Master of Environmental Studies/Master in Law (ML)

Program overview

The Master in Law (ML) offers a focus in the law while a dual degree program with MES provides needed structure for study within the broad field of environmental law, which ranges from resource use to air and water pollution regulation to addressing complex and ever-changing energy policy. The exposure to earth sciences, policy, and other relevant disciplines serves as a valuable complement to the ML education.

About the program

The MES/ML dual degree program may be completed either full- or part-time. Part-time students work with the directors of both programs to create a plan to complete the program in 5 years or less. Full-time students are in residence in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science for the duration of the dual degree program.

  • Of the 9 course units taken in MES, the ML will accept 2 course units at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 8 course units required for the ML degree
  • Of the 6 course units taken in the ML, MES will accept 3 course units at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 12 course units required for the MES degree
  • This format reduces the typical residency for the two programs from 6 to 5 semesters and reduces the total required course units from 20 to 15

Course sequence

The timeline below has been designed by the faculty of both Penn Carey Law and MES. Students must follow the timeline unless express permission is obtained from both program directors.

Semester Recommended Courses Course Load
  • ENVS 601 Proseminar
  • LAWM 511 Intro to US Law
  • MES Foundation Course 1
3 course units
  • ENVS 699 Capstone Seminar
  • LAWM 529 Navigating the Regulatory State
  • MES Concentration Course 1
3 course units
  • MES Research Methods course
  • LAWM 528 Intro to General Business Law
  • MES Foundation Course 2
3 course units
  • MES Foundation Course 3
  • ML Foundation Course 4
  • ML Upper-Level Course 1
3 course units
  • MES Foundation 4
  • ML Upper Level 2
  • MES Concentration 2
3 course units
Total 15 course units

Capstone requirement

The capstone component of the MES program provides students with the opportunity to participate in a research initiative related to an aspect of environmental law.

Career opportunities

The ubiquity of environmental law across all parts of the private and public sectors makes this area of study relevant to a wide range of students, who then go on to careers such as government and nonprofit policy development, private consulting for resource management, and business sustainability reporting across the entire supply chains.

How to apply

Students may apply to both programs simultaneously or may apply in the first year of either the ML or MES program. Separate applications are submitted, and the student should indicate on each separate application that they are applying to the MES/ML dual degree program. The applications are reviewed separately by the admissions committees for each program. Acceptance into one program of the dual degree does not guarantee acceptance into the other program. Once the student is admitted to both programs the dual degree program will be initiated.

See details about the MES application >
See details about the Master in Law application >

Contact information

MES program:

Yvette Bordeaux, PhD, Director, Professional Masters Programs in Earth and Environmental Science

ML program:

Catharine Restrepo, Esq. L’93, Executive Director, Master in Law Program
Visit the Master in Law website to get more details about the dual degree.

Master of Environmental Studies Virtual Café

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for an online chat, hosted live from noon - 1 p.m.

Ready to apply?

See deadlines, review our application materials checklist, and get ready to apply.

Photo of Marina Battle Rullo (MES ’23)

MES in the Community

A building doesn’t exist in a bubble, says Marina Battle Rullo (MES ’23); as a sustainability consultant for an architecture firm, she can weigh in on energy, water, and community impacts that add up over time.