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Master's Research

Thesis projects for the Master of Environmental Science and Management and Master of Environmental Data Science programs are data-driven and competently researched solutions to real-world environmental problems, whether it's analysis of a marine conservation program, or an eco-entrepreneurial venture that fill a market gap.

Master's thesis and capstone projects provide students with unequaled training and experience in performing professional-level work that involves managing group dynamics, developing strategies, and applying technical expertise to solve complex multidisciplinary environmental problems. Every master's student is required to complete a thesis or capstone project.

Five student stand in front of their academic poster

Master of Environmental Science and Management: Group Projects and Eco-E Projects

MESM students complete either a Master's Group Project or an Eco-Entrepreneurship Project to fulfill their thesis requirement. These small-group projects solve an environmental problem proposed by a client agency, business, or organization.

Master's Group Project teams usually comprise four to five students who spend nine months collaborating to solve an actual environmental problem faced by a real-world client. Each year, students, faculty, and prospective clients submit proposals for new Master’s Group Projects. Past projects have solved environmental problems in areas such as: apparel industry sustainability, pollution impact on human health, microplastics, marine environment protection, corporate carbon footprint, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, drought resilience, sustainable agriculture in communities, freshwater pollution, food waste streams, electric vehicles, renewable energy impacts, and ecosystem conservation. 

Eco-E Project teams usually comprise three to five students who collaborate over the course of a year to develop a business model intended to bring a new, commercially viable product or service to market and to make a positive and measurable environmental impact. Students develop and refine a business model, learn agile thinking to pivot strategy in light of new information and analyses, develop small-scale pilot projects or prototypes to obtain early customer feedback and cultivate a network of advisors.

Master of Environmental Data Science Capstone Projects

MEDS students complete a Capstone Project in teams of 3-4 students working together to design, conduct, and present a professional environmental data science product. The inaugural MEDS cohort (Class of 2022) launches in Summer of 2021 and capstone projects will be announced later in 2021.


Student discussing her poster with attendees

Submitting a Proposal

Non-profit organization, public agencies, companies, and individuals are invited to submit proposals for future thesis and capstone projects and become a project client. Over the years, project clients have received outstanding work at industry-level quality from Bren School students in pursuit of solving an environmental problem.

Bren has created comprehensive guides to submitting a successful project proposal for either of our master's programs: Master of Environmental Data Science (MEDS) and Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM). Please refer to our Request For Proposal information pages for both programs, which include details about proposal requirements, deadlines, format, and project timelines.

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