Environmental Science and Policy (MSESP)

Two-Year M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy

The Harris School of Public Policy and the Argonne National Laboratory offer a two-year program leading to a master of environmental science and policy. This program is designed for students interested in assessing the scientific repercussions of various policies on the environment.


Chicago Harris and the Argonne National Laboratory have partnered to offer the Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy. The broad objective of the program is to provide students with a solid foundation of the science underlying important environmental policy issues, and the applied learning opportunities to deepen their understanding of various subjects. The partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory will bring senior scientists and engineers to Chicago Harris as course instructors and provide students with applied research and internship opportunities. The curriculum will allow for students with limited exposure to the sciences, and students with established backgrounds in the sciences. The degree takes a balanced and holistic approach to policy analysis, focusing on the interrelatedness of environmental issues, such as energy, water, and natural resources, and their relationships with economic, social, technology and regulatory drivers.

The curriculum combines elements of science and policy to meet the needs of the students described above. The structure of the two-year Master of Science degree program is outlined below.

Course Structure of the Environmental Science and Policy Program

  • PPHA 30800 Analytical Politics I: Strategic Foundations
  • PPHA 31000 or PPHA 31200 Statistical Methods for Policy Research I
  • PPHA 31100 or PPHA 31300 Statistical Methods for Policy Research II
  • PPHA 31600 Analytical Politics II: The Policymaking Process
  • PPHA 31920 Decisions and Organizations
  • PPHA 33910 Environmental Analysis Methods PPHA 32300 or 44100 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I
  • PPHA 32400 or 44200 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy
  • PPHA 38900:  Environmental Science and Policy
  • Three courses from the physical or biological sciences divisions

A total of 18 courses are required for the MS degree.

Possible elective courses in public policy include the following:

  • PPHA 31400 Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • PPHA 31900 Organizational Theory and Public Management
  • PPHA 32500 Public Policy Workshop
  • PPHA 32900 Taxation and Public Finance
  • PPHA 33300 Public Budgeting
  • PPHA 44300 Environmental Controversies
  • PPHA 52000 Independent Study/Research

Students should consult the latest edition of the Announcements of the Harris School for additional courses.