Self-Designed Specialization

Students seeking to self-design a specialization are required to submit a written proposal that includes the rationale, a proposed course of study consisting of at least 6 courses, and a supportive faculty advisor.

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    Purpose and Scope

    The MEM curriculum requires students to focus on an area of specialization, while still offering the flexibility to tailor their course programming in a way that exposes them to other disciplines and subject areas. The set of established specializations cover a broad range of topic areas and are specifically designed to prepare students for leadership and professional careers in timely areas of environmental management. Students are encouraged to choose a pre-designed specializations.

    At the same time, the MEM curriculum is designed with an option that affords even greater flexibility in special circumstances. The interdisciplinary nature of environmental management and the evolving range of challenges makes it difficult to design a curriculum that meets the needs of all students, some of whom have clear ideas about what they want to do and how they want to do it.

    For this reason, the MEM makes available the option for a self-designed specialization. Students seeking to self-design a specialization are required to submit a written proposal that includes the rationale, a proposed course of study consisting of at least 6 courses, and a supportive faculty advisor. The proposal must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for approval before the end of the student’s first year of study. The proposal must describe how the student’s academic goals will be met by the self-designed specialization in ways that cannot be met with an existing specialization. While each student will propose a title for their self-designed specialization, only "Self-Designed" will appear on the official Yale transcript, not the specific title itself.

    Note that for their overall course of study at YSE, self-designed specialization students must complete at least half of their total credits from courses with ENV course numbers. 

    Faculty Coordinator: Julie Zimmerman

    Faculty Coordinator

    Julie Zimmerman

    Julie Zimmerman

    Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor of Green Engineering, Assistant Director for Research at Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering

    Learning Communities composite illustration

    Learning Communities

    YSE's Learning Communities were created to offer robust interdisciplinary experiences and networks. Students may engage with as many learning communities as they choose, regardless of their degree program or specialization.


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