4+1 BS/MS

Undergraduate students majoring in Environmental Sciences (ENVS) can complete a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Emory College and a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Emory’s Laney Graduate School in five years. ENVS majors take courses in Emory College of Arts and Sciences while concurrently taking graduate-level courses in Laney Graduate School. Students are required to take courses in research design and practice, advanced statistics, natural sciences, environmental policy, and integration of science and policy.


The ENVS BS/MS offers students an in-depth understanding of the complexities of scientific evidence in both the natural and social sciences within a curriculum that integrates people and the environment. The B.S. is rooted in the basic disciplines of ecology and conservation, earth science, and social science and policy. The M.S. curriculum is anchored in an intensive research experience and the building of practical quantitative skills. Department research encompasses earth and atmospheric sciences, biological conservation, climate change, disease ecology, environmental policy, resource management and urban ecology. Student research opportunities include a focus in air pollution, climate change, conservation, development, ecology, health and resource management.

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Students apply for admission in spring of their second (Sophomore) year and enter the program in the fall semester of their junior year. Applicants must be undergraduate ENVS majors in Emory College or Oxford College and will be admitted to the program on the basis of academic performance, interest area and experience.

Prospective students must communicate directly with the ENVS faculty member whose research most closely aligns with the students' area of research interest. The faculty member will be consulted in any admissions decision about their willingness to serve as the faculty advisor.

A cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher will be required at the time of admission and maintained through completion of the undergraduate degree. Students enrolling in the program are expected to have completed ENVS 131 (Intro to Environmental Sciences) or Oxford or transfer equivalent, two ENVS Intermediate Area courses (200 level in Ecology/Conservation, Social Science & Policy, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Quantitative Methods) or Oxford equivalents, before their first semester of enrollment in the program. 

In addition, students will have completed at least three basic courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and/or Math. A strong foundation in biology, chemistry, and math, including calculus is expected. Research experience is also preferred.

To strategically plan an academic program that will meet all undergraduate requirements and allow time for the required courses in the 5-year program, students will work with their undergraduate academic advisor as early as the first semester of their second year.

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Applicants are accepted primarily on the basis of performance and promise as Emory College or Oxford undergraduate students. Students usually apply in the spring semester of their second (sophomore) year.

Application deadline: rolling

Please contact Leah Thomas for instructions about applying.

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ENVS BS requirements

ENVS MS requirements

Graduate Courses:  A student must take at least 18 credit hours from as follows:
  Quantitative Skills (7-8 credit hours)
  Natural Science (3-4 credit hours): one course
  Environmental Policy (3-4 credit hours): one course
  Science/Policy Integration (3 credit hours)
  Graduate Seminar (2 credit hours): ENVS 590

Graduate Level Elective Courses: Students must take at least 9 credit hours of elective graduate-level coursework.  We envision that students will concentrate electives in a particular application area in order to add depth to their program, in consultation with their advisor.

Summer research: Research is an integral part of the master's program. BS/MS students will conduct one summer of research between the fourth and fifth year.

Thesis: A thesis is a requirement. Each student must find a thesis advisor to direct their studies and supervise thesis production by the end of their first semester of enrollment. A Master’s thesis must be presented to, and approved by a committee of graduate faculty. The thesis committee will be comprised of three members of the ENVS graduate faculty. Students may petition the DGS to add an outside member from Emory or from other institutions. The thesis will be completed and defended during the last semester. Students are expected to register for at least 6 hours of thesis writing (ENVS 599R), 3 hours in each semester of their last year.

Advising: Each student will work with a faculty advisor, beginning in the semester of acceptance into the program.  Students will work with their advisor to assist them in choosing a research project, selecting electives and to guide them through their entire course of studies.

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Please click HERE to link to ENVS Graduate Course Descriptions.

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Leah Thomas, Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory College of Arts and Sciences


Thomas Gillespie, Director of Graduate Studies,
Department of Environmental Sciences, Emory College of Arts and Sciences

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