Centre for Environment and Sustainability

Program Overview

The MES program is designed to focus and develop intellectual and practical skills for the application and advancement of environmental sciences and sustainability in scientific, business, industrial and policy sectors. It is a fast-paced, dynamic, course-based interdisciplinary program created for students interested in equipping themselves with the skills and experience needed to compete for an entry level position as an environmental professional with a potential for leadership in industry, a non-governmental organization, or a government department. Students in the program will have sufficient formal education at the undergraduate and possibly graduate level and/or work experience. With this depth of knowledge in place, they will seek to better understand the interdisciplinary and complex nature of environmental problems through course work, group work, professional development workshops and practical work experiences. A consulting project will challenge students with the complex nature of a specific project on the environment or sustainability – from inception through analysis, documentation, and presentation. In the final (summer) term, a cooperative education (co-op) placement provides a first-hand opportunity at learning on the job.

Course-based Program

Students in the MES program will complete a set of courses designed specifically for the program. There are no elective courses. Students do not complete a research thesis and not required to identify a research supervisor.

Interdisciplinary Learning by Design

The program is open to students from a variety of academic backgrounds; a design that allows students to benefit from exposure to other students and to learn how and with what methodologies other disciplines approach the subject of the environment and sustainability. Courses are designed specifically for an interdisciplinary audience by faculty with expertise in one of the “four pillars” of sustainability.

Degree Completion

The MES program is an accelerated master’s program completed in one year. The program begins each September and ends each August. Students attend classes September – April, followed immediately by the co-operative work term beginning in May. Full-time attendance is required; the program is not offered part-time or on-line (distance learning).

Team Work

Students will work on interdisciplinary teams to produce reports and prepare professional presentations in most courses. Group work provides the opportunity to develop and practice communication, leadership and project management skills; skills which are essential for working on complex problems with a variety of stakeholders in the face of challenges posed by societal changes related to the environment and ecological demands.

Co-op

The co-operative work placement term provides students the opportunity to put into practice sklls developed while in the program and the opportunity to secure a relevant work experience within the field, before graduation. Students are fully supported throughout the process of seeking and successfully interviewing for co-op positions. Students may choose to seek co-op opportunities outside of program offerings.