Masters in Ecology and Environment Studies

Nalanda University

Program Description

Masters in Ecology and Environment Studies

Nalanda University


Rooted in the tradition of the ancient Nalanda University, the School aspires to develop knowledge on environmental issues that transcend constraints imposed by disciplinary boundaries. It promotes research and education on various environmental problems at local, regional and global levels. The unique environmental challenges of Asia are recognized by the School, and studies relevant to the region are emphasized. Diverse perspectives are used to analyse contemporary environmental concerns to develop meaningful solutions. The School traverses a broad range of academic pursuits across natural sciences and social sciences, to promote education and research on the interactions between the natural environment and human activities.

Focus Areas

The thrust areas of the School are:

  • Human Ecology
  • Hydrology
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Disaster management
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Studies

The Master’s Programme

The School currently offers a two-year Masters’ programme and is planning to launch a Doctoral programme in 2017. The course is designed for international students from diverse backgrounds, including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and engineering. All Master’s students are required to obtain a minimum of 48 credits spread over four semesters, with a summer internship during the vacation between the first and second years. The curriculum comprises a mix of core and elective courses.

The first two semesters provide a breadth of knowledge, through multi-disciplinary courses, to cover core concepts around key environmental dimensions. These include earth sciences, ecology, economics and social dimensions of environment, along with introductory research methods, during the first semester. Sustainable Development and Environmental Laws and Policies are the two interdisciplinary core courses in the second semester, along with introductory elective courses in the thrust areas of the School. The last two semesters provide depth of knowledge and build capability for independent research. A range of major and minor elective courses, reflecting the expertise and specialized interests of the faculty, is on offer during the third semester while the fourth semester is wholly dedicated to an individual dissertation. There are multiple options for methodology courses and opportunities for undertaking independent studies.

The School promotes a nuanced understanding of real-world problems. Fieldwork is emphasized through visits, assignments and projects in and around the campus. Students spend 8-10 weeks at the end of the first year (during summer break) to intern at institutions of their choice. The dissertation is an opportunity to conceptualize, plan and implement a small research topic. The course is, therefore, uniquely designed with an orientation to research.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of Nalanda University are not only conversant with contemporary environmental issues but are also capable of addressing these through a unique interdisciplinary approach, problem-solving attitude and lateral thinking. They are generally suitable for research (towards higher university degree, consulting projects, policy advocacy), active community engagement (grassroots programmes of government, non-profit or for-profit entities), enterprises (corporate expansions, start-ups), administration (government policy and programme), action (journalism, communication, community mobilization) etc.


The School has established connections for collaborative research links with institutions around the world. Some of the major ones are:

  • School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University (USA)
  • Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA)
  • Borlaug Institute of South Asia, BISA (India)
  • Eckerd College, (USA)
  • Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI), Kyoto (Japan)
  • The University of Missouri, (USA)

Courses at the School

Core Courses

  • EES 101 – Earth Sciences and Environment
  • EES 102 – Fundamentals of Ecology
  • EES 103 – Economics of the Environment
  • EES 104 –Environment and Society
  • EES 105 – Introduction to Research
  • EES 201 – Environmental Law and Policy
  • EES 202 – Sustainable Development

Major Electives

  • EES 203 A – Hydrological Processes
  • EES 203 B Introduction to Agro-ecosystem Management
  • EES 203 C Energy Economics
  • EES 203 D Urban Environment:
  • EES 203 E Evolution & Environment
  • EES 203 F Ecology of Invasive Species
  • EES 204 A -Statistics of Environmental Studies
  • EES 204 B Ecological Modeling
  • EES 303 C – Hydro-ecology
  • EES 301 A – Independent Study
  • EES 301 B – Agroforestry Systems
  • EES 301 C – Water in Sustainable Development
  • EES 301 D – Disaster Management
  • EES 301 E – Global Climate Change
  • EES 301 F – Urban Ecology

Minor Electives

  • EES 302 A-Exploring interactions of Environment, Technology and Society in Asia
  • EES 302 B – Ecosystem Services and Agroforestry
  • EES 302 C – Environmental Biotechnology
  • EES 302 D – Environment Impact Assessment


Given the inter-disciplinary character of the School, the University has appointed its core faculty from natural sciences and social sciences, organized around its declared thrust areas.

Govind Chakrapani {Dean School of Ecology and Environment Studies}

Professor Chakrapani is the Dean of the School of Ecology and Environment Studies. His research interests are Rivers, Lakes, Groundwater and Land Environment, Rock-Water Interaction, Nutrient Biogeochemistry, Isotopes in Environment, Urbanization and Environmental Impact.Prior to joining Nalanda, Professor Chakrapani served as a Professor of Earth and Environmental Science at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, India and Fellow of National Academy of Sciences of India (FNASc). He has obtained his PhD in Environmental Science in 1991 from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Professor Chakrapani has served IIT, Roorkee as a professor since 2008.He has considerable experience in teaching, research and science management. Professor Chakrapani has many assignments and collaborations with the institutes abroad like Smithsonian Institution, University of Delaware (USA), IPG Paris, LMTG Toulouse, (France), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), Academia Sinica Taipei (Taiwan), Stockholm University (Sweden), Tongji University (China).

B. Mohan Kumar: {Professor}

Professor B. Mohan Kumar is a Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies at Nalanda University. He has a PhD in Agronomy from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, he has over 35 years of experience in teaching, research and science management, which includes teaching and research at Kerala Agricultural University and a national level research management assignment in the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, besides various shorter international assignments in countries like USA, Japan, UK, France, and Indonesia.

Bharath Sundaram {Assistant Professor}

Bharath Sundaram is an Assistant Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies, Nalanda University. He is interested in biodiversity studies, an ecology of peopled systems, and political ecology. Prior to joining Nalanda, Bharath was an Assistant Professor in the School of Development, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India, where he taught courses on Ecology and Development, Sustainability in Planning and Practice, and Forests and Livelihoods. Bharath obtained his PhD from the Academy of Conservation Science and Sustainability Studies, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore, India. Bharath's doctoral research centred on a non-native, invasive plant called Lantana camera in a peopled forest landscape in Karnataka India. In addition to having significant negative effects on native biodiversity, Lantana also affected tribal livelihoods and presents an ideal context to explore issues like the ecological effects of invasive species and co-management of forests affected by invasive species.After the completion of his PhD, Bharath was a Visiting Fellow in the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India.Bharath obtained an MS degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from Pondicherry University.At Nalanda University, Bharath offers a course on the Ecology of Alien Invasive Species, and another on Political Ecology.

Somnath Bandyopadhyay: {Associate Professor}

Dr. Somnath Bandyopadhyay is an Associate Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies at Nalanda University. He has a PhD in Environmental Sciences from JNU, New Delhi. He has also been trained professionally on environmental economics and policy analysis at Harvard, USA, and on making markets work for the poor at the Springfield Centre, UK.

Pushpa Kumar Lakshmanan: {Associate Professor}

Dr. Pushpa Kumar Lakshmanan is an Associate Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies. He teaches Environmental Law and Policy. He received his LL.B. and LL.M. from Pondicherry University and PhD from University of Delhi, India. As a Fulbright scholar, he pursued Post-Doctoral research at Harvard Law School, Harvard University, USA.

Prabhakar Sharma: {Assistant Professor}

Dr. Prabhakar Sharma is an Assistant Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies at Nalanda University. He earned his PhD from Washington State University (USA) and Masters from University of Stuttgart (Germany) and IIT Kharagpur (India). He worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at Ålborg University (Denmark) and the University of Western Ontario (Canada) before joining the faculty position at Uppsala University (Sweden).

Aviram Sharma :{ Assistant Professor}

Aviram Sharma is Assistant Professor in the School of Ecology and Environment Studies. He earned his PhD from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He holds an M. Phil. in Science Policy from JNU and M.A in Environmental Studies from the University of Delhi.

Sayan Bhattacharya: {Assistant Professor}

Dr. Sayan Bhattacharya is an Assistant Professor in the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies at Nalanda University. He did his PhD in Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Calcutta and post-doctoral research in Environmental Chemistry at Presidency University. Before joining NU, Dr. Bhattacharya taught at the University of Calcutta, Viswa Bharati University, Rabindra Bharati University and Vidyasagar University in India.

Riddhika Kalle: {Assistant Professor}

Riddhika has an MSc in Wildlife Biology from A.V.C College, Bharathidasan University and a Doctorate in Wildlife Sciences from Wildlife Institute of India. As a postdoctoral fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, she has taught courses and conducted workshops for students and faculty on applied quantitative ecology covering aspects of population ecology, range ecology, community ecology, conservation science, spatiotemporal ecology, and predictive modelling to field ecological data. Prior to this in India, she has trained several protected area managers in methods, tools and techniques in wildlife population estimation as part of the training modules by Wildlife Institute of India.

Kishore Dhavala: { Assistant Professor}

Kishore Dhavala holds a Doctoral degree in Economics from Florida International University, Miami, USA. He worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at Basque Centre for Climate Change, Bilbao (Spain). He has worked as a consultant at Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), Delhi prior to his journey to Bilbao. Kishore is currently working on various research projects on low carbon economy, mitigation and adaptation policies for climate change.

Prasad Avinash Pathak: {Assistant Professor}

Dr. Prasad Pathak holds a Doctoral Degree in Geography with specialization in applications of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing for environmental studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, USA. Prior to that, he has worked with certain government and private organizations in India and abroad for geospatial studies.


Can you send me more information about this program?

Full information about all the programs offered at Nalanda University can be found at the following url:

When is the application deadline for this program?

Aspirant candidates can apply for the programs offered at Nalanda University throughout the year. The University follows Rolling Admissions. We evaluate the Applications as they arrive, by shortlisting and interviewing the candidates at regular intervals. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed from January 2017 onward. The candidates appearing in their final examination of their Bachelor’s degree in 2017 may also register for Admission. The seats are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early applications help in securing the seat in the School and accommodation of choice. To avoid disappointment on these fronts it is advisable to apply for admissions at the earliest.

The last date for applications for the first round of admissions in the 2017 Academic year is Apr 1.

How much does this program cost?

The program costs

Fee Details Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 4 Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 4
Tuition Fees 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR $470 $470 $470 $470
Admission Fees 6,000 INR NIL NIL NIL $100 NIL NIL NIL
Security Deposit (Refundable) 6,000 INR NIL NIL NIL $100 NIL NIL NIL
Total 40,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR $670 $470 $470 $470

Meal and residence charges are extra.

For more information, you can visit our website:

Can I pay for this program in instalments?

Although the students are raised fees bill for the full semester, to be paid in lump sum, students may also make the payment of the fees in instalments provided they get approval from the competent authority.

Is this program available online?

All the programmes at Nalanda University are full time and residential in nature. The students have to live on Campus and the programmes are not offered online.

What is the duration of this program?

The duration of the Master's program is two years (full-time)

Where is the campus located?

Nalanda University is located in the ancient and historic city of Rajgir in the Northern state of Bihar, India.

What other funding options do you have for this program?

For full information on Scholarships and Aid check our website

What documents are required to apply to this program?

The following documents are required when applying for this program:

  • Matriculation Transcript /Higher Secondary transcript
  • Written scripts
  • Bachelor’s degree Academic Transcript.
  • Identity proof (Passport for foreign Students and Adhar Card for Indian Students).

What is the admission process for this program?

Please visit the web link:
to know about the process of admissions at Nalanda.

In what language is this program taught?

All programs at Nalanda University are taught in English.

Does the University assist in job placements of the graduating students?

The University has a specialized Career Resource Cell who would cater to the internship and placement needs of the students.

Whom should I contact if I still have a question?

If you are experiencing a technical problem with the application or have a general admissions query, please write to or you may talk to Manager of Admissions, Mr. Saurabh Choudhary at +91 7250891319

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated February 8, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
2 years
Full time
2,080 USD
India - Patna, Bihar
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
India - Patna, Bihar
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info