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College of Arts & Sciences
School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

MEERM & JD/MEERM Degrees & Requirements

This master’s-level environmental graduate degree program is designed to allow students to focus their individual course of study based upon their own prior training, experience, and interests. Electives are available in geological, biological, marine, and environmental health sciences; geography; chemistry and biochemistry; chemical, civil, and environmental engineering; environmental law; policy; and business administration, depending on student needs and goals.

Courses are offered in business administration for students with nonbusiness backgrounds. To qualify for graduate courses in earth or environmental resources, students are required to demonstrate sufficient background in one or more fields, gained by academic study or experience, to ensure academic success. All are required to complete six hours of integrative seminars. 

By design, no core curriculum is specified except the two required integrative seminars to be taken from the following courses:

  • ENVR 700 - Current Topics in Environmental Studies - Credits: 3  Current issues, policies, and regulations pertaining to environmental studies. Emphasizes integrated multidisciplinary approaches toward identification, evaluation, preservation, mitigation, and/or utilization of environmentally sensitive material and sites.
  • ENVR 800 - Seminar in Environmental Studies - Credits: 3  Examination of the effectiveness of environmental policies and methods relative to current issues and needs.
  • ENVR 804 - Environmental Advocacy Seminar - Credits: 3  This seminar is designed to explore and develop practical advocacy skills in the area of environmental representation and to provide an understanding of advocacy in administrative, legislative, and litigation arenas.  Cross-listed Course: LAWS 804  Prerequisites: permission of instructor
  • ENVR 835 - Seminar in Environmental Ethics - Credits: 3  Examination of the intellectual, cultural, and ethical frameworks within which environmental problems arise and are solved.  Cross-listed Course: PHIL 835
  • GEOL 560 - Earth Resource Management - Credits: 3  An approach to problems of resource management by lecture and seminar using case studies in mineral, energy, hydrogeological, and environmental science.
  • GEOL 743 - Decision Making in Environmental Resource Management - Credits: 3  Environmental project planning and management. Types and magnitudes of environmental problems; environmental pathways; environmental data acquisition and analysis; protection versus restoration; risk assessment; site assessment.  Prerequisites: GEOL 560 or permission of instructor

Individual programs of study are developed with an interdisciplinary committee chaired by an appropriate advisor in the department that most closely matches the student's interest and background. To ensure a truly interdisciplinary education, at least one third of the student's course work must be in earth and environmental resources and one third in management, finance and economics, with no more than 50 percent in either field.  

The program requires a total of 36 credit hours, which includes at least 6 hours of integrative seminars, plus 6 hours of credit for completion of a thesis or internship-based workplace deliverable.  All Graduate School requirements, such as the number of 700 level courses, grade distributions, and comprehensive assessments, must also be met. Further details are in the Graduate Bulletin.

A Graduate Committee administers the Program on behalf of the the Environment and Sustainability Committee. The Committee reviews curriculum needs and assists in development and coordination of interdisciplinary course offerings. Collaborative projects with the public and private sectors are ongoing. The principal Departments and Colleges that are active in this interdisciplinary degree program in addition to the School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment include the Departments of Biological Sciences, and Geography, Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Arnold School of Public Health, the Moore School of Business, the College of Engineering and Computing, and the School of Law.

The MEERM Program is designed to accommodate, as much as possible, the needs of students already working in their chosen career. Working students seeking to enhance their capabilities are encouraged to seek financial support from their employers. Other funding for graduate students is limited but includes Departmental Teaching and Research Assistantships, Internships, and School of the Environment Assistantships.

More About the MEERM Degree Program


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