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About Us

We are witnessing environmental change that is unique in human history.  Human population growth and economic globalization have placed increasing and near-unsustainable demands on natural resources and environmental systems.  Increased levels of greenhouse gases are potentially warming Earth’s climate and ecosystems are badly stressed and degraded.  Rather than continue on this path, we must better understand the scientific processes of the environment to more effectively manage human interactions with natural systems.

The mission of the Masters of Science in Environmental Science is to have our students become skilled critical thinkers and problem solvers, devoted to a lifetime of learning.  The program provides research training and advanced coursework in a broad range of the environmental sciences.  At Villanova, the environmental graduate program seeks to build a diverse, intellectual community that enhances the scholarship of its members.  The program’s curriculum fosters close collaboration among faculty and students within the department and across the sciences at Villanova by strongly promoting the exchange of ideas and perspectives as an essential part of scholarship.  The program requires dedication to excellence in creative and critical thinking, in the analysis and interpretation of existing knowledge, in the execution of research, in teaching, and in communication.  Scholarship and research is directed towards an enhanced understanding of environmental systems and their nexus with society.  Accordingly, the program offers a diverse array of intellectual experiences, laboratory and field study, and research with highly experienced faculty mentors.  Finally, the environmental master’s program enhances the College’s intellectual atmosphere by developing students who will ascend to intellectual, moral, and professional leadership; develop the fundamentals of critical insight, mature judgment, and independent thinking; and cultivate a sense of moral responsibility and working for the betterment of society.

Program Objectives

The Master of Science in Environmental Science program enhances important academic goals of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which is committed to expanding multidisciplinary education and to fostering cross–college cooperation within the University.

  • The program has a single overarching objective:  producing highly educated graduates who can anticipate and respond effectively to the uncertainties of a changing natural environment given the necessary constraints of public policy, economic reality, and human considerations.  They will be able to apply their science education, and the values instilled by the Villanova system, to anticipate uncertainties, solve complex environmental problems, and respond effectively to challenges and ambiguity with confidence and reasoned judgment––supported by excellent research with a faculty mentor.
  • The program is intended to produce graduates who can:
    • Recognize and solve environmental problems existing at the nexus of scientific, political, and human discourse.
    • Demonstrate an advanced proficiency in understanding the climatic, geological, biological, chemical, and human factors affecting environmental processes and the management of ecosystems.
    • Demonstrate mastery of quantitative research methods as applied to questions related to the natural environment and become effective problem solvers.
    • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication necessary to construct, evaluate, and present solutions to environmental problems; and present their findings at professional meetings and in scientific journals.
    • Understand the challenges and expectations of environmental careers in environmental planning, government policy, business, non-profits, law administration, environmental consulting, government laboratories, and education.
    • Translate their education and research into community outreach and the promotion of sustainable campus programs; and the development and enhancement of partnerships with local communities, thus improving the ecosystems in which they live.
    • Recognize moral issues and apply ethical considerations in decision–making and solving environmental problems––our students understand that their education and service as citizens requires them to reflect on the moral implications of situations they encounter.
    • Demonstrate the capability and desire to pursue progressive and continued intellectual development.
Environmental Studies Field Work
Environmental Studies Field Work

Contact Us

Graduate Program Director:

Keith Henderson, Associate Professor

Telephone: 610-519-7907


Office: Mendel Hall, G67F