Jul 19, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 
Graduate Catalog 2013 - 2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies, MA

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Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Urban Affairs 231
(216) 687-3884
Sanda Kaufman, Graduate Program Director

Areas of Study

Policy and Administration
Environmental Planning
Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Environmental Nonprofit Management
Sustainable Economic Development


The Master of Arts in Environmental Studies, housed in the Department of Urban Studies, prepares students for careers in environmental policy and management through a broad, interdisciplinary course of study.

The task at the core of the graduate Environmental Studies program is the development of human institutions, organizations, and behaviors that restore and protect the environment, requiring careful study of both natural and human systems and their interdependence.

Faculty Research and Publications

Members of the Master of Arts in Environmental Studies faculty have wide-ranging research interests, including environmental policy, environmental technology, environmental land-use planning, risk analysis, citizen participation, environmental health, energy studies, global climate change, water-resources policy and planning, brownfields redevelopment, and lake paleontology. They have published in leading journals in these fields. An MA faculty member is the American editor for the International Journal of Global Environmental Issues.

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Research Units

Students have opportunities to work with the faculty and staff in the research, public service, and training centers in the Levin College. The Levin College is home to the Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center (GLEFC), a U.S. EPA-funded center and one of only nine such centers in the United States. The GLEFC offers technical assistance, training, and research resources for state and local governments, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations. GLEFC helps solve financial problems related to environmental facilities and resources. See http://urban.csuohio.edu/urban_center/ for information on the Levin College facilities.

Financial Aid

The Levin College provides graduate assistantships on a competitive basis to full-time students. Although the deadline for receipt of graduate-assistantship applications is March 1, fullest consideration is given to applicants who have submitted all application materials for the MA in Environmental Studies program by February 1.

The College also offers paid internships and tuition grants to eligible degree-seeking students. Application forms are available from the Levin College Office of Student Services. (See also the section on Graduate Assistantships  in this Catalog.)

Career Opportunities

Students in the environmental studies program develop skills that are in high demand. These skills are particularly well suited to bridging the gap between science and policy. Students will become leaders in their communities’ efforts to protect and/or restore environmental quality. Environmental studies graduates work in organizations such as environmental protection agencies; nonprofit environmental advocacy organizations; environmental education organizations; municipal governments; regional planning and resource agencies; and state and national parks and recreation areas.

The Levin College-through the Department of Urban Studies, the Office of Student Services, and the faculty-provides a variety of career-planning services to help students and graduates find employment related to their programs of study. Current job postings are maintained in the Office of Student Services and on the College Web site. Cleveland State’s Career Services Center also provides graduate students and alumni with career advice and career-development assistance, including resume review. (See the section on Campus Services and Program: Career Services in the front of this Catalog).

Admission Information

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Environmental Studies Program must meet the minimum requirements established by the College of Graduate Studies and the MA program faculty:

  1. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, with an average Verbal and Quantitative score at the 40th percentile, and an Analytical Writing score of at least 4.0. Students with a graduate degree from an accredited college or university are exempted from this requirement. Other standardized tests may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director.
  3. Two letters of recommendation, using the Recommendation Form for Graduate Admission.
  4. Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English-language proficiency as indicated in the front of this bulletin under “Admission Requirements for International Students  and Permanent Residents”

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/gradcollege/admissions/apply.html

Types of Admission

The academic status of a graduate degree-seeking applicant is determined after a review of admission credentials. Graduate Program Committees, in concurrence with the Office of Graduate Admissions, may recommend admission of applicants as regular or conditional graduate students. Please refer to the Admission to the College of Graduate Studies section of this catalog for information on admission categories.

Degree Requirements

The MA in Environmental Studies program includes a minimum of forty-four credits, including core-competency courses, a nineteen-credit core curriculum within the major, twelve to sixteen elective credits (four courses), and an exit project.

Core Competency Courses


Major Core Curriculum

Environmental Planning


*One of these courses is required for the specialization.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) *

  • UST 585 GIS Principles
  • UST 586 GIS Methods
  • UST 587 GIS Applications


* Students completing the GIS specialization are eligible to receive the Urban GIS Certificate

Exit Project

Every student must register for four credits of exit-project course work (UST 698) and successfully complete an applied research report, an original project design, a policy-analysis and evaluation paper, or a related project. Before registering for exit-project credit, the student and his or her advisor select a proposed exit project. The student must complete a Permission Form and obtain the required signatures prior to registering for the project.

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