Graduate Programs | Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources | The University of Vermont(title)

Graduate students in the Rubenstein School work closely with faculty and scholars who are dedicated to applied research and creative problem-solving in service of our society and the environment. The School has approximately 130 graduate students and more than 30 graduate faculty.

Our growing graduate programs are made up of students, faculty, and staff with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Faculty take an integrated approach to their research projects, collaborating locally, nationally, and internationally with researchers and community partners.  

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Graduate Program Mission and Outcomes


We seek to cultivate an appreciation and enhanced understanding of ecological and social processes. Our curriculum and research aim to achieve a sustainable human community in harmony with the natural environment. We pursue this goal through synergistic approaches of generating and sharing knowledge. Our students are challenged through their scholarship, to become innovative and accountable leaders. Our emphasis on the integration of natural science and cultural perspectives reflects the interdisciplinary context in which ecosystem management, resource planning, and environmental concerns must be addressed.

Learning Outcomes

All graduate students will:

Design and execute original and ethical research to address fundamental challenges in the environment and natural resources;

Apply mastery of theory and knowledge at an advanced level consistent with the highest standards of their concentration;

Develop skills in oral and written communication to present work and publish in the field;

Engage in practices that support their professional aspirations; 

Apply and personalize an analysis of power and privilege in the context of their unique work;

Identify the societal relevance of their unique work as it relates to contemporary social-ecological systems.

Ph.D. students will also:

Develop effective teaching practices and an understanding of pedagogy in higher education.

Graduate Student Research Symposium


Each fall our second-year Master's students and PhD students present their research progress to the Rubenstein School community in a professional conference setting. Each presenter submits a written abstract and creates a visual presentation. Non-presenting graduate students act as moderators and provide technical assistance. The symposium provides students the opportunity to practice presenting their research to an audience in a comfortable atmosphere among their peers and faculty advisors. The event is followed by a celebratory community reception.

Additional Degree Options

Accelerated Master's Program in Natural Resources


Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Natural Resources is for current UVM undergraduates. Students admitted to the program can receive their Master of Science degree on an accelerated timeline by counting 9 credits in their senior year towards both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. 

More about the AMP in Natural Resources

Ecological Economics Graduate Certificate


The Ecological Economics Graduate Certificate is managed by the Rubenstein School and offered through the Gund Institute for Environment. This 15- to 21-credit, problem-based program is available to graduate students and professionals interested in theoretical and practical frameworks for integrating economic and ecological systems in real-world scenarios.

More about the Ecological Economics Graduate Certificate

Dual Degree in Environmental Law and Policy and Natural Resources


The Master of Environmental Law and Policy (M.E.L.P.)/Masters of Science in Natural Resources (M.S. Natural Resources) Dual Degree Program is offered by Vermont Law & Graduate School's Environmental Law Center and the Rubenstein School. The program allows students to deepen their graduate education by integrating significant aspects of the complementary disciplines of environmental law, policy, and science.

Students interested in the Dual Degree Program are required to apply separately to each school. Admitted students have separate academic advisors in each school. 

More about the MELP/MSNR degree requirements