Master of Environmental Studies

Be part of the exciting interdisciplinary intellectual community at Penn's College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS) who are focused on advanced study of the environment through the Master of Environmental Studies (MES) Program.

Penn faculty and advisers will work closely with you to develop the environmental masters degree program that suits your needs and achieve your unique goals on your schedule.

Gain the breadth needed to address complex issues in the environment  while you develop the depth required to provide specific expertise in one of six Environmental foci.

Environmental Masters Degree Concentrations

Environmental Advocacy & Education

With an environmental advocacy and education concentration, you’ll be prepared to communicate complex environmental concepts to various audiences.

Environmental Biology

With an environmental biology concentration you may choose to continue doing environmental research at the Ph.D. level, work in the environmental consulting field, or work in horticulture or wildlife fields as a biologist.

Environmental Sustainability

This concentration prepares you for careers in the emerging field of sustainability in both the private and public sectors. If you choose this concentration you may focus in either Environmental Management or Design/Development.

Environmental Policy

Like many typical environmental policy degree programs, this concentration prepares you for work in land use planning and land use regulation, environmental regulation, and business careers related to the environment.

Resource Management

With a resource management concentration you’ll be prepared to work in habitat restoration and land conservation.

Urban Environment

An urban environment concentration may focus on a wide range of issues related to cities and the built environment.


Penn’s Master of Environmental Studies program allows you to focus in one of six major fields of environmental studies, depending on your interests and career goals. However, if your career goals do not fit into one of the above categories, an Individualized major is also an option. Students in this concentration have focused on environmental geology, environmental chemistry, and environmental business.

An Interdisciplinary environmental masters degree program

The Master of Environmental Studies program gives you the benefit of Penn’s world-class faculty and resources across multiple disciplines. Students in each concentration can benefit from taking classes in a number of different schools in the University.

Courses in this interdisciplinary environmental masters degree can be taken at the:

  • Wharton School
  • Law School
  • Engineering School
  • School of Design
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Fels Institute of Government

Master of Environmental Studies Special Programs

Students looking for a Master of Environmental Management degree or an Environmental Policy degree should consider one of the Master of Environmental Studies special programs, which were designed to prepare students for environmental leadership roles in business, the government, and private sector.

The Masters of Environmental Studies/Master of Business Administration (MES/MBA)

This dual degree program, like an environmental policy degree or a master of environmental management degree, allows students to develop a program in which students learn sustainable business practices and environmental management strategies.

The Master of Environmental Studies/Master of Governmental Administration (MES/MPA)

This program, like a Master of Environmental Management degree, gives students the science background they need to make informed decisions related to government regulation and policy or to be successful in an environmental non-profit.

International Multi-Master of Environmental Management

Advanced students in the Masters of Environmental Studies program can apply for admission to a multi-master’s degree program in International Environmental Management. Upon completion of their studies, students will receive a Mastère Spécialisè degree in Environmental Management (Master of Environmental Management) from the Ecole des Mines de Paris in France and a Master of Engineering degree from Tsinghua University in China, in addition to the Master of Environmental Studies degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

The central purpose of this unique environmental masters program is to bring together highly qualified individuals from France, China, and the United States with a variety of master’s degrees in a unique and rigorous program that will prepare them to manage complex international environmental challenges.

Get a Masters of Environmental Studies at your own pace

With day and evening classes available, full time students can earn the 12-course Masters of Environmental Studies degree in less than two years.

Students who do not wish to interrupt their career can attend part time and earn their Master of Environmental Studies degree in just two to four years. Evening classes are available allowing students to complete the entire 12-course Master of Environmental Studies program while working full-time.

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