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MS in Environmental Science & Sustainability: Professional Track

Today’s sustainability challenges require a toolkit. Gain pragmatic workplace skills through coursework in some of today’s most prominent sustainability areas: sustainability assessment and planning, environmental law and policy, sustainable business practices, or geographic information systems.

Find the flexibility and customization you need in a graduate program by selecting courses that are offered at the time and format that works best for you. Students in the Professional Track have the opportunity to take both classroom and online courses (program is not 100% offered online). 

What You'll Learn

  • 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.

Curriculum

Professional track students will complete a concentration in one of the following areas as part of their 30-credit-hour graduation requirement.

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 make 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 Law and Policy

This Concentration provides essential knowledge in relevant areas of environmental law and policy for professionals who want to better understand the role of government, industry, non-profit, and other institutions involved in environmental advocacy, consulting, and compliance.

ENVS 410 – Introduction to Environmental Law & Policy

ENVS 411 – Natural Resources and Land Use Law & Policy

ENVS 412 – Water Law & Policy

ENVS 413 – Energy Law & Policy

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This Concentration provides essential knowledge on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - a compilation of sophisticated, multidimensional software and tools used to capture, store, analyze, manage and present geospatial data. This curriculum provides essential training in the fundamental principles and concepts behind contemporary geographic mapping technology needed to solve complex geospatial problems commonly encountered in environmental sciences, urban planning, social sciences, public health, as well as business, engineering, and many more fields.

ENVS 480 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

ENVS 481 – Advanced GIS Applications

ENVS 482 – Remote Sensing

Sustainable Assessment & Planning

This Concentration delivers valuable skills for professionals who want to better understand how organizations can - and do – measure, regulate and report their own natural resource use. Students will develop essential skills used by sustainability professionals in government, industry, non-profit, and other institutions striving to improve and document their sustainability impact.

ENVS 451 – Introduction to Sustainability Concepts & Impacts

ENVS 452 – Assessment & Reporting I – Energy, Air, Buildings & Transportation

ENVS 453 – Assessment & Reporting II – Water, Land, Food & Waste

ENVS 454 – Sustainability Plan Development & Reporting

Sustainable Business

ENVS 433 - Introduction to the Circular Economy 

This course focuses on solving complex human sustainability challenges through the application of sustainable design methods at the product and process level. Students will learn and apply biomimicry, circular, and human-centered design methods to develop conceptual and prototype solutions.    

ENVS 435 - Ecological Economics 

Ecological Economics is a trans disciplinary course that takes a systems approach to the relationship between planetary stewardship, social justice, and the economy to design a prosperous and desirable future for humans on a finite planet. Ecological economics fuses economic theory and sustainability science to generate new solutions for today's challenges.  

ENVS 436 - Design for Circular & Sustainable Business 

This course focuses on solving complex human sustainability challenges through the application of sustainable design methods at the product and process level. Students will learn and apply biomimicry, circular, and human-centered design methods to develop conceptual and prototype solutions.    

ENVS 463 - Sustainable Business Management 

This course introduces students to the emerging field of sustainability in business and the growing focus on the social, environmental, and economic performance of businesses.  The course presents the scientific, moral, business, and economic cases for adopting sustainability. 

Electives

Work with your advisor to choose from our many courses to best advance your individual interests. Choose from our robust set of courses in environmental science and sustainability, including at least two from more than 45 courses we offer in environmental science and quantitative methods. You will also be able to choose from more than 20 of the courses we offer in Sustainable Society and Business.

Natural Science and Quantitative Courses 

  • ENVS 420: Conservation Biology 
  • ENVS 422: Invasive Species 
  • ENVS 425: Sustainable Agriculture 
  • ENVS 426: Agroecosystems 
  • ENVS 427: Food Systems Analysis 
  • ENVS 430: Restoration Ecology 
  • ENVS 435: Ecological Economics 
  • ENVS 438: Climate Change and Human Health 
  • ENVS 451: Introduction to Sustainability Concepts & Impacts 
  • ENVS 452: Assessment & Reporting I: Energy, Air, Buildings & Transportation 
  • ENVS 453: Assessment & Reporting II: Water, Land, Food & Waste 
  • ENVS 454: Sustainability Plan Development & Reporting
  • ENVS 480: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 
  • ENVS 481: Advanced GIS Applications 
  • ENVS 482: Remote Sensing 
  • ENVS 484: Conservation Economics 
  • ENVS 486: Environmental Risk Assessment 
  • ENVS 487: Principles of Ecotoxicology 
  • ENVS 488: Applied Environmental Statistics 
  • ENVS 489: Ecological Risk Assessment 
  • ENVS 491: Independent Environmental Research (upon approval) 
  • ENVS 498: Special Topics (upon approval) 
  • ENVS 498L: Special Topics with Lab (upon approval) 
  • ENVS 499: Directed Readings (upon approval) 
  • BIOL 495: Metagenomics 
  • BIOL 416: Limnology Lec/Lab 
  • BIOL 418: Aquatic Insects Lec/Lab 
  • BIOL 470: Biostatistics and Experimental Design Lec/Lab 
  • MPBH 400: Public Health Practice and Management 
  • MPBH 401: Environmental Health 
  • MPBH 403: Introduction to Epidemiology 
  • MPBH 404: Biostatistics for Health and Biological Science 
  • MPBH 407: Public Health Policy 
  • MPBH 409: Biostatistics I 
  • MPBH 412: Intro to Statistical Computing for Public Health 
  • MPBH 414: Introduction to Global Health 
  • MPBH 421: Biostatistics II 
  • MPBH 423: Intermediate Epidemiology 
  • MPP 401: Analytical Tools in Public Policy 
  • MPP 402: Cost Benefit Analysis 
  • MPP 403: Public Budgeting and Finance 
  • MPP 405: Statistical Methods & Analysis  for Public Policy I 
  • MPP 406: Statistical Methods & Analysis for Public Policy II 
  • MPP 408: Political Feasibility Analysis 
  • SOCL 414: Statistical Methods  of Analysis I 
  • SOCL 415: Statistical Methods of Analysis II 
  • STAT 403: SAS Programming & Applied Statistics 
  • STAT 407: Statistical Design & Analysis of Experiments 
  • STAT 436: Topics in Biostatistics

Sustainable Society and Business Courses 

  • ENVS 410: Environmental Law & Policy 
  • ENVS 411: Introduction to Natural Resources and Land Use Law & Policy 
  • ENVS 412: Introduction to Water Law & Policy 
  • ENVS 413: Introduction to Energy Law & Policy  
  • ENVS 433: Circular Economy 
  • ENVS 436: Design for Circular & Sustainable Business
  • ENVS 454: Sustainability Plan Development & Reporting 
  • ENVS 463: Sustainable Business Management 
  • ENVS 464: Sustainability Management in the Global Context 
  • ENVS 483: Human Dimensions of Conservation 
  • ENVS 491: Independent Environmental Research (upon approval) 
  • ENVS 498: Special Topics (upon approval) 
  • ENVS 499: Directed Readings (upon approval) 
  • MPBH 407: Public Health Policy: Concepts and Practice 
  • MPP 400: Policy Design and Analysis 
  • MPP 404: The Public Policy Process 
  • PSYC 460: Social Psychology Theory 
  • PSYC 461: Attitude and Attitude Change 
  • PSYC 486: Methods of Program Evaluation 
  • SOCL 412: Qualitative Methods in Social Research 
  • SOCL 446: Knowledge, Power & Expertise 
  • SOCL 463: Society & Natural Environment

Admission

Successful MSESS students come from a variety of backgrounds. No matter what your undergraduate degree was or when you graduated, SES graduate students are encouraged to enhance their understanding of the growing world of sustainability. The admissions requirements reflect our goal to attract students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. The complete application helps the selection committee understand the whole student. 

Please Note: the GRE requirement has been waived

Students are admitted to the MSESS program on a rolling basis. To apply, please review the following requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • At least one letter of recommendation (three preferred)
  • For non-native speakers who have not earned a degree in an English-speaking institution:
    • TOEFL/IELTS – 213 computer, 550 written, 79-80
    • iBT, 6.5
    • IELTS, PTE 53.
  • The English proficiency exam also accepts Duolingo scores. 

Application Process

  1. Completed Application Form

    Use our free online application system to get started.

    Please note, you will need to complete the “Biographical Information” section of the application first. Once that section is completed, you will be able to choose your program in the “Application Information” section.

  2. Official Transcripts

    This program requires a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.  

    You must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work completed. Copies of transcripts or transcripts not received in a sealed envelope from the university are considered unofficial. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts. Note, also, that official transcripts may be sent digitally directly from the original universities.

  3. Letters of Recommendation

    Referrals may be academic or professional in nature. At least one letter should be submitted, but three letters are preferred.

  4. Statement of Purpose

    A statement of purpose (250-500 words) is required. It should include a statement of research interest and thesis advisor approval.

For International Students

Language Test Requirements 

An official TOEFL, IELTS or PTE score report is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. Copies and faxes are not accepted as official documents; we must receive test scores directly from the testing service.  

  • TOEFL/IELTS – 213 computer, 550 written 
  • 79-80 iBT 
  • 6.5 IELTS 
  • PTE 53 

The English proficiency exam also accepts Duolingo scores.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The School of Environmental Sustainability strives to help students secure the necessary financial resources to make their graduate education at Loyola more affordable. Partial scholarships, limited external research grants, and work opportunities are offered to SES graduate students. Students are encouraged to seek external funding. Students who wish to be considered for internal partial tuition scholarships, must complete applications by March 1. Scholarship decisions will be based on the student’s full file, including statements of research/interest, GPA, and letters of recommendation.

Today’s sustainability challenges require a toolkit. Gain pragmatic workplace skills through coursework in some of today’s most prominent sustainability areas: sustainability assessment and planning, environmental law and policy, sustainable business practices, or geographic information systems.

Find the flexibility and customization you need in a graduate program by selecting courses that are offered at the time and format that works best for you. Students in the Professional Track have the opportunity to take both classroom and online courses (program is not 100% offered online). 

What You'll Learn

  • 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.

Admission

Successful MSESS students come from a variety of backgrounds. No matter what your undergraduate degree was or when you graduated, SES graduate students are encouraged to enhance their understanding of the growing world of sustainability. The admissions requirements reflect our goal to attract students from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds. The complete application helps the selection committee understand the whole student. 

Please Note: the GRE requirement has been waived

Students are admitted to the MSESS program on a rolling basis. To apply, please review the following requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • At least one letter of recommendation (three preferred)
  • For non-native speakers who have not earned a degree in an English-speaking institution:
    • TOEFL/IELTS – 213 computer, 550 written, 79-80
    • iBT, 6.5
    • IELTS, PTE 53.
  • The English proficiency exam also accepts Duolingo scores. 

Application Process

  1. Completed Application Form

    Use our free online application system to get started.

    Please note, you will need to complete the “Biographical Information” section of the application first. Once that section is completed, you will be able to choose your program in the “Application Information” section.

  2. Official Transcripts

    This program requires a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.  

    You must submit official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work completed. Copies of transcripts or transcripts not received in a sealed envelope from the university are considered unofficial. If you attended Loyola University Chicago previously, you do not need to request transcripts. Note, also, that official transcripts may be sent digitally directly from the original universities.

  3. Letters of Recommendation

    Referrals may be academic or professional in nature. At least one letter should be submitted, but three letters are preferred.

  4. Statement of Purpose

    A statement of purpose (250-500 words) is required. It should include a statement of research interest and thesis advisor approval.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The School of Environmental Sustainability strives to help students secure the necessary financial resources to make their graduate education at Loyola more affordable. Partial scholarships, limited external research grants, and work opportunities are offered to SES graduate students. Students are encouraged to seek external funding. Students who wish to be considered for internal partial tuition scholarships, must complete applications by March 1. Scholarship decisions will be based on the student’s full file, including statements of research/interest, GPA, and letters of recommendation.