The Bard Center for Environmental Policy was founded in 1999 on the premise that scientists, economists, lawyers, ethicists, and policy makers must understand one another's perspectives and values in order to engage critical environmental issues.
The graduate program launched in 2001 with the belief that policy solutions to both global issues, such as climate change, and local issues, such as PCB dredging in the Hudson River, need to be approached from an integrated perspective, not solely through the lens of one profession or another, and that this should be done with an eye to the best available scientific knowledge.
The program graduated its first students in 2003. Initially offering a two-year M.S. and a one-year Professional Certificate in environmental policy, the program now also offers an M.S. in climate science and policy, the opportunity to participate in both the Master's International and Coverdell Fellows programs with the Peace Corps, and the ability to earn joint-degrees with Pace Law School (M.S./J.D.) and Bard's MAT Program (M.S./M.A.T.). Bard College students have the opportunity to enroll in the 3+2 program for undergraduates. (See Academic Programs)