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Between the Harris School of Public Policy and the Argonne National Laboratory, the Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy is uniquely situated to create future environmental scientists with the aptitude to quantify the repercussions of policy decisions and the fortitude to fight for those needed changes. 

To produce positive social impact takes serious work and the courage to find the most effective solutions. Whether your passion is tackling climate change at the systemic level, developing policies to incentivize green energy and limiting the reliance on fossil fuels, or interested in maintaining green spaces in urban environments, you'll find the Harris academic and career resources that will help you achieve success on your terms.

The partnership with the Argonne National Laboratory will bring senior scientists and engineers to Chicago Harris as course instructors and provide students with applied research and internship opportunities. The curriculum will allow for students with limited exposure to the sciences, and students with established backgrounds in the sciences. The degree takes a balanced and holistic approach to policy analysis, focusing on the interrelatedness of environmental issues, such as energy, water, and natural resources, and their relationships with economic, social, technology and regulatory drivers. 

Current Student: Hannah Bent

"Environmental sustainability is an area that has become increasingly important in recent years, and will continue to grow in importance as natural resources dwindle and global issues like climate change continue to affect people around the world. As a policymaker, I think that it is extremely important to both understand the science behind these issues as well as be able to successfully evaluate policies to protect natural resources and ensure the livelihood of future generations."

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Master of Science degree in
Environmental science and Policy


Course Structure

  • PPHA 31400 Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • PPHA 31900 Organizational Theory and Public Management
  • PPHA 32500 Public Policy Workshop
  • PPHA 32900 Taxation and Public Finance
  • PPHA 33300 Public Budgeting
  • PPHA 44300 Environmental Controversies
  • PPHA 52000 Independent Study/Research


  • PPHA 30800 Analytical Politics I: Strategic Foundations
  • PPHA 31000 or PPHA 31200 Statistical Methods for Policy Research I
  • PPHA 31100 or PPHA 31300 Statistical Methods for Policy Research II
  • PPHA 31600 Analytical Politics II: The Policymaking Process
  • PPHA 31920 Decisions and Organizations
  • PPHA 33910 Environmental Analysis Methods PPHA 32300 or 44100 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I
  • PPHA 32400 or 44200 Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy
  • PPHA 38900:  Environmental Science and Policy
  • Three courses from the physical or biological sciences divisions

Organizations that hire Harris Public Policy

• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
• National Park Service
• Natural Resources Council of Maine
• Navigant Consulting
• Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
• The Pew Charitable Trusts
• Power Switch NFP
• Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)
• SustainUS
• University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences
• U.S. Department of Agriculture
• U.S. Department of Energy

• AllCell Technologies
• American Association for the Advancement of Science
• American Institutes for Research
• Bain & Company
• Booz Allen Hamilton
• Breakthrough Institute
• The Bridgespan Group
• Chicago Transit Authority
• Civic Consulting Alliance
• Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
• ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
• The Laubacher Company
• Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
• Millennium Challenge Corporation