional interest in environmental science and policy.
  • A Curriculum Vitae.
  • If you are applying to an ESPP partner doctoral program: Ask the doctoral program to which you are applying to forward to the Environmental Science and Policy Program a copy of your application package.
  • If you are already enrolled in an ESPP partner doctoral program: Ask your graduate advisor to send a letter to ESPP indicating that you are in good standing and that the advisor supports your application. This letter should be copied to the Director of Graduate Studies in your department or school.


Requirements for the Dual Major

Requirements for the Dual Major in Environmental Science and Policy
1. All of the following courses with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 with no more than
one course’s grade below 3.0 in courses used in fulfillment of the requirements for the
dual major (12 credits):

2. Twenty-four credits in Doctoral Dissertation Research (course number 999) from the student's departmental major.

3. Pass a comprehensive examination that will be defined by the requirements of the student's major department and that will include a written examination in which the student demonstrates a knowledge of environmental science and policy as determined by the guidance committee.

4. Submit a dissertation that, in the judgment of the student’s guidance committee, represents the integration of environmental science and policy and the student’s departmental major.

ESPP allows students to waive either ESP 801 or ESP 802 if they have a background in that area. However, because ESPP students are required to take at least two ESP courses, those students receiving two waivers will not be approved for a project-based capstone experience and will instead be required to enroll in a capstone course. Details

Course Chart

ESPP Course Chart 2018-2019
  Principles of ESP Natural Science and Policy Social Science and Policy Capstone
Fall 2018  

ESP 801: Physical, Chemical, and Biological Processes of the Environment

  FW 868: Water Policy and Management
Spring 2018 ESP 800: Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy  

ESP 802: Human Systems and the Environment

ESP 804: Environmental Applications and Analysis
Alternatives   Waiver Form Waiver Form Application for Capstone Experience Project

View previous course charts here:

ESPP Courses 2014-2016

ESPP Courses 2013-2015