Master of Arts in Environmental Studies

Program Overview

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Welcome to the Master of Arts in Environmental Studies at the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs. The degree program is part of a campus-wide interdisciplinary initiative that offers students in environmental studies, environmental science and environmental engineering the opportunity to interact and learn in a cross-disciplinary setting.

We also offer a dual degree in Environmental Studies and a J.D. from the College of Law, also at Cleveland State.

We are currently engaged in a strategic planning process for the MA degree, seeking input from former students, practitioners in the environmental field, and current students. For detailed information about the curriculum, please consult the MA Handbook.

The Master of Arts in Environmental Studies Program prepares students for careers in environmental policy and management while providing students with a broad, interdisciplinary course of study. Developing and managing human institutions, organizations and behaviors that restore, protect, and sustain the environment requires careful study of both natural and human systems and their interdependence. This task is at the core of an environmental studies degree program.

To equip students with a core foundation in environmental science,  policy, law, and management for professional careers that will “bridge the gap” between environmental scientists and public policy and management professionals, in order to protect the integrity, diversity, and resilience of existing social-ecological systems and to shape them into sustainable human settlements.

We see the CSU M.A. in Environmental Studies as a highly ranked, regionally and nationally recognized program. We envision the degree program as attracting well-qualified students from the region's top undergraduate science and policy programs. We see a variety of internships in place where students will gain experience in policy, planning, management and analysis of environmental problems and in formulating policies and plans to manage sustainable development. We see graduates from the M.A. in Environmental Studies program placed in a wide range of work settings in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Curricular Goals
1. Students will have a core knowledge base in biology, environmental physics, and environmental engineering
2. Students will understand the institutional and organizational context in which environmental policies and decisions are made and implemented through law, regulation, and administrative and financial practices
3. Students will understand the processes of public policy decision making, including the links between scientific research and environmental policy and inter-organizational relationships
4. Students will be able to design a policy-based applied research project, collect and analyze scientific and other data using electronic technology, and pursue
 results using a variety of methods and techniques relevant for environmental policy and management;
5. Students will be able to specialize in public decision making-related domains positively affecting the environment

Internships and Assistantships

Internships and graduate assistantships are an important part of the MA Environmental Studies program. The Public Affairs Student Services Center administers these two programs at the Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs. They will be happy to speak with you about the requirements of our internships and about applying for a graduate assistantship.

Internships help students build skills, learn how environmental organizations operate, and often lead to full time positions once the student has completed the MA degree.

Graduate assistantships provide students and opportunity to work with college faculty or professional research staff on research projects across a variety of environmental topics.

Career Opportunities

Students graduating with an environmental studies degree will develop skills currently high in demand in emerging domains. These skills are particularly suited to bridge the gap between science and policy. Students will become leaders in their communities’ efforts to protect, restore, and sustain environmental quality.

Environmental studies graduates work in organizations such as:

  • Environmental protection agencies at all government levels
  • Nonprofit environmental advocacy organizations
  • Environmental education organizations
  • Municipal government agencies
  • Regional planning and resource agencies
  • State and national parks and recreation areas
  • Private planning and environmental consulting firms
  • Law offices
  • Private industry
Contact Information

MAES Program Director: Dr. Tom Hilde (Interim)

Dave Arrighi, Graduate Programs Coordinator
Public Affairs Student Services Center
Telephone: (216) 523-7522 / E-mail:

GRE Waiver Information