Graduate Option in Environment

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To provide students with an understanding of how knowledge is transferred into action with regard to the environment;

To develop an appreciation of the role of science in informing that process, and the role of political, socio-economic, and ethical judgments in influencing that process;

To provide a forum whereby graduate students in environment throughout the University bring their disciplinary perspectives together and enrich each other's learning through structured courses, formal seminars, and informal discussions and networking.

Through the formal courses, seminars and research, the Environment Option adds a layer of interdisciplinarity that will challenge the students to explain and defend their research and thinking in a broader context.

Thus, within an interdisciplinary context, students graduating with an Environment Option should:

  • be able to describe in general terms the major environmental problems facing the world, including the implications for the natural world and all that live within it;
  • be able to describe in more detail at least one important environmental problem occurring on an international, national, regional, and/or local scale;
  • be able to critically summarize and analyze the known, perceived, and predicted consequences of the selected environmental example;
  • be able to analyze from several perspectives (e.g., social, cultural, scientific, technological, ethical, economic, political, legislative) the reasons how and why the selected environmental problem arose;
  • be able to describe and critically assess at least two approaches to solving or alleviating the selected environmental problem with regard to both the practicality and morality;
  • be able to effectively communicate their research findings to non-specialist audiences;
  • be familiar with various tools for environmental decision-making, as well their strengths and limitations; and
  • appreciate that environmental problems are complex and invariably involve uncertainty, and that the choice among possible responses is influenced by multiple legitimate perspectives, and in turn influences many actors.

Pour plus amples renseignements sur la description du programme et les conditions d'admission, veuillez consulter le document suivant : Option French pamphlet


(ENVR 610 + 650 + 651 + 652 + 1 complementary course = total: 9 credits)

Note: Should a student withdraw from the MSE Graduate Environment Option, he or she must complete the departmental requirements for students not taking the Option.


ENVR 610 Foundations of Environ Policy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

 [In Montreal]

Other Required Seminars

ENVR 650 Environmental Seminar 1 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVR 651 Environmental Seminar 2 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVR 652 Environmental Seminar 3 1 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Complementary Course

Choose ONE (1) MSE Environment Option Complementary course from the list below (total: 3 credits)

ENVR 519 - Global Environmental Politics
ENVR 544 - Env. Measurement & Modelling
ENVR 580
ENVR 611
ENVR 620 - Environ and Health of Species
ENVR 622 - Sustainable Landscapes
ENVR 630 - Civilization and Environment
ENVR 680 - Topics in Environment 4

OR other graduate course recommended by the advisory committee and pre-approved by MSE. (See Environment Option Complementary Form )


Students must apply for admission to both MSE and the home department.

Students must meet the entrance requirements of the home department as well as the MSE Graduate Environment Option. Acceptability into the Option will be based on their academic experience and performance, availability of an MSE accredited supervisor or co-supervisor, the proposed research, and plans for funding as articulated by the supervisor(s).

You need to SUBMIT the following documents (in PDF files) to MSE:

    • Option Application Form [submit via email: grad DOT mse AT]
    • Current CV [submit online via uApply]
    • Unofficial transcripts [submit online via uApply]
    • 2 signed reference letters [submit online via uApply]
    • Signed Option Supervisory Form [submit via email: grad DOT mse AT] *For Faculty of Law applicants only, please grad.mse [at] (email) for additional information regarding the supervisory form.*

(Supervisor or co-supervisor must be MSE-AFFILIATED)

Be sure to include McGill University’s new CIC unique identifier  O19359011033 on your applications.



The Environment Option offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary environmental research. To learn more about the research interests of the faculty available as supervisors or co-supervisors and affiliated with the MSE, please visit the following websites:


The MSE Graduate Environment Option can be undertaken within any of the following departments and degree programs.

For details on the departmental application procedure, please visit the website of the department you wish to enter and contact the appropriate graduate coordinator.

  • Anthropology (MA): olga.harmazy [at] (Olga Harmazy) Tel: 514-398-2953
  • Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (MSc): graduateinfo.aos [at] (AOS Graduate Info) Tel: 514-398-3764
  • Biology (MSc and PhD): ancil.gittens [at] (Ancil Gittens) Tel: 514-398-5478
  • Bioresource Engineering (MSc, MSc(A), PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald) Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (MSc and PhD):  kristy.thornton [at] (Kristy Thornton)  Tel: 514-398-6767
  • Entomology  (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald) Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Experimental Medicine (MSc and PhD):  experimental.medicine [at] (Experimental Medicine) Tel: 514-934-1934, ext: 34699 or 34700
  • Geography (MA, MSc and PhD):  grad.geog [at] (Grad.Geog) Tel: 514-398-4111
  • Law  (LLM, LLM NonThesis): [at] (Graduate Programs Office) Tel: 514-398-6635
  • Desautels Management (PhD): phd.mgmt [at] (PhD Desautels Management)  Tel: 514-398-4074
  • Microbiology (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald)  Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Parasitology (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald) Tel: 514-398-7828
  • Philosophy (PhD): angela.fotopoulos [at] (Angela Fotopoulos) Tel: 514-398-2427
  • Plant Science (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald)  Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Renewable Resources (MSc and PhD): gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald)  Tel: 514-398-7838


1. If I have questions regarding the MSE Graduate Environment Option, who should I contact?

For information on the MSE Graduate Environment Option, please grad.mse [at] (contact us) at the McGill School of Environment.

2. How do I apply to the MSE Graduate Environment Option?

The student needs to apply for admission to the home department AND apply specifically to the MSE for admission into the MSE Graduate Environment Option. In other words, the student needs to be accepted BOTH into the home department and into the Option.

3. What is the duration of the MSE Graduate Environment Option program?

The program duration will depend on the home department, but Masters students must spend a minimum of 3 terms at McGill. Most thesis students take at least 2 years. PhD students must spend a minimum of 6 terms at McGill.

4. What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for application is defined by the home departments. Once you selected a particular department, you would need to check their websites for any application deadlines.

5. Where can I find funding for my graduate studies?

There are 4 ways to finance your graduate studies at McGill:

  • Competitive fellowships are scholarships awarded to students through national and university level competitions. They range from $5,000 per year to $35,000 or more per year. Fellowships are awarded by a variety of organizations. For more information on McGill Graduate Funding and Fellowship awards, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral website.
  • Stipends are scholarships paid to graduate students from a professor's grant. In general, the value of the stipend is determined by the professor.
  • Assistantships are offered to graduate students in two ways: teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Both are open to all graduate students, regardless of nationality.
  • and Bursaries are based on financial need and not merit. For more information, please contact the McGill Student Aid Office.

6. Will there be funding or scholarships for Canadian and international students in the Environment Option program?

Funding opportunities are the same as those for students entering the home department. You should check with your prospective supervisor(s)for more details.


Christina Zhu: grad.mse [at] (Email)
Administrative Coordinator
McGill School of Environment