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Academic programs

Academic programs

The interdisciplinary programs in the Center for Environmental Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University allow students to delve into the overlapping fields of environmental life sciences, technology and policy.

Our instructors teach more than 50 courses on topics from environmental law to macroecology. They also serve as academic advisers and research mentors to students at all levels.

Students are given the opportunity to work with state, federal and private agencies based in Richmond, Virginia, to gain real-world experience as they prepare for careers as environmental professionals. Students may also take part in faculty-sponsored study abroad opportunities in Panama, Mexico, Spain and Croatia.

Our graduates go on to pursue careers in policy and scientific research for environmental nonprofits and government agencies.

Undergraduate program

The B.S. in Environmental Studies prepares students for entry-level field and research positions in government service, nonprofit management and private industry.

The curriculum is shaped by the philosophy that environmental science and policy are inseparable. Students build on the VCU Life Sciences general education requirements, with core math and sciences, which prepare them for later physical and social sciences classes tied to the environment.

Class lectures and guest speakers introduce the importance of policy-making and awareness in the environmental field, while laboratory and internship experiences provide a working knowledge of the latest in environmental technology and field practices.

Graduate program

We offer two graduate-level options. Both provide an ideal research setting at the VCU Rice Rivers Center:

  • M.S. in Environmental Studies, a thesis-based program designed for students interested in environmental research. This degree focuses on environmental planning, environmental science, environmental health and environmental technology.
  • Master of Environmental Studies a terminal, non-thesis, two-year professional degree for individuals working in the private/public sector of the environmental field.

Opportunities for doctoral study are provided through the Integrative Life Sciences Ph.D. program.


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Virginia Commonwealth University | VCU Life Sciences | Center for Environmental Studies | 1000 West Cary Street | Richmond, Virginia 23284-2030
(804) 828-7202 | ces_web@vcu.edu
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