The Policy Secondary Core is designed for students interested in careers focused on research or practice related to decision making.
The Policy Secondary Core is designed for students interested in careers focused on research or practice related to decision making. The core follows a distinctive framework that is problem oriented, contextual and multi-method. It is problem oriented in the sense that it focuses on how particular circumstances are judged to warrant action as a function of values or interests. Policy, as defined in the program, is synonymous with “decision,” and simply means a commitment to a course of action. The program emphasizes the contextual nature of decision making, and the importance of understanding the details of particular policy issues (including aspects of science and values). The contextual nature of the program allows students to select a substantive issue area to focus on, such as energy, water, science and technology policy, etc. To this end the program is multi-method meaning that the nature of the problem dictates what methodologies might be appropriate tools for analysis, rather than applying a standard methodology to all problems. The secondary core classes in the Policy core focus on problem orientation, decision processes and a synthetic perspective on the policy sciences.
1. Common Core Requirements (8 credit hours)
- ENVS 5000 (3): Science Policy and Values
- ENVS 5XXX (3): Theory and Methods in Environment
- ENVS 5909 (2): Colloquium* (Independent Study) – two semesters
Note: students will have the opportunity to participate in the organization of the colloquium after their first year for 1 unit of academic credit.
2. Theory and Methods (Policy Course Sequence required) 9 credit hours
In some instances the courses below will be offered only once every other year. Students are responsible to keep track of when those courses are offered and to plan enrollments accordingly.
- ENVS 5710: Introduction to Policy Sciences
- ENVS 5720: Problem Orientation
- ENVS 5730: Decision Process
3. Required Interdisciplinary Elective Categories (6 credit hours)
Science (3 credit hours): choose one graduate level science course drawn from any science or engineering unit on campus
Values (3 credit hours): choose one:
* ENVS/PHIL 5240: Environmental Philosophy
* PSCI 7024: Environmental Political Theory
4. ELECTIVES: (8 or 10? credit hours for MS/ 22 credit hours for PhD) See Cluster Options.
Total Course Credit Hours for MS: 30 credit hours + 6 thesis credits = 36 total Total Course Credit Hours for PhD: 32 credit hours + 30 dissertation credits = 62 total
CU Boulder Resources
The University of Colorado offers a wide range of graduate education opportunities related to environmental policy. Some of these opportunities involve degrees in policy, others involve certificates or programs that allow for some exposure to policy training along the way to traditional disciplinary degrees. Students in virtually any graduate degree program at the University of Colorado can obtain some exposure to environmental policy. A student’s choice of degree or certificate alterative will depend a great deal on career path and educational goals.
Some alternatives to the ENVS Graduate Program, along a spectrum from a broad exposure to an intensive and specific research focus:
- Graduate Certificate Program in Environment, Policy and Society
- MA in Political Science: Public Policy
- PhD in Political Science: Public Policy
- PhD (social or natural science, or journalism) in the Carbon, Climate and Society IGERT
- Energy Initiative of the University of Colorado “addresses the challenges of developing and implementing renewable and sustainable energy.”
- Building Systems Program at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Achitectural Engineering focuses on energy efficiency in the buildings and industrial sectors as well as on practical applications of renewable energies.
- Facilities Management group at CU-Boulder is a leader in implementing energy and resource efficiency on the CU-Boulder campus. This group manages CU’s cogeneration system and also heads up the campus resource conservation effort.
- CU Environmental Center runs several energy programs, and was the driving force behind CU’s investment in wind power.
- EESI The Energy and Environmental Security Initiative is an interdisciplinary research and policy center at the University of Colorado Law School. It is designed to facilitate progress toward a global sustainable energy future through the innovative use of laws, policies, quality information, and technology solutions.
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