Master of Environmental Sciences (Course-based)
Advance your career in the environmental sector.
The Master of Environmental Sciences program is offered through our School of Environmental Sciences.
Gain state-of-the-art knowledge of technical and scientific advances in environmental science, environmental policy, and sustainability. Learn from world-renowned faculty focused on earth's critical zones - air, land and water - to advance your career in industry, government or the not-for-profit sector.
Applied and practical experience
Expand your skillset and hands-on knowledge through course options that emphasize field and lab-based instruction.
This professionally oriented master’s can be completed through eight courses or six courses + a research project.
Tap into the knowledge, expertise and research of the 30+ faculty in the School Environmental Sciences.
Gain research skills
Experience research first-hand with a faculty supervisor in the research project study option, through critical analysis and interpretation of data and/or generation of new knowledge.
Complete in 1 year
Full-time students can complete the program in one year (or three semesters) – getting you back into the workforce quickly.
Upgrade your credentials
Update your theoretical and applied knowledge of current environmental science issues and solutions, while enhancing your communication and critical thinking skills.
- Six (6) courses + a research project*
- Eight (8) courses
In both cases, the program can be completed in 12 months or less. Most students finish the program in one year or three semesters.
*In the courses + research project option, your research project can be part of your current job or could be with an organization that you want to work with
- Integrating Science and Policy in Environmental Science*
- Seminar in Environmental Science*
- Environmental Remediation
- The Science and Management of Multiple Stressors in the Great Lake
- Forest Ecosystem Patterns and Processes
- Pollinator Conservation
*There are two required courses in the MES program; the remaining electives can be mix and matched to fit your personal goals.
The above is just a sample of your course options. View all courses here. Students may also select course from other University of Guelph departments.
- Environmental scientist
- Sustainability specialist
- Environmental consultant
- Environmental park warden
- Technical writer
- Risk assessor/risk manager
- Lab or environmental technician
- Environmental project manager/coordinator
Master’s graduates from the School of Environmental Science have careers in diverse fields. We recently conducted a career destination survey of 541 master’s graduates of the school. View the results here:
MES students are not guaranteed any funding for their studies, though they are eligible for internal and external scholarship and bursaries. The Office of Graduate Studies provides information on tuition and living costs.
More information on courses and admission requirements can be found here.
Meet Your Profs
Be prepared for some incredible experiences, like no other, that reach beyond the conventional classroom while embracing multiple ways of knowing and seeing the world to support reconciliation and truly transformation of environmental science.
I study the abundance and distribution of critters and plants in ecosystems. I am particularly fascinated with fresh water and marine ecosystems. They are incredibly complex, incredibly diverse and the fact that they persist in the face of environmental change that's what really fascinates me.
How to Apply
You apply directly online at Applying to Guelph, and a faculty advisor is not required for this course-based program. All applications will be reviewed by the MES Program Committee and will be evaluated based on:
- Academic performance in a relevant field of study*
- Minimum B admission average - Calculating Your Admission Average
- Two (2) referee assessments
- A statement of interest in the program and/or career goals
- Work experience in appropriate and related fields
*You are still eligible to apply if you have an honours bachelor's degree in an unrelated field of study but have taken courses in related areas and/or gained relevant work experience since completing the degree.
More details on the U of G graduate program application process here.
- This program is most suitable for those with an honours (4 year) undergraduate degree in science and for those currently employed in the environmental sector who are seeking to upgrade skills and knowledge.
- Applicants for admission to this program must meet the admission requirement of a baccalaureate in an honours program (or the equivalent) in a relevant field of study from a recognized university or college with an average standing of at least a 'B' (70%) average.
- A faculty advisor is not required to apply for this course-based program
- Undergraduate upgrading prior to applying may be necessary to ensure sufficient background.
- International applications are due by February 1 (for September/Fall entry)*
- Domestic applications are due by April 30 (for September/Fall entry)
*We encourage international applicants to apply well in advance of the posted deadline to allow sufficient time to arrange for any necessary documentation i.e., transcripts.
- Review the U of G Graduate Studies' uploading documents information for instructions on providing required supporting documents to complete your application.
- Not sure what your “admission average” is? Here’s more details on how to calculate it: Calculating Your Admission Average | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies (uoguelph.ca)
- International applicants: please use this grade equivalency guide to compare your academic credentials and determine the grade equivalency needed. Additional information available on the International Applicants page.
- If your first language is not English, you will be required to submit the results of a standardized language test. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website for the required English Language Proficiency acceptable tests and required scores.
- This program is predominantly a self-funded professional program. As such, students need to be prepared to cover the full costs of the program.
- There’s lots of helpful information available on the U of G Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies FAQ webpage.
Additional Environmental Science Options
You may also be interested in Environmental Science (Thesis-based).
For questions on applying and admissions, contact:
School of Environmental Sciences
519-824-4120, Ext. 53937
For questions about the MES program, contact:
Kim Bolton, MES Program Advisor
School of Environmental Sciences
I have always had a deep connection with nature and loved learning about it in my free time. After my undergraduate degree I wanted to become involved in environmental science, but I wasn’t sure about doing a thesis-based masters. Luckily, I found out about the Master of Environmental Science (MES) degree at the University of Guelph, which is a course based masters, but allows for some research if you are inclined to do so.