"The academic rigor and standard of excellence instilled by Bard CEP faculty and staff has helped prepare me for the challenges and opportunities young professionals face. The diverse and in-depth coursework has prepared me for my current work for the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, where I work in the Office of Climate Change, Technology and Research. Daily I draw from in-class discussions and assignments to inform my work, and my textbooks have found new life in the office library. My time at Bard CEP provided invaluable experience learning to interpret and translate scientific fact to create and implement policy decisions that will directly impact my state and my fellow citizens. I am constantly reminded of the valuable nexus between science and policy and feel like Bard CEP puts graduates out in front of the curve." –Jessica LeClair '12
Students discuss some of the benefits of working with the faculty at Bard CEP.
First-year courses move progressively through several topics, all concurrently addressing the same environmental theme, enabling students to examine one particular environmental area at a time in an integrated, comprehensive, and realistic manner.
A nonresidence Master’s Project option is available for students who gain relevant employment during their second year. These students may request to be considered for nonresidency and, if approved, will complete the second year of the program off-campus with two weeklong visits during the spring semester of the second year.
A part-time option is available for students in either MS degree program. The first year curriculum is carried out over two years, rather than one, which provides more flexibility to maintain part-time employment and fulfill home commitments. Part-time students enroll in specific classes each semester, typically two or three, and are on campus between two and three days a week for the first four semesters. Due to the low-residency nature of the final year, students enroll full-time for their final two semesters, and complete the degree in their third year.
Incoming students are introduced to the faculty and curriculum through workshops held during the first week of each academic year. The historic Hudson Valley will be used to discuss critical policy issues that will be further examined in the first-year courses.
The first-year courses link natural ecosystems to socioeconomic activities, and to the political, institutional, and legislative responses that address environmental problems. Courses emphasize analytical frameworks through examples and case studies.
The internship provides hands-on experience working with professionals in the field and facilitates entry into the job market. Internship arrangements with public, private, and nonprofit institutions offer a wide range of choices, and create a network for students.
Students learn how to communicate clearly and accurately about environmental problems, and how to target information for different audiences. Students hear from industry leaders and become familiar with fundraising, foundations, and grant writing.
The Master's Thesis consists of original research with practical application to a specific environmental problem. Normally linked to some part of the student's internship, the thesis should reflect the multifaceted nature of an actual environmental issue.