Natural resources are important to economic development. Basic industries depend on forests, water, minerals, and hydrocarbons. Without careful management, the byproducts of development can despoil local environments, with consequent costs to public health, quality of life, and even further development itself. Natural resources and environmental concerns also play an increasingly important role in the relationships among developing and economically advanced nations.
Since 1984, Yale has offered a course of study that integrates instruction in economic development and in natural resources. The two-and-a-half-year program leads to both the Master of Arts degree in Economics from Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and one of four degrees from the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Forestry, or Forest Science). The program is designed for individuals whose careers will focus on the interplay between natural resource or environmental issues and economic development or trade.
The joint program requires a minimum of two and one-half years in residence and 20 courses. The Forestry & Environmental Studies (FES) component of the program requires 12 courses: eight core courses and four electives, which together are designed to develop a broad multidisciplinary foundation for problem solving. Students will be required to complete courses in the natural and social sciences and in quantitative methods, along with an independent study course. They will also choose advanced coursework from among nine study areas, which include: Ecology, Ecosystems & Biodiversity; Environment, Health & Policy; Forestry, Forest Science & Management; Global Change Science & Policy; Industrial Environmental Management; Policy, Economics & Law; the Social Ecology of Conservation & Development; Urban Ecology & Environmental Design; and Water Science, Policy & Management.
The International Development and Economics degree requires eight courses: five core courses and three electives. The core courses are designed to provide a rigorous understanding international and development economics, including a study of the economic theory necessary for economic policy analysis.
Students are encouraged to link their summer internship (between the first and second years) and their independent project, though this is not required. With sufficient planning, the independent project can be completed in absentia.
Finally, joint students are required to attend three weeks of technical skills training before beginning their studies at FES. These hands-on workshops, offered every August, teach plant identification, ecosystems management, land measurement, and urban ecosystem analysis.
Students may enter the joint program by either of two routes. Applicants may apply to both the Graduate School and to the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at the same time and state their intention to pursue a joint degree, or they may begin studies in economics or environmental studies and then apply to the complementary program before the end of their first year at Yale. In either case, application is made separately to the two schools, and each school makes its own admission decisions. Applicants will be admitted only at the beginning of the fall term except for those applying after one term of residence.