Portland-State-University 2022-2023 Bulletin

Environmental Science and Management P.S.M.

University master’s degree requirements must be met. In addition, specific degree program requirements are listed in each program.

The graduate study program is developed through discussions involving the graduate student, the student’s adviser, and the student’s graduate committee. The P.S.M. graduate committee consists of at least three members including the major adviser. The major adviser and one other committee member must be a member of the graduate faculty. The graduate committee must be approved by the ESM Chair.

To encourage the development of interdisciplinary graduate study programs, guidelines for course selection are flexible. P.S.M. students must complete at least 47 graduate credits.

P.S.M. Requirements

The P.S.M. program of study consists of the following minimum credit requirements.


Core courses (one from each core area and selected from program list and ESM 551)


ESM 507Speakers Series Seminar repeated 3 times, 1 credit per term


Quantitative analysis (selected from program list)


Area of concentration


ESM 509Practicum


ESM 506Project


PSM "Plus" Courses


Total Credit Hours: 47

Core courses

Core courses are required in physical environmental processes, ecological processes and environmental management for all master’s students. P.S.M. students must also complete a core course in project management (ESM 551). Lists of approved core courses are available from the ESM office or online at http://www.pdx.edu/esm.

Quantitative analysis

A course in research methods, experimental design, or statistical analysis, is required to ensure students have sufficient skills for environmental research.

Elective courses

Elective courses are to be defined in the student’s program of study, and agreed upon by the student’s adviser and graduate committee. Courses may be selected to provide additional background, to explore new areas, and to add depth to a scholastic program.

Thesis or project

The culminating experience of the students seeking a P.S.M. degree is the completion of a project. This element of the curriculum serves to integrate coursework, further develop skills required to function effectively in a professional setting (e.g., communication, presentation, and project management) and provide an opportunity to participate in the solution of a real environmental problem. Working with local agencies or/and organizations, an ESM faculty member and possibly in a group of other students, the P.S.M. student identifies a problem, formulates a project with the community partner, formally proposes a project, completes the scope of work detailed in the proposal, and documents and presents the results of the project to an appropriate audience. This project is ESM 506 - Project, 5 credits.


P.S.M. Plus Courses

In addition to the above courses, the P.S.M. degree also requires at least four courses (10 credits) focused on business and professional management and practices. These "Plus Courses" are what distinguish the P.S.M. degree from the M.E.M. degree. The student is required to complete at least two credits in each of the four areas of "Plus Courses" (communication, law/policy, analytical tools, and ethics). Lists of approved "Plus Courses" are available from the ESM office or online at http://www.pdx.edu/esm.