Master of Environmental Sustainability (MES)

Promote sustainability practices in a green career

Our Master of Environmental Sustainability (MES) program is an accelerated one-year, 36 credit-hour degree program that will prepare you for a career dedicated to transforming sound environmental science and policy into actionable solutions that promote sustainability practices in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. In this program, you’ll get management know-how and technical training that will prepare you to meet the growing demand for “green” jobs across the nation. If you have relevant professional experience, you can complete the MES in a single academic year, starting with an intensive, one-week, 3-credit course before the fall semester, and then two semesters of 13-14 credits. Students without professional experience will be able to complete the MES degree in a single calendar year by starting the program during the summer semester. 

Gain core competencies

The core curriculum of your MES program emphasizes management and critical thinking skills that promote applications of environmental sustainability. Your project management course will be completed before the fall semester as a one-week, 3-credit course.

The MES Core:

  • Project Management for Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmental Management

Choose one of four concentrations

By choosing one of our four MES concentrations, you will turn your area of interest into an area of expertise. Each MES concentration will be composed of both fundamental science courses and applications courses.

This concentration will teach you how to be a forward thinker with skills in environmental protection including air, water, and waste management, and toxicology. You’ll develop the management and critical thinking skills necessary to remediate environmental threats posed by energy production and consumption, hazardous waste, and climate change before they can make a negative environmental impact. 

Our Municipal Sustainability concentration emphasizes actions that cities and towns can take to maximize sustainability at the nexus of energy, water, waste, sewage, housing, and food. Coursework will cover municipal management topics to ensure you know the challenges public agencies face and how to address them. This concentration will prepare you for careers in municipal sustainability, including water, waste, and power utilities operators, sustainability coordinators, and managers of parks, forests, and greenways. 

The MES Sustainable Water Resources concentration emphasizes the science behind water quality and availability to help you develop solutions for sustainable water management. In this concentration, you will have the opportunity to look at ecosystem aspects of water, such as sustainable management of fisheries, lakes, watersheds and wetlands, as well as developing skills in water quality and water resource management, applications of pollution prevention, and storm and wastewater management.

Recognizing our planet’s bounty while also respecting its limits, our concentration in Sustainable Natural Resource Conservation and Management will prepare you to better understand and manage natural resources and biodiversity. You’ll take courses that focus on a variety of ecosystems and how to manage them, including forest and wetland ecology and management, fisheries and wildlife management, and climate change impacts on natural resources.

Capstone students work in groups on a complex problem, often for a real-world client. Some recent Capstones have included:

  • Assessing climate change impacts on natural resources
  • Evaluating and making recommendations for the National Water Quality Initiative
  • Creating a Holistic Sustainability Index for Indiana and the Hoosier Environmental Council

Learn more about the O’Neill Capstone