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Master of Science in Environmental Policy

Center for Public Policy

The Fair Tech Collective, led by Drexel professor Gwen Ottinger, works to give the public easy access to access to oil refinery pollution monitoring data.

Professor Gwen Ottinger's Fair Tech Collective built Refinery Air Watch to offer public access to national oil refinery pollution data. ©

Drexel's Master of Science in Environmental Policy (MSEP) program equips future policy professionals with the tools they need to understand the complexities of environmental issues and promote policies that improve the environment. Students in this program take core courses in Public Policy, Environmental Policy, and Economics and elective courses in Environmental Science, Environmental and Occupational Health, or Environmental Engineering. Students can conduct real-world research by writing a case study thesis, selecting elective courses tailored to their unique interests, or completing their degree with immersive research experiences. Personalized advising helps students to select classes and take advantage of opportunities that best serve their professional goals.

Faculty members in the program hold expertise spanning law, sociology, engineering, business, public health and other disciplines. They are engaged locally, nationally, and globally to explore and address today’s most pressing environmental concerns: climate change, water policy, energy policy, sustainability operations management and the effect of pollution on public health.

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Program Format

  • Full-time or part-time plans of study
  • Online or on-campus course options
  • Conduct real-world research tailored to your interests
  • Thesis optional, (45) credit program
  • Specialty tracks through coursework in Drexel's numerous certificate programs and graduate minors


Kate Pelusi, Graduate Program Manager, Center for Public Policy
215.895.6374 |


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  • U.S. Applicants — Sept. 1, Nov. 23, Feb. 22, Summer TBD
  • International Applicants — June 13

Program Overview

Drexel’s Master of Science in Environmental Policy (MSEP) degree program provides the economic, scientific and social perspectives that form the foundation of a meaningful career. Our environmental policy program includes a public policy core; however, the curriculum also features an environmental core, economics core, and tracks in environmental science or environmental and occupational health.

Drexel’s MSEP degree is especially suited for future policy professionals with a solid commitment to environmental causes. With courses in research methods, law, health, justice, and more, Drexel’s degree equips and prepares graduates for a broad range of environmental policy careers. The program synthesizes expertise across diverse disciplines, including law, sociology, engineering, business, public health and more. With only three core requirements and 12 electives, students can select courses tailored to their interests and schedules.

Applications are accepted year-round, and applicants can expect a decision within one month. Entering students may begin in the fall, winter, or spring quarter. Students take three required classes and 12 electives from Drexel’s diverse environmental course offerings. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, while part-time students complete the degree at their own pace. A thesis is not required, but students may elect to conduct real-world research by writing a case study thesis. Students who want to delve deeper into a subject can choose to complete a nine-credit master’s project as part of their 45 required credits.

Program Faculty

Faculty members affiliated with the Environmental Policy master's degree program address the most pressing problems of today’s environmental realm, including climate change, agricultural sustainability, and the effects of pollution on public health. Many faculty collaborate with local communities and nonprofits on projects that have a real impact on people in the Philadelphia area and well beyond.

  Faculty Member Expertise
Christian Hunold
Professor of Politics; Associate Dean for Faculty Advancement
3021-F MacAlister Hall
  • Environmental Political Theory
  • Deliberative Democracy
  • Human-Animal Studies
  • Multispecies Ethnography
  • Multispecies Urbanism
  • Wild horses and Burros
Alison Kenner, PhD, Associate Professor, Drexel University Department of Politics and the Center for Science, Technology and Society
Associate Professor
3101 Market Street, Room 222
  • Energy Justice
  • Climate Change
  • Feminist Political Theory
  • Asthma and Air Quality
  • Experimental Ethnography
  • Urban Politics
Gwen Ottinger, PhD
3101 Market Street, Room 217
  • Environmental justice
  • Political theory
  • Science and technology policy
  • Citizen science
  • Science and engineering ethics
  • Information infrastructures
  • Community-based research
Diane Sicotte, PhD, Drexel University Professor of Sociology
Professor of Sociology
3201 Arch Street, Room 203
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Environmental inequality and injustice
  • Political economy of energy and environment
  • Labor and environment
  • Plastics in society


  • Know the basics. Courses in a wide range of disciplines offer students a solid understanding of the complexity of policy issues.
  • See all sides. In the program’s core courses, students learn how to analyze competing perspectives, enabling them to be constructive problem solvers.
  • Care about equity. Policies have different impacts on different populations, including the rich and poor, and current and future generations. Students learn to spot these differences and design policies that promote greater equity.
  • Communicate clearly. Writing projects across the curriculum teach students to express highly specialized ideas from multiple domains in a way that non-specialists can understand and use to guide their actions.
  • Collaborate effectively. Students from different backgrounds work together, learning to problem-solve in groups where not everyone sees eye-to-eye.


An advanced degree opens doors to a broad range of environmental policy careers including positions in both public and private organizations. Many government and non-profit organizations need experts in environmental policy to develop sustainable practices and help them comply with environmental rules. As a result, environmental policy degree jobs are in demand at large corporations, governmental institutions, non-profit organizations, think tanks and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Potential careers

What is Case Study Research?

The Master of Science in Environmental Policy (MSEP) spans the disciplines of law, political science, economics, engineering, business, public health, and others. Students in this program take core courses in Public Policy, Environmental Policy, and Economics and electives in Environmental Science or Environmental and Occupational Health. With their electives, students can conduct real-world research writing through a case study thesis, complete a graduate minor tailored to their interests, or complete their degree with research experience. Students in the program receive personalized advising to help them identify the classes and opportunities that best serve their professional goals.

In addition to the core courses, the program focuses on case study research as a unifying element of the curriculum. Students must choose a specific case study topic they will typically work on for three terms during the program. By the end of the program, students will have produced a polished, in-depth analysis of a specific case that they can use to demonstrate expertise in each policy area.

Case Studies In-depth

Case studies begin with detailed descriptions of how a program or organization works. Students will provide authoritative commentary on the ways in which the program or organization is either meeting or not meeting its goals (or both), and how it could be changed so that it could better meet its goals. An organization is defined as a government agency, a sub-unit of a government agency, or a freestanding nonprofit corporation. A program is defined as a set of interrelated activities performed by an organization toward some specified goal.

Subject Proposal

Part of the goal of the case study program is to allow students the maximum flexibility in choosing what they would like to study. They may propose a subject for their case study that is different from that described above. All Case Study subjects must be approved by the Center for Public Policy director.

Past Case Studies