May 29, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Environmental Studies, MA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Public Affairs and Education

This program is not accepting new admits as of the Summer 24 semester.

Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs

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 Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs, 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 of Public Affairs and Education. See for information on LCPAE research centers.

Financial Assistance

For fullest consideration, GA applicants should submit the School of Urban Affairs GA application and be admitted with degree-seeking status by February 15. 

Student employment opportunities are available to eligible degree-seeking students. Internship information is available through the School of Urban Affairs Public Affairs Student Services Center and student employment information is available through the CSU Office of Career Development and Exploration.

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 School of Urban Affairs, through the Public Affairs Student Services Center 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 on the School website. Cleveland State’s Career Development and Exploration Office also provides graduate students and alumni with career advice and career-development assistance, including resume review.

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 U.S. college or university are exempted from this requirement. Other standardized tests may be substituted at the discretion of the Program Director. For information about applying for waiver of the GRE requirement please visit
  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 this catalog under “Admission Requirements for International Students and Permanent Residents.”
  5. A statement of purpose. Applicants are asked to describe their motivation to pursue a Master of Arts in Environmental Studies (MAES) degree at CSU and describe what prepares them to be successful in the program and their careers moving forward. The essay should be no more than two single-spaced pages and no less than one single-spaced page.

Apply Now:

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 Admissions  section of this catalog for information on admission categories.

Admission for CSU Honors College Graduates

The School of Urban Affairs offers expedited admissions for students graduating through Cleveland State University’s Honors College. Interested students should contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator ( for details.

Degree Requirements

The MA in Environmental Studies program includes a minimum of forty-one to forty-three credit hours, including ten credit hours of core-competency courses, a seventeen-credit hours core curriculum within the major, a minimum of ten elective credit hours, and capstone course of four credit hours.

Core Competencies (10 credit hours)

Concentrations and Electives (Minimum 10-12 credit hours)

Choose from the following options:

  1. Specialist: Students complete 3 courses for a minimum of 10-12 credit hours in a concentration area. In each area, one designated course is required.
  2. Generalist: Students select 3 courses for a minimum of 10-12 credit hours from the additional electives listed below.

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

Additional Electives (to be selected with advisement from program director)

Electives not listed must be approved by the Program Director.

Required Capstone (4 credit hours)

Every student must register for the four credit hours capstone course work (UST 689 ) (required) and successfully complete an applied research report, an original project design, a policy-analysis or evaluation paper, or a related project. The student must complete a Permission Form and obtain the required signatures prior to registering for the project.

(not required for JD/MAES program)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Public Affairs and Education