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Master's Degrees | Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Natural Resources

Pollutants and naturally occurring substances pose a potential risk of having an adverse impact on human health and the environment. The proper management of these risks requires scientifically-based decision making. The Master of Environmental Assessment program emphasizes bridging the gap between scientific research and the use of science in decision-making, regulation, and environmental management. By understanding and evaluating the sources, fate, and effects of pollutants in the environment we can develop a scientific basis for assessing risks and thus support regulatory, enforcement, and remedial-action decisions.

The Master of Environmental Assessment (EA) degree is intended for working professionals who seek advanced study beyond the undergraduate level. The EA program provides students with the knowledge and skills to tackle the difficult environmental challenges of the 21st century. The program capitalizes on NC State’s capabilities in environmental management and technology in conjunction with communication, data analysis and project management.

Add a Professional Science Master's degree.

Program Layout and Administration

Administered by the College of Natural Resources (CNR), the program requires thirty (30) credit hours, which can be completed entirely online. Students enroll in required courses, electives and complete a professional project as part of the curriculum. The online program is equivalent to on-campus programs in structure, expectations and difficulty.

Students typically enroll in 1-2 courses per semester to allow adequate time for work, personal and family activities and requirements of the courses. Most of the required course activity (lectures, online discussions, assignments) occur on a weekly basis allowing students the flexibility to complete the activity as they have time during the week.  Required class meetings are online and generally in the evenings.

Students are required to take at least one course per semester (Fall and Spring) for the duration of the program (unless financial aid or other considerations require half-time (4.5 hours) or full-time (9 hours) status). Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater in order to graduate.  Students have a maximum of 6 years to complete the program.

Individuals who already have a master's degree who may want to update their skills or those who want to broaden their knowledge may be interested in the certificate program. Those interested in a graduate certificate instead of a graduate degree will want to learn more about the Graduate Certificate in Environmental Assessment.

Technology and Software Requirements

At NC State University, Online and Distance Education courses are offered and supported using various delivery formats. Most Environmental Assessment courses make use of asynchronous scheduling, which means that students do not have to access them at a specified time for the majority of the course materials. However, most courses do have some times set aside for synchronous meetings. In addition, some courses may require visits to campus (or a remote location) for assignments or exams. Courses will provide content through an online Learning Management system such as Moodle and online meeting technologies such as Zoom. Students will interact with the faculty through email, online discussion groups, and chat and video conferencing sessions.

Professional Project

The Master of Environmental Assessment requires completion of a professional project. Learn more about the requirements and guidelines for this project, or explore the archive of completed projects.

Non-Degree Continuing Education Options

Are you looking for professional development or want to give graduate school a try before committing to a certificate or degree program? Try a course or two from the Environmental Assessment Program as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student.

The following are recommended stand-alone courses that serve as an introduction to graduate certificate and degree programs:

  •       EA 501 Environmental Stressors
  •       EA 502 Environmental Risk Assessment
  •       EA 505 Environmental Law and Policy
  •       EA 508 Data Analysis in Environmental Assessment

Those interested in taking individual graduate-level courses without enrolling in a degree or certificate program must first enroll as a Post Baccalaureate Studies (PBS) Non-Degree Studies (NDS) student.

For prospective students considering a graduate certificate or degree program, up to two of the courses can be taken for credit as an NDS student and transferred to a program if the prospective student then chooses to enroll in the program. Grades earned as an NDS may be transferred to another institution based on that institution’s transfer policy.

Career Prospects

The Master of Environmental Assessment is designed to support working professionals seeking deeper knowledge of environmental policy, regulations and developments. Many of our graduates use the knowledge and credentials provided by this graduate program to advance their careers as engineers, project managers, policy makers and advisors. Others work in an advisory capacity as an environmental planner, scientist, or compliance specialist.