Environmental Policy

Program Description

The beginning of the 21st century has been marked by globalization, technological advancements, and a worsening climate crisis. This is a pivotal point in time to reevaluate how we, as both a local and global society, grapple with environmental issues and create communities of social and environmental equity. 

Lehigh’s M.A. in Environmental Policy (EP)  will equip you with the foundational knowledge of current legal and political structures and prepare you to supervise, regulate, manage, and subsidize procedures that guide society towards a more environmentally healthy and sustainable future.

Our program will provide you with:

  • Service-learning components of coursework, volunteer work, and internship experiences that tackle environment-related problems in Lehigh's local South Side neighborhood and beyond.
  • The opportunity to combine coursework with a year-long Community Fellowship, which empowers our students to play a significant part in improving the lives of people living in Lehigh’s South Side neighborhood and beyond and provides students with valuable professional experience.
  • A wealth of nearby environmental assets (including the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, the Appalachian Trail, and 150,000 acres of active farmland), environmental challenges (such as poor air quality, food deserts, low-opportunity neighborhoods, and the impacts of fracking), and public and private organizations addressing both.

You may choose to receive certification in one these areas of concentration:

  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • Urban Environmental Policy and Planning

Students typically earn an M.A. in 1 - 2 years by completing 10 courses, including either a master’s thesis or a semester-long internship.

EP graduates are well prepared for Ph.D. programs (in fields such as public health, environmental studies, and international politics) as well as public and private sector policy work (at nonprofit organizations, government agencies, research institutes and consulting firms) in communities around the country and the world.  


The Environmental Policy program is structured to give you significant flexibility in your coursework, the opportunity to receive additional certification in five subject areas, and the ability to complement classroom learning with more in-depth research (by completing a thesis) or practical experience (through on- and off-campus internships). Whether focused down the street or across the globe and guided by a faculty mentor or community partner, you will actively push the boundaries on designing and implementing policies that orient society toward a more environmentally healthy and sustainable future.

Application Requirements

M.A., EP

  • Completed online application
  • Official transcripts
  • 2 letters of recommendation 
  • GRE general test scores, optional
  • If applicable, English language proficiency test scores - Review full policy here

    Non-Degree, EP

    • A bachelor’s degree from an approved institution with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 may be admitted with the approval of the department in which they wish to take courses.

    Financial Aid

    • Teaching Assistantships – Includes Stipend and Tuition
    • Graduate Assistantships - Available throughout campus. Awards vary based on position.
    • Scholarships - Tuition Only

    Department Contact

    Karen Beck Pooley, Graduate Director

    Program website