Five-Year Program for Yale College and Yale-NUS College Students

Application Deadline

For guaranteed consideration of your application, all materials must be submitted electronically no later than the priority deadline of December 15 at midnight (EST).

The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies offers joint degree, five-year options that culminate in a Baccalaureate and Master’s degree intended for students who want to pursue careers in an environmental field. The joint degree option is available to all undergraduates in Yale College and environmental studies majors at Yale NUS College. The program provides well-prepared students with accelerated graduate training in environmental science, management, and policy. Eligible students may apply for either a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Environmental Science (MESc) degree. The program is built on careful integration of a student’s undergraduate curriculum with graduate requirements. Graduates have become highly successful leaders within governments, corporations, non-profit organizations, and academia.

Yale students interested in the five-year joint degree program should apply to the program at the end of the fall semester of their senior year, or in the two years immediately following graduation. Applicants interested in applying to the MESc should make an appointment to talk to the F&ES Office of Admissions at fesinfo@yale.edu prior to applying.

Preparation for the Five-Year Program

F&ES welcomes individuals from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds including the biological and physical sciences, engineering, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, or interdisciplinary programs. For Yale NUS students, however, the program is currently available only to environmental studies majors. To best prepare, it is highly recommended that applicants complete undergraduate course work is the following areas:
  • Quantitative methods: Two courses (calculus, statistics, linear algebra, discrete mathematics);
  • Biological sciences: Two courses (biology, ecology);
  • Physical sciences: Two courses (chemistry, physics, geology/earth science, hydrology/soil science);
  • Social science: Two courses (anthropology, economics, political science, sociology);
  • AP courses taken in high school do not apply;
  • Non-Yale College/Yale-NUS courses may be approved by the Admissions Committee. 

Program and Course Requirements

Master of Environmental Management (MEM)

Many of the requirements for students seeking a MEM-5 graduate degree are the same as those for all MEM students. These include
  • Attendance at the Summer Training Modules (MODS);
  • Enrollment in the fall “Perspectives” course for all first-year MEM students;
  • Satisfying the requirements of all basic knowledge courses to ensure interdisciplinary; conversancy
  • An approved capstone course.
The two curricular differences are
  • The specialization requirement can be met by taking only the two core requirements of an established specialization or an approved self-designed specialization. While the two core courses meet the specialization requirement, receiving recognition of a specialization on a transcript requires satisfying all of its 18 credit requirements.
  • Completion of two professional skills modules rather than four.

Master of Environmental Science (MESc)

The MESc degree is designed for students interested in conducting scientific research that contributes to basic and applied knowledge. This degree is intended to provide students with a deeper disciplinary focus than the MEM. Training is provided through key courses in combination with extended research. All students pursuing a MESc degree must have an advisor in place before applying to the five-year joint degree program. The F&ES faculty advisor must provide a letter as part of the student’s application stating their agreement to become the prospective student’s F&ES advisor. The specific plan to meet the requirements of the MESc are to be worked out with a student’s advisor.

Gap Year Recommendation

Students in the five-year MEM program are encouraged to take a gap year, or a year away from academia, between completing their undergraduate degree and beginning study at F&ES. Students use this year in a diversity of ways; some find a single job or fellowship in an environmental field for the year, while others combine multiple internships or research opportunities to occupy their year. Gap year plans must be communicated to the F&ES Admissions Office.
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