Graduate Course Catalog 2013-2014
This program is offered in Durham.
Degree Offered: M.A.
The department offers a part- or full-time master of arts degree with a major in environmental education. An innovative and collaborative effort of the Department of Education and the Department of Natural Resources, the program is dedicated to preparing educators who can effectively promote awareness, knowledge, and constructive participation in deliberation over the important environmental questions that we face. The program has flexible requirements and gives students the opportunity to work closely with an adviser to create an individualized course of study that meets their interests, reflects their prior experiences, and focuses on their professional goals. Students apply during the fall or spring terms and begin the program with an intensive four-week Summer Institute. The program also includes a field-based Practicum where students are given the opportunity to hone their teaching at one of a variety of local environmental and educational organizations.
Applicants to the M.A. program in environmental education must possess a baccalaureate degree from an approved institution with a GPA of 2.7 or higher and have successfully completed a minimum of five life science or physical science courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. Applicants are required to submit the following materials for consideration: official transcripts from all relevant educational institutions; an essay outlining relevant interests, prior experience, and educational goals; and three letters of recommendation from individuals who possess detailed knowledge of the applicant's ability to engage in graduate study. Documentation of other experiences or abilities as an educator is also welcome. Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis by the executive committee of the program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is optional. Promising students who fail to meet one or more of the preceding criteria may be admitted provisionally, with a plan appropriate to their specific needs.
A total of 32 credits is required to complete the degree. The program includes:
- Summer Institute (8 credits)
- Course electives (20 credits)
- Teaching Practicum (4 credits)
Students will also produce a Program Portfolio.
The M.A. program in environmental education helps prepare educators who are able to integrate and put into practice the three focus areas that constitute the program's academic core:
1. Environmental Science: understanding the physical and biological processes and relationships that constitute ecosystems.
2. Curriculum and Pedagogy: an understanding of teaching as a critical, self-reflective, and inquiry-based activity, collaboratively undertaken in diverse communities.
3. Environmental Values, Policy, and Planning: an understanding of the social (e.g., economic, political, and institutional) and ethical dimensions of environmental policy.
The Summer Institute (8 credits): Students enter the program by enrolling in an intensive Summer Institute that is coordinated and taught by an interdisciplinary team of UNH faculty. The curriculum involves a case study approach, integrating the three focus areas in an experiential setting. This experience gives students a foundation for creating a rigorous, coherent, and challenging program of study, which they begin (on a part- or full-time basis) during the following year.
Individualized Program of Study (20 credits): The three focus areas of the program provide the structure within which students include at least one graduate-level course in each area and integrate the courses. With the guidance of an adviser, students select a group of courses that balances depth and breadth. All individualized programs of study are approved by the program's executive committee.
Practicum (4 credits): The field-based Practicum is taken as the final course in the program. Students teach at an internship site demonstrating their ability to put into practice a thoughtful and effective vision of environmental education. In the seminar that accompanies the internship, students create and present a portfolio that reflects what they have achieved in the program. Completion of the program portfolio marks the fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree.