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Expected Standards of Performance

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade average throughout their program. Further, grades lower than a "B-" will not be counted toward degree credit.

All work for the Master's degree must be completed within four consecutive calendar years. In rare cases deserving special consideration, the student's supervisory committee can petition the Dean of the Graduate School for a time extension. However, students taking longer than the four-year period may be required to take additional course work or repeat the comprehensive examination.

Required coursework

Six courses must be successfully completed by all students:

 Humanities 6101 Foundations of Environmental Humanities

Humanities 6102 Field Methods in Environmental Humanities

 Humanities 6103 Ecology of Residency

 Humanities 6105 Environmental Humanities Writing Seminar

 Humanities 6804 Tertulia - 1 credit course taken the first three semesters

An environmentally-focused, 3-credit graduate course taken in the College of Humanities e.g.,Studies in Environmental Literature, Environmental Communication, Environmental Philosophy, Environmental History, etc.

Coursework Planning

EH Course Planning - Students should consult this to assist in scheduling their coursework throughout the duration of the Program.

Students are encouraged to take coursework from departments and programs within the College of Humanities during their first year. This provides students with the opportunity to take courses from prospective committee members.

Independent Study classes are limited to 25% of a student's course work.

Prior to the appointment of a supervisory committee, the student should consult with the EH Director in selecting coursework. Courses which meet the minimal degree requirements are not officially accepted until approved by the student's supervisory committee. Therefore, students are encouraged to consult with their supervisory committee as early as possible in planning their program of study. 

MA & MS Requirements

The primary distinction between the two Master's degrees offered by the Program is that the Master of Arts degree requires standard proficiency in an approved language, while the Masters of Science requires students to complete three (effective beginning with the Fall 2017 cohort) research methods courses approved by the student’s committee. Please note that courses taken to achieve standard language proficiency do not count toward the Environmental Humanities program of study.

Final Work Requirements


Students electing the thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 27 hours of course work and six hours of thesis credit. The student will prepare a thesis prospectus in consultation with his or her adviser and the supervisory committee. The final prospectus must be approved by the supervisory committee and be filed within the chair of the supervisory committee's home department. A public presentation and defense of the thesis is required. Once the student has made the revisions suggested by the supervisory committee, the students must submit their properly formatted thesis, including Final Reading Approval forms to the  Thesis Office for their release before graduation. Thesis writers should be very familiar with the Handbook for Theses and Dissertations


Students who select the project option are required to complete at least 27 hours of course work and a creative or applied project. A minimum of six credit hours is awarded for the project. Students who select the project option are encouraged to combine internship experiences with their project. Students will prepare a project prospectus which must receive final approval of the supervisory committee. The prospectus meeting for the master's project may be open to the faculty and graduate students at the discretion of the candidate and his or her supervisory committee. A public presentation and defense of the project is required. A bound copy of the revised project or final professional practicum report must be filed with Environmental Humanities once the project hours are cleared.

Non-thesis/Non-project exam

Students who select the non-thesis option must complete a minimum of 33 semester hours of course work and pass a comprehensive examination administered by the supervisory committee. Election of the non-thesis option must be made and approved by the supervisory committee prior to the completion of 24 hours of course work. The comprehensive examination consists of a six-hour written examination and a two-hour oral examination or defense. The written examination will test the candidate's knowledge and understanding of:

 the theoretical foundations of humanities-based inquiry of environmental phenomena.

 the major methodological approaches in humanities-based research.

 the research literature in the candidate's area of specialization.

A formal decision of "pass" or "fail" of the written examination will be made by the supervisory committee before proceeding with the oral examination. The oral examination will not be scheduled until the committee has agreed that the candidate has passed the written examination and the appropriate form filed with the graduate office.


The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

- Rachel Carson

Last Updated: 12/2/16