Academic Information

The Master of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Studies program (EVSS) is a 2 year program that prepares students to deal with the complex nature of environmental issues through an interdisciplinary approach that capitalizes on the unique faculty and research strengths of The Graduate School of the College of Charleston. The faculty contributes through policy sciences, mathematics and the natural and physical science areas of biology, geology and physics.

In addition, we offer a concurrent degree with the Master of Public Administration Program. The concurrent program can be completed in about 3 years and will prepare you for the challenges of a career in the environmental field. Courses examine the development and implementation of public policy responses to environmental issues.

If you're interested in the College of Charleston's Environmental and Sustainability Studies program and Marine Biology program, but are not sure which masters degree is the right fit for you, here are some key program differences:

Environmental and Sustainability Studies: 

  • Interdisciplinary program with a dual focus on environmental science, policy and management
  • Courses span a variety of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, including biology, geology, economics, mathematics, physics, marine biology, political science, education and sociology  
  • Prepares students for an applied career in the environmental field with multiple avenues of career paths available  
  • Thesis required
  • Students encouraged to work with outside organziations
  • Incoming students required to take two life sciences with a lab, two physical sciences with a lab and statistics 
  • Option to pursue a concurrent degree with the Master's of Public Administration
  • Many classes are offered in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate working students  
  • Funding is offered to 95% of students, but assistantships are not guaranteed  
  • Credit hours required: 38  
  • Program length: ~ 2 years 

Marine Biology: 

  • Offers students a well-rounded education in marine biology  
  • Courses are heavy in the natural sciences and focus on topics such as biology, physical oceanography, and ecology  
  • Prepares students for a career in laboratory research  
  • Thesis required  
  • Oral Comprehensive Exams required
  • Courses are taught at Grice Marine Laboratory, located at Fort Johnson on James Island, just across the harbor from historic downtown mostly taking place during the day
  • A full-time teaching assistantship in biology is offered to almost every new student  
  • Requires students to have 20 hours of upperlevel biology undergradaute courses, along with upper level chemistry, physics and calculus.
  • Credit hours required: 30  
  • Program length: ~2 years 

 Prospective Student Webinars

The EVSS Office will be hosting multiple Prospective Student Webinars throughout the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 semesters. The webinars will go over the application process, admissions requirements, living in Charleston, and more! Please register using this form.

PSW 2023-2024

Use these resources for additional information about the EVSS Program: