Above photo courtesy of current PPCN student Seth Sykora-Bodie

In cooperation with the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, CONS offers the option of a 60-credit dual-degree program.  Upon completion, graduates receive both a Master of Public Policy (with a specialization in Environmental Policy) and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology.

As environmental problems become more scientifically and politically complex, employers and researchers in the environmental analysis and policy fields are increasingly looking to hire graduates who are well-grounded in the natural and life sciences, the workings of the public, private and non-governmental sectors, and the key policy analysis tools and concepts.  In recognition of this demand, we have established the dual-degree program. 

This program benefits from the unique strengths of faculty in CONS by bringing together expertise in policy and the life sciences, ecological economics, international development, and conservation biology.  The program will increase the number of top-notch students in classes offered within existing master’s programs, help promote interdisciplinary education by providing advanced knowledge of public policy to students in the life sciences, and expand opportunity for recruitment into doctoral programs in Public Affairs and Biology and reaffirms the university’s leadership position in environmental education and research.  For example, CONS graduates have gone on to doctoral programs at University of Maryland in Public Affairs, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences, Geographical Sciences, as well as Biology, and to a similar array of programs at other universities.


Admission information specific to PPCN

Applicants to the dual-degree M.S./M.P.P. program should submit their online application to the Graduate School under the program code PPCN, upon which all application materials will be automatically available for review by both the CONS program and the MPP program.  Decisions for each program are rendered independently; an applicant may be admitted to both, neither, or only one of the two programs and they have the opportunity to decide which degree(s) to pursue from there.


Curriculum of Joint-Masters Program

Upon matriculation, students must meet the usual progress requirements for each of the two master’s programs to remain in the dual-degree program.  Full-time students should be able to complete the dual-degree program in three years.  After completing a total of 60 credits, students in the joint master’s program will receive two master’s degrees – a Master’s of Public Policy and a Master of Science in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology. Students will:

  • Learn methods, concepts and tools of public policy analysis and implementation, with special focus on environmental policy
  •  Deepen their knowledge in economics and its application to environmental and development issues
  •  Learn methods, concepts and tools of conservation biology
  • Hone their quantitative and modeling skills through theory and application
  • Engage in independent research for projects and scholarly papers
  • Deepen and broaden their knowledge of environmental policy and conservation biology though elective courses. 

Below is our degree requirements table.  For Dual degree students, they must complete the column on the right side.  For an easier to read PDF version, click here

Degree Req Table.jpg