Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program: BA/BS and MS in Environmental Policy and Planning
The Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning department offers exceptional Tufts undergraduates the option of earning a Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program in BA/BS and MS in Environmental Policy and Planning. This program allows students to finish the BA/BS and MS in Environmental Policy and Planning in five years.
The program is open to all majors offered in the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. Potential related majors include (but are not limited to) Anthropology, Architectural Studies, Biology, Community Health, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics, Environmental Studies, Sociology, and Political Science. The relevant master's degrees are the Master of Arts in Urban and Environment Policy and Planning or the Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning; these master's programs typically require two years of full-time study for a total of 42 credits.
Graduates of the Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program receive both a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree from Tufts, and each degrees is awarded upon completion of requirements for each portion. In other words, you would graduate with an undergraduate degree with your undergraduate class and graduate with a master's with your master’s cohort once your graduate requirements are met.
A maximum of six credits may count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. A student may elect to withdraw from the Program at any time by filing the appropriate petition.
Program Requirements and Policies
- Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program students must fulfill all the requirements of their undergraduate major and the UEP MA/MS degree.
- Students may apply up to six credit-hours of coursework at the 100-level taken as part for the undergraduate degree requirements towards the master's degree requirements. These shared graduate-level course credit-hours must be part of the master's degree requirements and must adhere to the policies in the graduate student handbook.
- Additionally, graduate tuition will be reduced by the cost of the shared credit-hours up to six credit-hours.
- To satisfy the credit requirements of both the graduate and undergraduate degrees, students may need to take courses during the summer.
The student will enter the UEP MA/MS student cohort during their senior year and take the following core graduate courses while completing their remaining undergraduate coursework:
- UEP 250 Foundations of Public Policy and Planning
- UEP 252 Cities in Space, Place and Time
- UEP 255 Field Projects
The following UEP MA/MS degree requirements will be completed during the fourth and fifth years of study:
- Either 27 or 30 credits of elective courses at the graduate level (9 or 10 courses). Two of these elective courses may come from outside the UEP department. If a student has taken up to two 100-level electives during the undergraduate program, such courses may be double-counted towards the elective courses for the MA/MS program.
- 150-hour internship relevant to policy or planning.
- Capstone exam (three credit) or thesis (three or six credits).
The Combined Degree program (BA/MA or BS/MS) between Environmental Studies and Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning provides an opportunity for Tufts undergraduates completing an Applied Environmental Studies major to continue their environmental education with graduate programming in environmental policy and urban planning. Students leaving the program are better prepared to enter the job market in critical environmental sectors, with the added benefit of a professional graduate degree and credentials in urban planning and environmental policy. With some advanced planning, the Combined Degree is a viable option for many Environmental Studies majors. Students pursuing a co-major in Environmental Studies may also apply.
The prerequisites to apply to the Combined Degree program are satisfied if Environmental Studies students take a UEP course (or declare an Urban Studies minor), Math 21 Introductory Statistics or equivalent, and ECON 11 or equivalent intermediate-level microeconomics course. Environmental Studies students can meet this requirement in several ways, including by taking the Economics sequence either ECON 5 OR 8, and then ECON 30 (which also satisfies the social science distribution requirement). Students should apply in their sophomore year, but can also apply in the fall semester of their junior year.
Potential Combined Degree students should have accumulated a sufficient number of credits to leave only a single semester of undergraduate coursework during their senior year so they may start their graduate program. During the senior year, Combined Degree students take two required UEP graduate-level core courses (UEP 250 and UEP 255), as well as other graduate electives. In the fifth year, students complete all remaining elective and required courses for both degrees (including the required internship) and the UEP Master's Thesis And Capstone Exam.
Students can double-count two courses between both degrees. These must be classes with a course number above 100. In some cases, Combined Degree students will need to take summer classes before or after their fifth year of study to complete the graduate degree requirements in five years. Tuition for courses taken during the summer is included in the fifth tuition year at no additional cost to the student.
Both the undergraduate and graduate program require the completion of an internship, respectively. However, students who complete their internship in their senior year following the internship requirements of the graduate program (150-hour internship relevant to policy or planning) may use that internship to fulfill both internship requirements.
The Combined Degree (BS/MA or BS/MS) between the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning provides an opportunity for Tufts undergraduates completing a BS in Civil Engineering or BS in Environmental Engineering to continue their education with graduate programming in environmental policy and urban planning. Students who complete this Combined Degree program are better prepared to enter the job market in critical urban and environmental sectors with the added benefit of a professional graduate degree and credentials in urban planning. With advanced planning, the Combined Degree is a viable option for many CEE majors.
The prerequisites to apply to the Combined Degree program are satisfied if CEE students take 1) ES 56: Probability and Statistics or CEE 156: Biostatistics, 2) the economics sequence EC 5: Principles of Economics or EC 8: Principles of Economics with Environmental Applications and EC 30: Environmental Economics, and 3) take a UEP course or declare an Urban Studies Minor. Students should apply in the fall semester of their junior year.
Students can double-count two courses between both degrees. These must be classes related to the UEP degree with a course number above 100. In some cases, Combined Degree students will need to take summer classes before or after their fifth year of study to complete the graduate degree requirements in five years. Summer school tuition is included in the fifth tuition year at no additional cost to the student.
Please contact UEP Professor Rebecca Shakespeare for additional information.
Students can explore sample course pathways mapped out for hypothetical students interested in:
Students seeking admission to the program should consult their undergraduate major advisors and UEP Professor Rebecca Shakespeare before applying. Interested students are encouraged to apply as early as their sophomore year, but would be required to apply during the Fall semester of their junior year. Only in exceptional cases will an application be accepted after the junior year. Note that Tufts students do NOT have to take the GRE.
All applicants must meet the following pre-requisites before admission to the UEP MA program:
- Urban Studies minor or a UEP course (with a B- or better, excluding courses in professional skills)
- ECON 011 Intermediate Microeconomic Theory or equivalent (with a B- or better)
- MATH 021 Introductory Statistics or equivalent (with a B- or better)
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
To apply, review the online application process. Additional information and application requirements are available at Graduate School of Arts and Sciences or 617-627-3395.
A complete application includes:
- Application for admission
- Scanned copies of all college transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation
- Personal statement – applicant will articulate the following: 1) how the UEP MA degree will help fulfill your aspirations and/or career goals; 2) describe your real-world experience, including internships, research, and work-related activities, that have prepared you for graduate level work at UEP; 3) proposed course plan, which must include all remaining undergraduate course requirements, signed by the undergraduate major advisors
Tuition and Financial Aid Information
Interested students should email UEP for tuition and financial aid information.