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MS in Environmental Science & Sustainability: Research Track

Climate change heightens social injustices, and global economies drive climate change. Solutions to today’s complex environmental challenges are informed by the sciences, and implemented in the socio-economic-political arena. Lasting solutions require a diverse interdisciplinary understanding of the issues.

At SES, we proudly take a whole-systems approach to our greatest environmental and sustainability challenges. As one of our Research Track graduate students you will have the opportunity to work with our faculty in a range of critically important areas. Conduct an original research project with an expert and explore the scientific, social, political and business impacts on the changing environment with your fellow classmates through our diverse core and elective courses.

EXPLORE OUR FACILTIES

Our Commitment to You

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 an original research project and thesis.

Curriculum

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.

Electives

Work with your thesis 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

Thesis Research

Devote 12 credit hours to designing and conducting your research thesis work under the guidance of your thesis advisor and thesis committee.

Research track students are required to complete and defend their thesis to graduate.

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. 

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
  • Statement of research interests identifying a thesis advisor (approximately 250-500 words). Prospective research track students must work with the Graduate Program Director to match with a thesis advisor before completing their application.
  • At least one letter of recommendation (three preferred)
  • For non-native speakers who have not earned a degree in a qualified 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.

Climate change heightens social injustices, and global economies drive climate change. Solutions to today’s complex environmental challenges are informed by the sciences, and implemented in the socio-economic-political arena. Lasting solutions require a diverse interdisciplinary understanding of the issues.

At SES, we proudly take a whole-systems approach to our greatest environmental and sustainability challenges. As one of our Research Track graduate students you will have the opportunity to work with our faculty in a range of critically important areas. Conduct an original research project with an expert and explore the scientific, social, political and business impacts on the changing environment with your fellow classmates through our diverse core and elective courses.

EXPLORE OUR FACILTIES

Our Commitment to You

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 an original research project and thesis.

Curriculum

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. 

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
  • Statement of research interests identifying a thesis advisor (approximately 250-500 words). Prospective research track students must work with the Graduate Program Director to match with a thesis advisor before completing their application.
  • At least one letter of recommendation (three preferred)
  • For non-native speakers who have not earned a degree in a qualified 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.