Why Choose the Environmental Studies Program at CSUF?
Our program offers a transdisciplinary perspective on Environmental Studies at an advanced level. Students have access to faculty expertise in the natural sciences, engineering, social and behavioral sciences, business and economics, the arts, and humanities. The Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies is an important qualification for environmental professionals, and signifies the skills to independently conduct environmental research, environmental impact assessment, environmental planning, and environmental advocacy.
Admission to the Environmental Studies Program is competitive. We accept students as a cohort, and we are limited in the number per cohort. The following are minimum requirements necessary to apply, but meeting these in no way guarantees admission to the program:
- A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
- A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the last 60 units of attempted coursework, and good standing at the last attended college.
- Completion of courses in ecology, engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, and/or quantitative methods is helpful but not required. Students lacking foundational coursework may be admitted provisionally, and can work with the Environmental Studies graduate advisor to take foundational courses on their own.
- Two (2) letters of recommendation. At least one of these letters should be from an academic instructor or advisor.
- A personal statement explaining why our program fits your personal or professional goals.
- For international students, a minimum score of 550 TOEFL, 80 iBT, or 6.5 IELTS is required.
The GRE is not required.
- Admissions are due on March 1. To ensure that your application receives full consideration, please apply by that date.
- All prospective students must apply directly to CSUF through Cal State Apply. For more information on applications, visit the website of CSUF's Grad Studies Office. All materials for admission may now be uploaded into the online application.
- Although the ENST program can review your admissions file with an unofficial transcript, CSUF's office of graduate studies cannot process your admissions decision until they have received and evaluated official transcripts from every institution of higher learning that you list on your application, including community colleges. Therefore, please request that any college or university you have attended send official transcripts as soon as possible.
- Letters of recommendation may be uploaded directly by the writer of the letter. Directions for uploaded required documents and letters of recommendation can be found in the application online.
- Once prospective students start the application process, each student is sent a letter with a student identification number and PIN number that allow students to track the progress of their applications online. Students may reach the Titan Admissions Status office at (657) 278-7904 or on the web http://admissions.fullerton.edu/prospectivestudent/ . You can check your student portal for notifications of any missing documents.
- We begin reviewing files after March 1 and contacting applicants around April 15.
Transferring Coursework from Other Schools
If approved by the Graduate Advisor, ENST graduate students may transfer up to fifteen (15) units worth of coursework from other universities to their Study Plans, although only nine (9) units worth of graduate level coursework that has been earned through CSUF's Extended Education program may be transferred to the ENST study plan. See the "Graduate Regulations" section of the CSUF catalog for more information regarding transfer requirements.
In order to transfer coursework to your ENST study plan, applicants are required to provide a copy of their transcripts, a course description from the University's Catalog and speak with the ENST Graduate Advisor.
Past coursework may NOT be transferred if it meets any of the following criteria:
- The course has been used to complete requirements for General Education, bachelor's degree requirements, or graduate degree requirements elsewhere
- It has been more than 5 years since the course was taken.
- The course is not graduate level or upper division
- A grade below "C" was earned for the course
Graduate Funding Opportunities
At this time, the ENST office does not support graduate assistantships or other kinds of subsidized funding opportunities for students in the program. We do offer small, merit-based scholarships for students working on independent projects once they are part of the program.
For financial aid opportunities offered through the university, please go to the following link: http://www.fullerton.edu/financialaid/contactus/
The Interclub Council (ICC) at CSUF offers some funding for graduate-student travel to conferences and research. Check with the ENST ICC Representative for information on the proposal/funding request process.
Letters of Recommendation
- Reference letters must be written on official letterhead. These letters must clearly indicate the nature of the relationship between the person writing the referral and the applicant to the ENST Program, and it must be indicated why it is believed that the applicant would be able to successfully undertake this degree. The ENST Program does not provide a special form, nor does it require a specific format for the reference letters to follow.
- At least one of the two letters must be submitted from a past academic instructor or advisor. The other letter may come from an employer or someone who has had a close working relationship with the applicant (in a supervisory capacity).
- Letters of recommendation should be uploaded directly into the main university application online. Directions that explain how letter writers may upload their letters can be found in the online application. If, for some reason, letters cannot be uploaded in the online application, please notify the program coordinator and have the letters of reference emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Environmental Studies Program Office, Humanities H-420A, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834-6850.
Conditional Admission Policies
Upon acceptance to the ENST program, some students may receive a "Graduate Recommendation Sheet" from the Admissions and Records Office. This sheet lists any and all deficiencies of the prospective student. For instance, if a student has not taken an ecology or quantitative methods course prior to applying to the program, he or she may be conditionally admitted to the Program. All deficiencies must be made up within one year of program admission. Prerequisites may be taken at another university or community college. Applicants should work with the Environmental Studies grad advisor, firstname.lastname@example.org to determine suitable coursework for prerequisites.
Open Secrets of Successful Applications
Many applicants reach out to ask what makes an application stand out. Here are 'Open Secrets' list for all to see.
* First, tell us how you think our specific program will help you attain your professional or academic goals. This is best located in your personal statement. Do your research on the program, contact potential faculty advisors via email, talk to alumni, and figure out how we can help you get to where you want to go. We routinely reject high quality applicants who haven't made the link between their interests, our capabilities, and how they fit our program. We don't want to waste your time and our resources if we can't help you achieve your goals. Any efforts in identifying a potential advisor pay significant dividends when we look at your application.
* Second, good letters of reference really make a difference. Wisely choose the people who will write these letters and follow up to make sure that they arrive on time. These people should be able to point to concrete examples of what you have done or how you have performed. Prior to them writing a letter for you, you should meet with them or otherwise discuss why you want to go to graduate school and what you want to achieve with this additional schooling. Give them a sufficient amount of lead time before March 1 to write a solid letter.
*Third, complete your application prior to March 1st. Check your application status online. We start reviewing applications during the first week of March. In the past we have made a 'first cut' list and started notifying students almost immediately. The final deadline for applications is April 1st and we make a final cut around that time. If we are waiting on documents, you are likely to be cut.
*You have to submit all of the application materials we request, but feel free to add a resume, an additional letter of reference, or other documents that help us understand who you are. Just don't swamp us with loads of unimportant materials.
* Finally, if you are accepted into the program and you have competing offers, let us know. Space in the program is limited, so we may ask you to tell us if it is likely you will attend. Please don't lie. The best thing you could do for us is to give us a couple of minutes of your time over the phone to discuss your options. Sometimes we will be able to help you sort out your options, even when that suggestion is to take a better offer somewhere else.