MEM Capstone Courses and Guidance

Learn more about the capstone requirement and courses.

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    A highlight and requirement of the MEM curriculum is one designated capstone course, or one independent capstone project with a faculty advisor, during the second year of study (joint-degree and part-time students can complete the requirement any time after the first year of study at YSE). All YSE capstone courses can be found below, and additional information about the MEM capstone experience can be found in the MEM Capstone Guidance section.
     
    Note that a capstone course used to fulfill the MEM capstone requirement cannot also be used toward fulfilling an MEM Specialization requirement; a capstone course taken once cannot be used to fulfill multiple requirements.
     
    For specific capstone questions, please email academicaffairs.yse@yale.edu.
     

    Capstone Course Listings

    • ENV 951 Strategic Environmental Communication (Anthony Leiserowitz)
    • ENV 952 Political Ecology of Conservation and Restoration of Tropical Forest Landscapes (Amity Doolittle, Eva Garen)
    • ENV 953 Sustainable Business Capstone Consulting Clinic (Peter Boyd)
    • ENV 954 Management Plans for Protected Areas (Mark Ashton)
    • ENV 958 Sustainable Business Capstone Consulting Clinic – Entrepreneurs (Peter Boyd)
    • ENV 959 Clinic in Environmental/Climate Justice, Sustainability, and Public Health (Marianne Engelman-Lado)
    • ENV 960 Climate Solutions Capstone: Nature Based Solutions Clinic (Brad Gentry)
    • ENV 961 Environmental Law and Politics: Research and Advanced Topics Seminar (John Wargo)
    • ENV 964 Large Scale Conservation: Integrating Science, Management, and Policy (Susan Clark)
    • ENV 970 Environmental Protection Clinic Policy and Advocacy (Douglas Kysar)
    • ENV 971 Land Use Clinic (Jessica Bacher)
    • ENV 973 Capstone on Waste in the Urban Environment: Technology, Policy, and Management (Alessia Miatto)
    • ENV 979 Capstone: Deep Decarbonization by Sub-national Actors (Rob Klee)
    • ENV 980 Social Justice in the Global Food System (Kristin Reynolds)
    • ENV 981 Climate, Animal, Food and Environmental Law and Policy Lab (Douglas Kysar)
    • ENV 982 Green Engineering and Sustainability (Julie Zimmerman)
    • ENV 983 Water Resource Science and Management Capstone (Gabe Benoit)
    • ENV 984 Energy and Climate Change Policy Practicum (Dan Utech)
    • ENV 985 Capstone: Neighborhood Planning Workshop (David Kooris)
    • MGT 955 Urban Resilience: Cities in a Post-Covid19 World: From Crisis & Recovery (Murali Chandrashekaran)

    Goals of the YSE MEM Capstone Experience

    A requirement of the MEM curriculum is one designated capstone course, or one independent capstone project with a faculty advisor, during the second year of study (joint-degree and part-time students can complete the requirement any time after the first year of study at YSE). These are intended to offer MEM students a culminating professional experience by engaging them in projects that connect their prior coursework with real-world efforts to understand and improve the management of environmental resources.

    While a wide range of projects may qualify, some examples include efforts to address climate change, water scarcity, energy access, pollution burdens, habitat conservation, urban resilience, sustainable production and many others. The capstone should be a minimum of three credits and allow for the integration of different experiences into a single representation of a student’s work, helping to set up the transition to a professional career.

    Guiding Principles for Capstones

    Designated capstone courses and independent capstone projects should seek to:

    • Focus on real-world problems or opportunities of the types students are likely to encounter in their professional careers;
    • Incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives as appropriate for effective environmental management;
    • Challenge students to make judgments in the face of uncertainty;
    • Provide opportunities to work with clients in a clinic-based format;
    • Encourage participation of students from any MEM specialization;
    • Require a group or individual deliverable that represents the culmination of work over the course of the project, following the development of an initial project work plan.

    Applying Guiding Principles

    Courses that may qualify as capstones will be reviewed against the principles above by the Senior Associate Dean for Professional Practice and recommended to the Master’s Program Committee (MPC) for comment and approval by vote. Independent projects that may qualify as capstones should be reviewed against the criteria above by the advisor of record, who will also make the determination of whether the project will count as a capstone prior to official enrollment.


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