Graduate Option in Environment

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The McGill School of Environment (MSE) coordinates a graduate Environment Option offered in partnership with several departments at McGill for students registered in a Master or Ph.D. program. As a complement to the unit’s expertise, the Option considers how various dimensions (scientific, social, legal, ethical, etc.) interact to define environment and sustainability issues. Students learn to explain and defend their research and thinking in a broader context and understand how knowledge is transferred into action with regard to the environment and sustainability. The program provides a forum whereby graduate students throughout the University bring their disciplinary perspectives together and enrich each other's learning through structured courses, seminars, discussions, and networking.



Each unit offering the Environment Option has specific degree requirements; you should consult your department or the eCalendar for more information.


As a complement to their unit’s requirements, Environment Option students take the following courses (total = 9 credits):

ENVR 615 Interdisc Appr Environ&Sustain 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


One or both of the following courses (3 to 6 credits)

ENVR 610 Foundations of Environ Policy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


ENVR 614 Mobilizing Res. for Sustain. 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


If taking only one of ENVR 610 / ENVR 614, 3 credits must be taken from:

ENVR 585 Readings in Environment 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVR 630 Civilization and Environment 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVR 680 Topics in Environment 4 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

or 3 credits at the 500 level or higher recommended by the Advisory Committee and approved by the Environment Option Committee. (see Environment Option Course Substitution Form)

Note: Should a student withdraw from the Environment Option, he/she must complete the departmental requirements for students not taking the Option.




Students must apply for admission to both MSE and the home department.

Students must meet the entrance requirements of the home department as well as the MSE Graduate Environment Option. Acceptability into the Option will be based on their academic experience and performance, availability of an MSE accredited supervisor or co-supervisor, the proposed research, and plans for funding as articulated by the supervisor(s).

You need to SUBMIT the following documents (in PDF files) to MSE:

*For Law applicants only, MSE is waiving the MSE-affiliated supervisor requirement but students must abide by the supervisor requirement of the Faculty of Law.*

(Supervisor or co-supervisor must be MSE-AFFILIATED)

Be sure to include McGill University’s new CIC unique identifier  O19359011033 on your applications.



The Environment Option offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary environmental research. To learn more about the research interests of the faculty available as supervisors or co-supervisors and affiliated with the MSE, please visit the following websites:


The MSE Graduate Environment Option can be undertaken within any of the following departments and degree programs.

For details on the departmental application procedure, please visit the website of the department you wish to enter and contact the appropriate graduate coordinator.

  • Anthropology (MA): olga.harmazy [at] (Olga Harmazy) Tel: 514-398-2953
  • Biology (MSc and PhD): ancil.gittens [at] (Ancil Gittens) Tel: 514-398-5478
  • Bioresource Engineering (MSc, MSc(A), PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald) Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Entomology  (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald) Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Experimental Medicine (MSc and PhD):  experimental.medicine [at] (Experimental Medicine) Tel: 514-934-1934, ext: 34699 or 34700
  • Geography (MA, MSc and PhD):  grad.geog [at] (Grad.Geog) Tel: 514-398-4111
  • Law  (LLM, LLM NonThesis): [at] (Graduate Programs Office) Tel: 514-398-6635
  • Philosophy (PhD): angela.fotopoulos [at] (Angela Fotopoulos) Tel: 514-398-2427
  • Plant Science (MSc and PhD):  gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald)  Tel: 514-398-7838
  • Renewable Resources (MSc and PhD): gradstudies.macdonald [at] (Grad Studies Macdonald)  Tel: 514-398-7838


1. If I have questions regarding the MSE Graduate Environment Option, who should I contact?

For information on the MSE Graduate Environment Option, please grad.mse [at] (contact us) at the McGill School of Environment.

2. How do I apply to the MSE Graduate Environment Option?

The student needs to apply for admission to the home department AND apply specifically to the MSE for admission into the MSE Graduate Environment Option. In other words, the student needs to be accepted BOTH into the home department and into the Option.

3. What is the duration of the MSE Graduate Environment Option program?

The program duration will depend on the home department, but Masters students must spend a minimum of 3 terms at McGill. Most thesis students take at least 2 years. PhD students must spend a minimum of 6 terms at McGill.

4. What is the deadline for application?

The deadline for application is defined by the home departments. Once you selected a particular department, you would need to check their websites for any application deadlines.

5. Where can I find funding for my graduate studies?

There are 4 ways to finance your graduate studies at McGill:

  • Competitive fellowships are scholarships awarded to students through national and university level competitions. They range from $5,000 per year to $35,000 or more per year. Fellowships are awarded by a variety of organizations. For more information on McGill Graduate Funding and Fellowship awards, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral website.
  • Stipends are scholarships paid to graduate students from a professor's grant. In general, the value of the stipend is determined by the professor.
  • Assistantships are offered to graduate students in two ways: teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Both are open to all graduate students, regardless of nationality.
  • and Bursaries are based on financial need and not merit. For more information, please contact the McGill Student Aid Office.

6. Will there be funding or scholarships for Canadian and international students in the Environment Option program?

Funding opportunities are the same as those for students entering the home department. You should check with your prospective supervisor(s)for more details.


Christina Zhu: grad.mse [at] (Email)
Administrative Coordinator
McGill School of Environment

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