Natural Resources: Master of Environmental Law and Policy/Master of Science in Natural Resources (MELP/MSNR)

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree


Dual Degree Program with Vermont Law School

The Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP)/Master of Science in Natural Resources (MSNR) Dual Degree Program offered by Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center and the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources gives students an opportunity to deepen their graduate education by integrating significant aspects of the complementary disciplines of environmental law, policy, and science.

Each school applies its own grading system to students in the program. Students must be in good academic standing at both schools to remain in the program. Each school issues its own transcript.

After completing the requirements for either degree, students will receive a diploma from the appropriate school and may attend graduation.

For more information about this program, visit the MELP/MSNR Program website.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science at the University of Vermont

Undergraduate degree in an appropriate field in the sciences, social sciences, or humanities/fine arts, and three letters of recommendation attesting to the candidate's academic potential for graduate work and motivation for pursuing this degree. Most successful applicants to this highly competitive program have strong academic credentials and experience in an environmental or natural resource-related job, internship, or other related activity.

Students interested in the Dual Degree Program are required to apply separately to each school. Each school admits students according to its own criteria for admission. Dual Degree applicants may be interviewed by admissions officials at both schools, when appropriate. Students may apply for admission to the Dual Degree Program at any time prior to the awarding of the degrees.

Students admitted to the Dual Degree Program will have academic advisors in each school. These advisors assist with curriculum planning, program requirements, and similar matters. Advisors are faculty members familiar with the course requirements for UVM.

Minimum Degree Requirements at the University of Vermont

Students in the Dual Degree Program may earn both degrees with a total of 42 credits. Students must meet each school's degree requirements, including required courses and thesis preparation. Students take a minimum of 21 credits at VLS toward the M.E.L.P. degree and a minimum of 21 credits at UVM toward the M.S. (Natural Resources) degree. Students may transfer a maximum of 9 credits between the 2 programs. Courses to be transferred must meet the requirements of the Dual Degree Program. Transferred credits may be applied toward both degrees.

Students have a maximum of 5 years to complete the Dual Degree Program. Course credits to be transferred must be taken within that 5-year period.

The master of science requires from 15 to 27 credits of course work in related fields (including NR 395: Applied Ecology, Environment and Society, and NR 306: Envisioning a Sustainable Future), a public research seminar presented at the annual graduate student symposium, a research proposal, a comprehensive examination, and 3 to 6 credits of project research, or 6 to 15 credits of thesis research.

Comprehensive Examination at the University of Vermont

A written comprehensive examination is required for all master's students. Generally taken during a student's third or fourth semester, the examination will cover broad knowledge of the student's discipline. The details and format of the examination and its form (written or oral or both depending on the requirements of each concentration) are decided upon by the Studies Committee and will be discussed with the student well in advance of the exam.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science at the University of Vermont

Successful completion of any required courses, and at least 15 graded graduate credits earned at UVM in compilation of the graduate GPA. A GPA of 3.00 or greater is also required.