MA in Energy & Environment

General

Program Description

Prepare for success in a changing, challenging field.

Drawing knowledge from natural and social sciences, humanities, engineering, and more, the MA in Energy & Environment unlocks the door to a career that leaves a mark on the world. Our graduates shape environmental policy and planning, excel at energy analysis and environmental consulting, and expand the reach of nongovernmental organizations. Students with a wide variety of backgrounds, from engineering to international relations, find our master’s program ideal for acquiring the high-demand skills necessary for careers in energy and the environment. Our world-renowned faculty equip you with the computer skills, quantitative techniques, and modeling tools you will need to succeed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of (a) one or more current energy and/or environmental issues along multiple dimensions (resources, technologies, and markets), and their relationship of these dimensions to (b) fundamental concepts from economics and other social science disciplines (e.g., political science/international relations, or law), and (c) fundamental concepts from natural science.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of quantitative and qualitative theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches used to analyze environmental problems and understand the effectiveness of policy interventions.
  • Quantitatively analyze data and perform simulation modeling to characterize the impacts of energy and environmental policies on human systems.
  • Communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, concepts in the natural and social sciences as they relate to environmental issues, and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the broader societal consequences of one or more environmental problems and policies.
  • Apply analytical techniques from statistics, spatial science, and economics to solve qualitative and quantitative problems in the design and implementation of policies to address environmental issues.

Career Paths

Environmental Consulting

Consultants utilize their skills and expertise to provide specialized knowledge for clients who need to solve specific problems. They can work as independent contractors or in large firms and typically work on a variety of projects for both private and public clients. A consultant might assist the EPA in formulating rules for power plant operations, help a rural community government determine how to manage water resources, analyze the impacts of a toxic waste site, develop environmental impact assessments for private firms, or help an energy firm better predict future electricity demand. Our alumni work at industry-leading consulting firms:

  • The Cadmus Group
  • McKinsey and Company
  • EBI Consulting
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • ERM
  • Synapse Energy Economics

Nonprofits and NGOs

Alumni at nonprofit organizations and other non-governmental organizations work to address environmental and sustainability challenges from the local to the global levels. These organizations aim to fill gaps left by private firms and governments to solve otherwise unmet needs. Our alumni have built careers at a variety of notable organizations:

  • The World Bank
  • Earthwatch Institute
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Global Brigades

Government

Many of our alumni have found positions working in government at all levels, both as researchers and policymakers. Our alumni have shaped environmental policy and helped answer pressing environmental questions with a number of governmental bodies:

  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • US General Services Administration
  • Louisville Sustainability Council
  • New Jersey Water Supply Authority
  • Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • New York City Emergency Management Department
  • Maryland Transit Administration

Industry

Many of our alumni have gone on to work at both small and large private firms that conduct a wide range of business. Some of these firms provide specialized geospatial, environmental, or energy services, but many of our alumni have found the skills and knowledge gained in the Department of Earth & Environment to be valuable in private firms that do work in areas as diverse as finance and digital media:

  • Chevron
  • EnerNOC
  • Spotify
  • Green Century Capital Management
  • CLEAResult
  • National Grid
  • Digital Globe
  • Apple
  • Ceres, Inc.

Application Requirements

Application checklist:

  • Application
  • Personal Statement
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts (all institutions of higher education you have attended)
  • Test scores (GREs for every applicant, TOEFL scores for international students)
Last updated October 2019

About the School

Explore the world of ideas. Earn a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at BU. Welcome! Arts & Sciences is Boston University’s largest academic division, the heart of a ... Read More