Our Curriculum & Syllabi

The MA in Environmental Resource Policy Program requires 36 semester hours of appropriate graduate level course work. Course work usually takes four semesters to complete on a full-time basis, and six to eight semesters on a part-time basis. Course work is divided into 24 hours of core requirements (eight courses) and 12 hours of electives (typically four courses). See the University Bulletin for prerequisites and course requirements. 

ENRP has partnered with GW's Geography Department to offer our MA students the opportunity to earn a Graduate Certificate in geographical information systems.  To do so, students can use all four of their electives toward the GIS Certificate. No additional coursework is necessary; all 12 credits are counted towards both the MA and the Certificate. For more information about the Certificate click here

Core Course Requirements

Students begin the program by taking a specialized two semester course in Environmental Sciences, which provides a solid grounding in the scientific side of environmental and resource policy. Students finish the program by completing a capstone project, which provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate the ability to conduct research as part of a small team. Students must complete all other core courses before they enroll in the capstone. 

Other core requirements (listed below) provide the broad intellectual base and tools necessary for making multidisciplinary environmental and resource decisions. These courses draw on the expertise of two other departments: Public Policy and Public Administration (PPPA) and Economics (ECON). Upon entering the ENRP program, each student’s academic record is reviewed and, if the program feels a core requirement has already been met, that course may be waived. In such cases, an elective course is substituted. All core courses and most electives are three credits.

ENRP 6101 Environmental Sciences I* (Syllabus)
                   Offered Fall semesters
ENRP 6102 Environmental Sciences II* (Syllabus)
                   Offered Spring semesters

PPPA 6007 Introductory Microeconomics for Public Policy** (Syllabus)
                   Offered Spring semesters

ECON 6237 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources (Syllabus)
                   Offered Fall semesters

PPPA 6140 Introduction to Environmental Law (Syllabus)
                   Offered Spring semesters

PPPA 6002 Research Methods and Applied Statistics*** (Syllabus)
                   Offered Fall and Spring semesters

PPPA 6006 Policy Analysis (Syllabus)
                   Offered Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters

ENRP 6298 Capstone Course (Syllabus)
                   Offered Spring semesters

*Students who have done significant undergraduate coursework relevant to environmental sciences may be able to waive ENRP 6101 and/or ENRP 6102.  If you believe this situation applies to you, contact ENRP Director, Peter Linquiti, to discuss further.
**Students who have done significant undergraduate coursework in economics may be able to take PPPA 6015, Benefit-Cost Analysis (fall or spring), instead. If you believe this situation applies to you, contact ENRP Director, Peter Linquiti, to discuss further.
***Students who have done significant undergraduate coursework in applied statistics may be able to take PPPA 6013, Econometrics for Policy Research I (spring), instead. If you believe this situation applies to you, contact ENRP Director, Peter Linquiti, to discuss further.

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Elective Course Requirements

Electives are usually selected either to broaden familiarity with several environmental policy issues, or to specialize in a particular environmental issue or resource issue. They offer students the chance to tailor the ENRP program to their specific needs and interests. Elective courses can be taken in almost any department at The George Washington University, including, but not limited to, biology, chemistry, geography, international affairs, public policy, economics, political science, engineering management and systems engineering, business administration, and public health. View a sample list of possible electives offered at GWU; please consult the Graduate Bulletin for complete departmental and course listings. Elective courses may also be taken at DC-area Consortium schools, such as American University, George Mason University, and Georgetown University.

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Recommended Course Sequencing for Full-Time Students (Part-Time students work with their advisor to develop course sequencing that best addresses their Individual needs).

Year 1, Fall Year 1, Spring Year 2, Fall Year 2, Spring
ENRP 6101 ENRP 6102 ECON 6237 ENRP 6298
PPPA 6002 or PPPA 6006 PPPA 6140 PPPA 6002 or PPPA 6006 elective
elective PPPA 6007 elective elective

NOTE: Summer course offerings are typically very limited, with few options for electives. Plan accordingly.
*Students must complete all required core courses prior to enrolling in the capstone class (ENRP 6298).


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Dr. Peter Linquiti

Professor Peter Linquiti

What I’m Thinking About These Days …

Even before the 2016 election, it wasn’t hard to find a heated debate about how to manage some part of the world’s natural and environmental resources:  climate change, the Dakota Access Pipeline, GMOs, de-forestation, biodiversity, sea level rise, air toxics, fracking, dead zones and oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, storm-water runoff and “sustainable” everything – buildings, cars, products, companies and lifestyles.  The list appears endless and the stakes – the fate of our grandchildren, the economy’s ability to create jobs, our duty as planetary stewards, the prospect of billions of people mired in poverty – seem sky high. 
What’s more, President Trump’s inauguration marked the start of a tumultuous time for U.S. environmental policy.  The U.S. has withdrawn from the global Paris climate accords and regulatory rollbacks and cuts to environmental agencies’ budgets seem to be a sign of things to come.  While environmental groups characterize Trump’s environmental policies in apocalyptic terms, business groups celebrate the prospect of freedom from the shackles of environmental regulators.  The claims and counter-claims made by contestants in the environmental debates rarely clarify matters.  At best, the path forward is obscured and at worst, we become too confused to do anything.
Our goal in the ENRP program is to give you the tools you need to dissect such debates and develop your own foundational knowledge about the environmental issues and policies that matter to you.   In turn, you will be better prepared to contribute to the design and implementation of effective environmental policies that operate at the intersection of the world’s human and natural systems.  One thing you will not get is definitive answers to tough environmental questions.   But you will get the tools to come up with your own answers.