Environmental Policy & Natural Resource Management

A broad base, plus depth and detail

You'll begin by mastering the fundamentals reflected in the MPA program's core competencies. These five courses (15 credit hours) will give you well-developed analytical skills and a broad understanding of policy issues and government processes. In addition to these highly transferable core skills, the Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management concentration includes electives and required courses in five areas.

  • Economics and Policy
  • Environmental Law
  • Analysis and Skills
  • Context
  • Natural or Physical Sciences

Working with your advisor, you will select from the following course options. This is not an exhaustive list. To see all options, go to course descriptions, below.

  • Environmental Law
    • Environmental Law (R 645)
  • Economics and Policy
    • Environmental Economics and Policy (R 625)
    • Sustainable Development (S 596)
  • Analysis and Skills
    • Application of Geographic Information Systems (E 529)
    • Environmental Risk Analysis (E 560)
    • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution for Public Affairs (M 547)
    • Data Analysis and Modeling for Public Affairs (P 507)
    • Benefit-Cost Analysis (P 541)
    • Public Program Evaluation (P 562)
  • Context Courses
    • International Environmental Policy (E 535)
    • Environmental Management (E 543)
    • Domestic Environmental Policy (E 555 / V 550)
    • Environmental and Natural Resource Policy Design and Implementation (V 550)
    • Water Policy and Economics (V550)
    • Natural Resource Management and Policy (R 643)
You'll also select two science courses from one of the following groups:
  • Physical Sciences
    • Fundamentals of Air Pollution (E 515)
    • Environmental Chemistry (E 536)
    • Aquatic Chemistry (E 539)
    • Hazardous Materials (E 542)
    • Subsurface Microbiology & Remediation (E 544)
    • Environmental Engineering (E 552)
    • Groundwater Flow Modeling (E 554)
    • Toxicology in the 21st Century (E 555)
    • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (E 562)
    • Organize Pollutants: Environmental Chemistry and Fate (E 654)
    • Environmental Soil Science (E 570)
    • Energy Systems (E 574)
  • Natural Sciences
    • Urban Forest Management (E 522)
    • Applied Ecology (E 527)
    • Forest Ecology and Management (E 528)
    • Wetland Ecology and Management (E 540)
    • Lake and Watershed Management (E 545)
    • Stream Ecology (E 546)
    • Urban Ecology (E 555)
    • BMP Design for Healthy Urban Watersheds (E 555)
    • Limnology (E 556)
    • Conservation Biology (E 557)
    • Climate-Change Impacts on Natural Resources (E 591 / R 591)

Combining your Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management concentration with another MPA concentration—such as Policy Analysis or Sustainability & Sustainable Development—can offer you unique advantages in pursuing your specific career goals. As they help you design your program, our faculty will work to accommodate your specialized professional interests.

How to apply

Experiential learning

The SPEA MPA program offers far more than traditional lectures and lessons. You'll benefit from experiential learning, typically through an approved internship. What's more, your concentration's course work will culminate in a project-oriented course—a SPEA capstone—that lets you apply the knowledge you gained throughout the program, gaining practical career experience before you graduate.

Current and past placements and internships:

  • Cummins Inc.
  • DC Department of Energy & Environment
  • EnviroForensics
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Indiana Department of Environmental Management
  • Maryland Dept. of the Environment
  • Mundell & Associates
  • The Clinton Foundation
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Governmental Accountability Office
  • USDA Forest Service

Gain real-world experience while still in school

EMSDA logoYou can join the SPEA Environmental Management & Sustainable Development Association, one of many professional student organizations that offer networking and current information on events in the industry.

Get involved