Program Curriculum and Course Requirements

The Environment & Community Program is a 2-year, interdisciplinary Master's Degree program.

Program Curriculum

The Master's Degree program is a two year program including the following coursework and requirements:

Required Seminars (18 units)
  • EC 610 Environment and Community Research (Fall semester)
  • 5 more seminars, at least 1 from each of the Curriculur Categories below
Required Colloquium (3 units)
  • EC 615 Graduate Colloquium (1 unit, taken each of first 3 semesters)
Thesis or Project Units (6 units)
  • Taken during second year in the program
Field Research (3 units)
  • Taken during second year in the program
Elective Courses
  • Research or general elective courses, from recommended course list or with graduate coordinator’s approval

Curricular Categories

Political and Economic (EC 620)

Seminars in this curricular category:
  • Provide analytical frameworks for understanding the role of political and economic institutions, discourses, organizations, and movements;
  • Study competing normative arguments about the role played by the state, markets, democracy, liberalism, globalization, technology, and participation;
  • Cultivate recognition of diverse forms of power;
  • Critically examine strategies, obstacles, and opportunities for change.
Topics may include:
  • Political theory (liberalism, democracy, justice, property rights)
  • Environmentalism
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental security
  • National and international environmental governance
  • Environmental politics
  • Conflict resolution
  • Grassroots and transnational social justice movements
  • International development
Sample Course Titles:
  • EC 620 Political Ecology
  • EC 620 Politics of Sustainability
  • EC 620 Environmental (In)Securities
  • EC 620 Globalism, Capitalism, and the Environment

Socio-Cultural: Race, Class, Gender, and Place (EC 630)

Seminars in this curricular category:
  • Provide an understanding of the categories of race/ethnicity, class, gender, and place, including their social construction and varied intersections;
  • Explore the role of culture and its production/reproduction;
  • Cultivate critical reflexivity and a willingness to entertain multiple epistemologies and to explore other subjectivities/emic perspectives;
  • Explore historical processes behind and the global dimensions of contemporary issues;
  • Study how environmental perceptions and values are produced, reproduced, and changed by culture.
Topics may include:
  • Race, gender, and the environment
  • International development and post-development
  • Rural communities and natural resources
  • Subaltern studies
  • Globalization
  • Community formation
  • Social movement theory
  • Environmental health
Sample Course Titles:
  • EC 630 Community and Place
  • EC 630 Klamath River Issues
  • EC 630 Natural Resource Use and Restoration in the Mattole Basin
  • SOC 665 Community, Ecology and Social Action
  • PSYCH 680 Social Influences and the Environment


Seminars in this curricular category:
  • Provide a basic understanding of ecological system function as key to planetary life support systems;
  • Focus on human-environment interactions;
  • Explore analytical and/or applied methods associated with socio-ecological adaptation and resilience to dynamic change in ecological systems.
Topics may include:
  • Natural resource management
  • Energy use and conservation
  • Valuation and use of ecosystem services
  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Adaptations to climate change
Sample Course Titles:
  • EC 640 Ecosystems and Society
  • EC 640 Conservation Ecology and Society

Apply now to the 2-year MA program


Earn your Bachelors & Masters in 5 years!

Learn More  »


Environment and Community MA Program
Cal Poly Humboldt
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521-8299

Phone: (707) 826-3653
Fax: (707) 826-4496