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MSES Academic Requirements


The curriculum for the Master of Science in Environmental Studies (MSES) is designed to help you develop a high level of professional motivation and concern for the future of our environment. At the same time, it gives you a great deal of flexibility to tailor your degree to your interests. We offer two formats for a final research project to complete your degree: thesis or leadership practicum.

Ohio University requires a minimum of 30 semester hours to graduate with a master’s degree. To receive a master’s degree in environmental studies, you must complete a minimum of 36 credit hours (thesis) or 40 credit hours (leadership practicum). Always consult with your MSES advisor and their committee chair regarding course selection and requirements.

Ohio University MSES Graduate Catalog

Core Classes

You must complete all of the following courses:

Course Number | Course Title | Credit Hours

ES 6800 | Seminar: Community-Based ES | 1
ES 6810 | Seminar: Environmental Society | 3
ES 6820 | Seminar: Ecology and Environmental Issues | 3
ES 6830 | Concepts in Sustainability | 3
ES 6900 | Special Topics | 1–3


You must take at least four of the following approved electives. Consult with your advisor about which courses are best for your degree option and field of interest.

Research Methods

Complete one of the following courses. You may petition to receive credit for methods courses from these or other departments:

Course Number | Course Title | Credit Hours

PBIO 5150 | Statistical Methods in Plant Bio | 4.0
EDRE 5010 | Introduction to Research Methods | 4.0
GEOG 5710 | Quantitative Methods in Geography | 4.0
GEOG 5711 | Qualitative Methods in Geography | 4.0
GEOG 5712 | Field Methods in Geography | 4.0
MATH 5510 | Applied Statistics | 3.0
PSY 6111 | Advanced Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences | 3.0
PSY 6100 | Data Management | 1.0
SOC 6540 | Social Research Methods | 3.0
POLS 6010 | Quantitative Research Methods | 3.0
MPA 6010 | Research Methods in Leadership and Public Affairs | 3.0
MPA 6020 | Quantitative Research Methods in Public Administration | 3.0
MPA 6030 | Qualitative Research Methods in Public Administration | 3.0

Research or Thesis Credits

Complete a minimum of 1 credit hour of the following:

Course Number | Course Title | Credit Hours

ES 6950 | Environmental Studies Thesis | 1.0–8.0
ES 6940 | Environmental Studies Research | 1.0–5.0

Leadership Practicum

Complete the following courses:

Course Number | Course Title | Credit Hours

ES6840 | Seminar in Environmental Leadership | 3.0
ES 6920 | Environmental Studies Practicum | 1.0–12.0

Research Options

Research Thesis

If you choose to write a thesis, you will conduct research including collection of original data that addresses significant research questions. You will analyze and interpret your data and present it in writing in the format required by Ohio University.

Leadership Practicum

The MSES program offers a Leadership Practicum for students who want to pursue research through a learning-by-doing partnership with a public or private organization. Students choosing the Leadership Practicum work in the field to explore and solve problems in collaboration with an agency or organization involved in environmental leadership across a wide variety of disciplines. In consultation with your external partner and three-person faculty committee, you produce tailored Leadership Practicum products that capture your work and your findings. Leadership Practicums have covered a broad range of subjects reflecting the diversity of students' backgrounds and interests.

Recent Practicum partners have included:

  • Land Conservancy NGO
  • City government
  • Solar energy manufacturing company
  • Rural sustainability and environmental education NGO
  • Primary school district