Five-Year Program for Yale 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 joint Yale College - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale NUS College - School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Baccalaureate and Master’s degree program is a five-year program that is designed for undergraduate students who want to pursue a career in an environmental field. The program provides well-prepared Yale College and Yale-NUS (“Yale”) students with accelerated graduate training in environmental science, management, and policy. Graduates from the School’s master’s degree programs have become highly successful leaders within governments, corporations, non-profit organizations, and academia.
All students pursuing either a B.A. or B.S. degree in Yale College or a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College are eligible to apply for either a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) or Master of Environmental Science (MESc) degree, regardless of major. Normally the School awards master’s degrees following two years of graduate study and admission is offered only to those holding a bachelors degree. This five-year program accelerates the master’s degree program through careful integration of undergraduate curriculum with graduate requirements.

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 prior to applying.

Preparation for the five-year joint degree 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 (please note that this program is only currently available to Yale NUS environmental studies students). However, the Admissions Committee favors applicants who have successfully completed a combination of the courses listed below before beginning a master’s degree program. For this reason, it is highly recommended that an applicant for the five-year degree program complete the following coursework. If this coursework has not been completed at the time of application, a plan for completion by the end of the senior year should be provided in the application.

  • 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 for the five-year joint degree program

The Master’s programs of F&ES prepare students for professional practice or doctoral studies in environmental management or science. For both the five-year joint degree program in either environmental management or environmental science have the following requirements in common:

  • Completion of the summer Training Modules in Technical Skills prior to the fall term in residence at F&ES.
  • A minimum of one full academic year in residence at F&ES.
  • 24 credits of courses taken from F&ES with satisfactory results.

Students must also fulfill the course requirements specific to either the MEM or MESc degree program.

Differences between the MEM and the MESc degree

The MEM degree is designed for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental policy and analysis, stewardship, education, consulting, or management dealing with natural resource, pollution control, and other environmental issues. The program requires coursework in both the natural and social sciences, with a particular focus on the complex relationship between science, management, and policy. The ultimate purpose of the degree program is to provide students with a scientific understanding of ecological and social systems, which then can be applied in a policy or management context.

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, while holding to the core value of the school that students should be allowed flexibility in course selection in order to meet their educational goals. The course of study includes formalized training in the philosophy and practice of science. Training is provided through key courses in combination with extended research.
NOTE: If a student intends to apply for the MESc degree program, they MUST secure a F&ES faculty member as an advisor 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.

Gap Year and Internship / Research project requirements

Students in the five-year program are strongly 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.


Please see

Financial Aid

The deadline to submit all required financial aid application forms (U.S. and permanent residents or international students) is February 15 by midnight EST.

All financial aid questions should be addressed to:

F&ES Financial Aid
Sage Hall, Room 3A or 5B
Tel: (203) 432-6100
Fax: (203) 432-5528

Contact Information

Initial inquiries about the 5-year Joint Degree Program should be made to:

F&ES Admissions
Sage Hall, Room 3B or 5B
Tel: (203) 432-5106
Fax: (203) 432-5528

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