Graduate degree programs in environmental economics are often interdisciplinary and include the study of economics, management, and environmental science. Although some programs and courses at the doctoral level are available, most graduate programs in this area grant master's degrees, such as a Master of Science or Master of Environmental Management. These programs often include several semesters of coursework, and students may be required to complete a cumulative project or thesis.
Environmental Economics Graduate Program Information
Graduate degree programs in environmental economics prepare students to address environmental challenges, like sustainability and pollution, through managerial and policy making positions, and some degree plans include a significant focus on a related academic area like urban planning, resulting in a dual degree. Students receive instruction in environmental policy, energy systems, environmental impacts, and methods of analysis through classes like those below.
Microeconomics courses cover foundational economic ideas and systems like consumer behavior, production, and pricing. Market structures are examined along with factors affecting economic efficiency. These classes may also address changes in resource use in response to economic growth and technological advancements.
These classes examine how public policies are developed and put into practice. Students examine planning theories, decision-making procedures, and policy assessment methods. Policies related to specific areas like public health, land use, and the energy sector may be examined.
Statistics classes in these programs help students develop their skills in quantitative analysis. Students might begin by examining sampling and probability distributions before taking on advanced topics. These can include multivariate analysis and hypothesis testing.
Environmental Economics and Policy Analysis
These classes examine how economics can be used to assess current environmental law designed to regulate the energy sector and protect natural resources. Topics of study may include the impacts of regulation on particular markets as well as the role of cost-benefit analysis in designing policy. Students apply their knowledge of both empirical data and economic models.
Econometrics classes use systems of equations to study economic behavior. These classes might also involve the application of statistical methods specifically to environmental and resource economics. Students practice statistical analyses involving cross-section data.
As part of their focus on environmental science, graduate programs in this area include elective courses on natural resource management, including those covering challenges facing water resources. These courses may examine basic hydrology as well as the ways in which demographic changes and economic factors affect water use. They may also investigate management and policy issues affecting wetlands and bodies of water.
Environmental Economics Program Admissions Requirements
Applicants to graduate programs in environmental economics must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. For some schools, applicants' undergraduate educations should include experience in a natural or social science and some coursework in advanced math and statistics. Some graduate programs require an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Most programs require GRE scores and letters of recommendation. Additional requested materials may include a statement of purpose, a resume, and an essay or writing sample.
Graduate programs in environmental economics cover management, policy, and economic issues as they relate to environmental science. Applicants with appropriate bachelor's degrees can expect coursework in economics, statistics, and environmental policy during the course of their master's program.