Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Five Year Dual Degree with Master of Environmental Science and Sustainability


We know you’re passionate about becoming an environmental leader, but graduate school can be expensive and time-consuming. Why not advance your studies with the people and the programs you already love? As a qualifying Loyola SES student, you can boost your professional credentials and save time and money by completing your undergraduate degree along with our new Master of Science in Environmental Science and Sustainability degree in as little as five years. The economic and academic benefits are substantial.

    • Complete a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability in your fifth year at Loyola.
    • Develop advanced knowledge and skills that can increase your job-readiness and starting salary.
    • Complete a graduate degree in just one additional year.
    • Save money by completing 12 graduate credits at lower undergraduate tuition rates.
    • Continue coursework in a familiar setting with SES faculty
    • Take four graduate courses in your senior year and apply those credits to both your undergraduate and graduate degrees.

By the numbers


Annual salary for environmental scientists and specialists with a Master’s degree. - Illinois Department of Employment 2017


Increase in average income over Bachelor’s degree for professionals with a Master’s degree in environmental fields. - May 2018 report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Savings compared to the cost of the traditional two year program for the MS in Environmental Science and Sustainability. - Based on current LUC graduate tuition rate of $1,033 per credit hour

Learning Outcomes

  • Deepen your understanding of complex socio-ecological systems and their connection with sustainable development goals.
  • Increase your ability to make accurate and ethical evidence-based decisions from scientific literature.
  • Expand your capacity to communicate environmental science and sustainability issues to the scientific community, professional colleagues, policy makers, and the general public.
  • Demonstrate competence of in-depth knowledge and skills through completion of one of the concentration areas we offer as an online course sequence..


Required Courses

ENVS 401 – Sustainable Systems: Ecological Perspectives

Learn how an integrated viewpoint on environmental science and sustainability connects the goals of ecosystem protection and sustainable development. Joining these objectives ensures fair and just solutions for both people and the planet. Determine best practices in evaluating data in environmental science and sustainability and making ethically informed decisions about them.

ENVS 402 - Sustainable Systems: Social Perspectives

The solutions to environmental problems require understanding social and economic approaches to sustainable development. Explore the social science, debates, and practical examples behind the application of environmental sustainability goals. Learn the tools used in evaluating and implementing development strategies that are sustainable.

Environmental Science Courses

Students will take at least two courses from more than 45 courses we offer in environmental sciences and quantitative methods. Select courses based on your particular interests; many also count toward the required concentration areas. LEARN MORE

Sustainable Society and Business Courses

Choose from 20 courses focused on society’s interaction with the environment: environmental law and policy, sustainable business management, and fostering sustainable societies. Select courses based on your particular interests. LEARN MORE

Admission Requirements

This program is rolling admission.

  • Current SES major undergraduate student
  • Successful completion of at least 75 credit hours at Loyola
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 overall and 3.5 in your SES major
  • Names of two SES faculty members or staff who can provide a recommendation
  • Statement of purpose (250- 500 words)
  • Resume

Tuition and Financial Assistance

For students in their senior year, undergraduate scholarship, grant and work opportunities are available in the same capacity they have been throughout a student’s undergraduate career. For a student’s fifth year, there are a limited number of graduate assistantships and work opportunities available. Students must have a completed application on file by April 1 to qualify for these opportunities.

Inside SES

Christopher Peterson

Assoc. Dean of Students, PhD, Aquatic Ecology

"Beyond the obvious benefits of saving a year’s worth of graduate tuition and the bump in earning potential gained with an advanced degree, the five-year SES Dual-Degree Program allows you to direct the knowledge and expertise you acquire toward solving the pressing environmental problems facing society sooner rather than later!"

Brigid Paulson (BA '17; MPP '18)

SES/MPH Dual Degree Alum

“A year after graduating with my BA I was walking across that stage again, this time receiving my master’s degree. Loyola's Dual Degree program with SES enabled me to accelerate my graduate program, save money and start my career earlier.”

Max Melstrom

Endowed Assistant Professor of Ecological Economics, PhD

“Solving environmental problems requires working with people and learning about their behaviors, needs, and values. My research focuses on understanding the link between the resources produced by the natural environment—these are ecosystem services—and the demand and use of these resources.”


Can anyone apply to this program?

Acceptance into this program is limited to current SES students of Junior standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 and a GPA within their major of at least 3.5.

Do I need to have completed a particular type of undergraduate degree or taken particular coursework to be admitted into the SES Dual Degree Master’s program?

Applicants who are pursing any type of SES undergraduate degree, regardless of specialty, will be considered for admission into the SES Dual Degree Master’s program. Students will work with the Graduate Program Director to set a course of study. It is recommended that you select and choose courses and a program that are both challenging and of interest to you.

Can I apply to either the Research Track or the Professional Track?

Dual Degree students are eligible to apply for the MSESS Professional Track. If you are interested in the Research Track, we suggest you work with our Graduate Program Director to help prepare you for application to the Research Track after you complete your undergraduate degree.

How do I finish two degrees in only five years?

Students accepted into the Dual Degree Program are permitted to enroll in four graduate-level (400-level) courses during their senior year as an undergraduate. These 12 credits will count towards both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements, allowing you to finish two degrees in less time.

How do I apply to the program?

Please submit your application online here.

Is there an application fee?

No, there is no fee to apply.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition is based on the number of credit hours you are taking each semester. In your fourth year of the program, your tuition will be calculated at the undergraduate rate. In your fifth year, your tuition will be based on Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate tuition rate. In addition to standard student fees, some courses may also have lab fees. For the most recent tuition and fee schedules, see the Bursar’s website here.

Are there any scholarships, grants or work opportunities?

For students in their senior year, undergraduate scholarship, grant and work opportunities are available in the same capacity they have been throughout a student’s undergraduate career. For a student’s fifth year, there are a limited number of graduate assistantships and work opportunities available. The deadline for these opportunities is April 1.

What are the admission requirements?

See our admission requirements here.

What is the minimum GRE score for admission to the program?

None. The GRE is required only for applicants to the MSESS Research Track.

What are the required courses?

Each student will complete 30 credit hours: ENVS 401 and 402, a subject matter concentration and an additional 12 elective credit hours. For more information about additional course work, see here.

If I decide to apply and complete my file early, will this increase my chances of admission?

The same standards and criteria are used to evaluate all applicants, whether the application is completed early or not. We use a rolling admissions policy and will make admissions decisions for each student as soon as the application is completed.

How can I check the status of my application?

Once you submit an application, you can check the status of your application online. You should monitor the status of your application to ensure Loyola University has received all required application materials. All admission decisions will be sent by email.