Master’s Concentration at George Mason University

M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy

Conservation Science and Policy Concentration

The MS in Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) meets the increasing need for trained environmental professionals who can address the problems of land and water management, land use and urbanization, wetland loss, microbial ecology, bioremediation, conservation biology, and ecosystem preservation. These professionals will also contribute to the analysis and resolution of global problems, such as deforestation, insufficient world food supplies, acid deposition, population growth and public health, global climate change/warming, and depletion of the stratospheric ozone.

The Concentration in Conservation Science and Policy is for George Mason University students desiring an MS degree with an interdisciplinary approach to the conservation of species and habitats. Students may take courses offered by the ESP department and other departments on the Fairfax campus as well as CONS courses which are offered through the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. This unique partnership with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia offers students hand-on education in cutting-edge conservation science and human dimensions through residential, intensive classes. SCBI is renowned for its conservation research and training of conservation practitioners around the world and instructors for these classes are drawn from SCBI’s conservation scientists and other experts from around the world. Requirements may be fulfilled by completing courses from a variety of academic units at Mason including CONS.

The program requires a minimum of 33 graduate credits distributed in five categories and provide a breadth of knowledge appropriate for addressing current conservation issues. Course selection should support the research component of the student’s degree program developed in close consultation with the advisor and the committee members. The advisor and thesis committee approve the course work program individually for each student. See here for specific program information.

The six components of study are:

Conservation Science (6 credits)
Conservation Policy and Human Dimensions of Conservation (6 credits)
Conservation Methods (6 credits)
Seminar (1 credit)
Research (1-6 credits)
Electives (courses approved by committee to complete 33 credits)


See the George Mason University catalog ( for admission requirements and more information.