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Environmental Systems, M.S.

You want to make a difference in the world? A master’s degree in Environmental Systems opens the door to making an impact on the world and its resources. The graduate program in Environmental Systems at Cal Poly Humboldt offers three options in Environmental Resources Engineering, Geology, and Energy Technology & Policy within a single graduate program.

Why this program

Environmental Systems is an interdisciplinary Master of Science program that helps students better understand and shape the complex systems that underpin our society.

Near empty beaches, mountain ranges, wild rivers, and ancient redwood forests, Cal Poly Humboldt is an ideal place to live and learn.

At Cal Poly Humboldt, we believe strongly in the power of experiential education. Students learn through coursework, hands-on projects, and field work.

two people in the field wearing vests and hard hats carrying a clipboard

Academics & Options

Each of the three focus area options listed below provides a solid scientific foundation for careers in scholarship or practice.

Program Options

Efforts to end world poverty and sustain a robust global economy, while simultaneously working to mitigate global climate change and other energy induced environmental issues, are among the greatest challenges of the 21st century and the focus of this option.

ETaP - general information

ETaP - catalog information

ETaP - application information

Emphasizes the application of engineering skills to planning, design, and management problems involving environmental resources. Three general areas of research activity are available in the program: water quality, water resources, and renewable energy resources.

ERE - general information

ERE - requirements & classes

ERE - application information

Students gain expertise in subdisciplines such as glacial geology, geomorphology, volcanology, petrology, tectonics, and geochronology through faculty mentored original scientific research, extensive field opportunities in an active and diverse setting, and specialized coursework.

Geology - general information

Geology - requirements & classes

Geology - application information

Did you know?

The Schatz Energy Research Center is a national leader in areas including renewable energy microgrids and off-shore wind energy. It is also involved in international work related to energy access in off-grid areas.

Faculty and students from the Environmental Resource Engineering program were involved in the original design and development of the The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary’s constructed wetland treatment system, and continue to play a key role in the continued optimization of the system.

The University is located along the active Cascadia subduction zone and south Cascades volcanic arc, as well as near the Six Rivers National Forest and Trinity Alps, giving student researchers unique opportunities to study diverse geologic processes.

student working on a piece of equipment


There are a variety of career opportunities for environmental systems professionals to pursue. These jobs span several specialties with a combined purpose to understand the earth and its resources, find solutions to environmental challenges, and encourage positive relationships between human-made systems and nature.

  • Civil Engineer
  • Energy Systems Engineer
  • Energy Policy Specialist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Geologist
  • Natural Resource Specialist
  • Transportation Planner
  • Water and Wastewater Engineer
  • Water Treatment Operator


hands holding a specimen bottle presenting it to a student

Ready to find what
your future holds?