Environmental Education Master's Degree Programs

Jul 12, 2018

Master's degree programs in environmental education may be ideal for students wishing to teach others about a variety of environmental issues and concepts. Find out some common courses and requirements for these degree programs.

Students can pursue a Master of Science or Master of Arts in Environmental Education from a variety of schools throughout the country. These degree programs can be completed in as little as 11 months and may include a thesis and/or non-thesis track. Learn more about this master's degree program here.

Information for Environmental Education Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in environmental education typically include extensive hands-on learning and field experiences in a variety of outdoor environments. Some programs may offer different concentrations and allow students to take electives in their chosen concentrations, but below we examine a few of the more common courses for these programs.

Research Methods

It is common for these degree programs to include courses in research methods that may look specifically at educational research or environmental education. Students in these courses learn about different research strategies and how to plan, carry-out and report their research studies. Students may apply skills learned in these courses to a final project for the program.

Foundations of Environmental Education

Students in these programs usually take a course in the foundations and basic principles of environmental education. Some of these courses may include the history of the field, while others may focus on the specific skills needed to create environmental education programs. These courses may include various projects for application of learned skills and/or analysis of current issues in the field.

Environmental Issues

Courses that examine environmental issues may include a larger overview of the history of various environmental issues or focus on the skills needed to research and evaluate environmental issues. Students may discuss topics in ethics, environmental justice and teaching strategies for environmental issues. Many of these courses require some kind of literature study or in-depth investigation of a particular environmental issue.

Field Studies

Most master's degree programs in environmental education include one or more courses that require field trips and hands-on learning during field studies. These courses may require travel to particular ecosystems, such as deserts, wetlands or coastlines, to examine ecological processes specific to that system. These trips also allow students to learn more about different management strategies, educational programs and critical issues specific to various areas.


Some of these master's degree programs may include some kind of course pertaining to leadership, whether it focuses on the leadership skills needed to produce change in an organization or the leadership needed to perform the administrative duties for an organization. Topics discussed in these courses include budget preparation, personnel management, strategic planning, decision-making and group dynamics. Students also develop skills in facilitating group work/discussion and study the various leadership styles.

Common Entrance Requirements

Master's degree programs in environmental education are usually designed for students with backgrounds in education or science and may even require that applicants have prior coursework in bio-physical science and/or a bachelor's degree in a field like environmental studies or K-12 education. Many of these programs do not require GRE scores, but may have selected applicants go through an interview process. Most applications ask students to submit their official transcripts and include a resume and letters of reference. It is also common for applicants to be asked to answer specific essay questions and/or submit a personal statement and/or cover letter.

Students can earn an MS or MA in Environmental Education and receive hands-on learning experience through thesis projects, internships and/or field trips. These degree programs give students a well-rounded education in environmental studies and education to prepare graduates for teaching in or about the great outdoors.

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