Environmental Science, PSM

What It Is | Who It's For | What You'll Learn | Where We Teach and WorkWho We’re Looking ForWhere Our Graduates Go | What Are You Waiting For? Apply Today!

What It Is

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) track in Environmental Science is a graduate degree program designed to build upon the unique interdisciplinary training and research capacities of the School for the Environment and affiliated departments at UMass Boston. PSM programs are an outgrowth of the need for science enterprises to put science savvy individuals into important positions that require a breadth of skills and knowledge.

Who It's For

The Professional Science Master’s (PSM) track in Environmental Science is open to those with baccalaureate degrees in a wide range of science, technology, engineering, and math fields, as well as students from other fields who have some undergraduate or professional experience in those areas. The program includes evening and online courses to be convenient to working professionals.

What You'll Learn

UMass Boston’s PSM track in Environmental Science provides students who enroll part-time or full-time with natural science knowledge, quantitative skills, business acumen, and communication skills appropriate for existing and emerging professional science needs in the environmental sector. Based on your selection of courses, you can use instruments and employ methods to learn about the biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, hydrology, oceanography, and toxicology that shape our natural world along with the socio-economic principles and communication concepts that influence our place in the world.

The PSM track requires successful completion of 30 credit hours consisting of:

  • One course (3 or 4 credits) in quantitative analysis;
  • Three courses (9 credits) in natural sciences;
  • Two courses (6 credits) in environmental law, policy, or economics;  
  • One course (3 credits) in professional/science communication;
  • One course (3 credits) in management 
  • One elective (3  credits) from a graduate environmental sciences or environmental law/policy/management course not taken to satisfy core requirement; and,
  • Professional science internship (3 credits).

Where We Teach and Work

While much of our research and teaching takes place in the Boston area, our faculty members engage in research on all seven continents and across most of the world’s oceans. Some of our faculty send their instruments into space.   

Who We’re Looking For

We’re looking for early and mid-career science professionals as well as bright, thoughtful students who are eager to move into the professional science workforce.

Are you:         

  • A passionate learner?
  • A persistent problem solver?
  • A curious observer?
  • An effective communicator?
  • A competitive spirit with a willingness to collaborate?

Where Our Graduates Go

Our PSM graduates have gone on to work in private industry, public sector agencies (including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of engineers, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection), and nongovernmental organizations. 

What Are You Waiting for? Apply Today!

Interested? The earlier we receive your complete application, the earlier we can review it. While there is a fair bit of information available on our various graduate programs, faculty, and the application process on the web, we understand that many students would like to know a little bit more about our admissions criteria as they consider applying. 

For the PSM program in Environmental Science, the Admissions Committee considers all information submitted by the applicant and evaluates each file with an eye toward determining a student’s capacity, experience and professional maturity. Some of the indicators of capacity are a student’s GRE scores, past academic experience, internship/work experience, and recommendations. GRE scores suggest that a student has quantitative analysis and verbal communication capacities. While we do not employ rigid minimum qualifying GPAs or GRE scores, our expectations and past admissions decisions reflect the fact that students with higher grades/scores have a greater likelihood of admission. Undergraduate coursework and grades demonstrate a high likelihood of success in graduate natural and social science courses. Given our curriculum requirements, we look at the number of natural science and mathematics courses an applicant has taken and how the student fared in doing so.

Since a crucial element of the PSM track is the professional internship, we prefer applicants who have identified a host firm/agency to support the internship (or whose application materials indicate that the applicant has carefully considered potential firm/agency hosts).  

Ready?  Apply online at

For more information on the PSM program, contact Professor John Duff at