The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and Frostburg State will offer an innovative joint Master in Environmental Management (MEM) in Sustainability for the fall of 2023. This degree leverages the environmental studies expertise of UMCES and the diverse student body of FSU to prepare leaders who can address 21st century sustainability challenges in the academic, government, non-profit and private sectors.
The in-person program is focused on sustainability and the impact on society built around a core team science approach to solving problems. The program was developed to meet increased need for professionals working in environmental management and sustainability in academic, business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Job creation in this field of study is expected to match or exceed the national average for at least ten years. The program will develop a cadre of diverse environmental professionals with teamwork skills, practical experience, and training in environmental management and environmental justice.
“We are excited to bring together UMCES, a leading applied environmental research institution, with FSU, a vibrant regional comprehensive university, to offer a program that fills a growing workforce need in Maryland,” said Peter Goodwin, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. “It will develop a cadre of diverse environmental professionals with teamwork skills, practical experience, and training in environmental management and environmental justice.”
Students in this program will have the opportunity to analyze complex environmental issues from a foundation in environmental science, field methods, organizational leadership and public policy. The program also includes a required apprenticeship that will allow students to partner with an organization to identify a sustainability challenge and present a solution to key stakeholders, and throughout this apprenticeship and capstone project, students will build relationships with potential future employers.
“The leadership at both FSU and UMCES are committed to developing pathways that advance opportunities for students committed to improving the environment,” said Dr. Ronald Nowaczyk, president of Frostburg State University. “We see this joint master’s degree program that includes collaboration with industry as a meaningful response to addressing environmental issues in Maryland and the region.”
The Master of Environmental Management program was developed collaboratively by FSU and UMCES with input from the faculty at both institutions. Students in the program will gain access to UMCES and FSU faculty and courses while FSU provides the infrastructure for managing graduate student enrollment. The program will be overseen by a program coordinator who is a faculty member at FSU assisted by a field supervision coordinator from the UMCES faculty.
Frostburg University and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, both part of the University System of Maryland, have a longstanding relationship through UMCES’ campus in Western Maryland, the Appalachian Laboratory, and an existing joint master’s degree program in Wildlife/Fisheries Biology. UMCES is a respected environmental research and graduate university, particularly as it relates to research, policy and programming aimed at improving and preserving Maryland’s physical environment.
This MEM program is accessible to students with almost any undergraduate major, not just those on a science track, and flexible program requirements allow students to select elective courses from graduate offerings at both FSU and UMCES for a degree tailored for their desired career. Electing to take advantage of FSU’s competitive graduate tuition allows students to earn this degree at a lower cost compared to larger research institutions.