Degree Requirements

The EPM program prepares graduates to integrate technical and scientific expertise to provide effective environmental policy and management solutions. Our program emphasizes preparation for student's transitions into their professional careers.

Course Requirements

Core Courses

The program is typically completed in 2 academic years and one summer (19 months) though we also offer a 12 month option. Core courses for this program include: 

  • ENV 200- Analysis of Environmental Policy I, II & III
  • ENV 201- Environmental Law
  • ENV 202- Administration and Management
  • ENV 203- Policy Clinic (two quarters)
  • ENV 297- Professional Development Seminar (each quarter)
EPM students at 2017 orientation
EPM students at Fall 2017 orientation.

You can view more information regarding course descriptions here. The program also requires an internship as a practice-oriented and mentored capstone (ENV 296; 6 units). This practicum is a way for students to integrate and apply their coursework to problems in an applied professional setting. The practicum projects vary, but will typically involve an internship outside of UC Davis. Students have the option to distribute the 6 practicum units over one, two or three quarters. For Practicum or other internship credit, a minimum of 30 total hours of work is needed to earn 1 credit hour. For example: 

  • 3 hours per week for 1 quarter (10 weeks) would earn 1 credit hour)
  • 6 credit hours requires a minimum of 180 hours of work- equivalent to 4.5 weeks of full-time work (40 hours/week); 9 weeks of half-time work (20 hours/week); or 18 weeks of quarter-time work (10 hours per week)

Exclusive of ENV 297 (Professional Development Seminar) the total course requirement is 39 units. Students enroll in ENV 297 for every quarter they are in attendance. This brings the total course requirement to 42 units for students completing the accelerated 12 month program or 45 units for students completing the two year plan.

Students are required to obtain a grade of B- or above in all required courses, including the Policy Clinics. If a student receives a grade of C+ or lower in any required course, the course must be retaken and satisfy the minimum grade requirement (B-) in order to satisfy program requirements.

Elective Courses

The program requires that students take one elective in quantitative analysis. Examples can include:

  • Statistics for non-statistics majors (e.g., STA 100, Applied Statistics for Biological Sciences)
  • Approaches to quantitative analysis (e.g., ANT 291, Data Analysis Using R)
  • Non-statistical quantitative methods (e.g., ABT 181N, Concepts and Methods in GIS)

It is permissible for the quantitative elective to be an undergraduate 100 level course. However, if students choose to do that we suggest that they also take a graduate level quantitative elective. 

At least one additional 3 unit elective is required. Students are encouraged to take additional electives to develop a specialization related to their career interests.

Transfer of Previous Academic Credits

UC Davis Graduate Studies rules about transfer of previous academic credit allows up to six units of previous coursework to be applied to current graduate degree requirements, if those units were not counted towards degree requirements in previous programs. Essentially, previous classes must be “extra” classes that you did not count towards completing your previous degree. Graduate Studies confers discretion on the Environmental Policy & Management program and the academic chair to approve any transfer credits according to  EPM program guidelines. At a minimum, the EPM program will only consider courses that were completed within 5 years of beginning the program. The coursework also must be judged as relevant for the goals and other curriculum standards of the program. 


EPM specializations are optional and generally intended for those completing the program in 2 years. Upon completion the specialization will be listed next to the student's name on the EPM website.

  • Complete 9 units of coursework in one of the specializations listed below (a minimum of 6 hours at the graduate level).
  • Non-seminar courses must be taken for a letter grade to count towards the specialization. Students are required to earn a B- or above in graded courses.
  • The required elective and required quantitative course cannot count towards the specialization. Students may obtain more than one specialization, however a course may count towards only one specialization. 
  • Seminar courses are acceptable, up to a maximum of 2 credit hours per area of specialization.
  • Courses must be pre-approved with your Faculty Advisor to count towards the specialization.
  • Relevant internship credit may be used toward a specialization (up to a maximum of 3 units), but approval for application of this credit to the specialization must be requested from the Program Coordinator.
  • Any exceptions to the specialization policies must be (1) approved by the student's Advisor and the Program Chair, and (2) confirmed by email with the student and Graduate Program Coordinator. 
Social Systems
Natural Systems
Quantitative Tools
Environmental & Resource Economics Conservation Management Spatial Information Science
Politics & the Policy Process Climate Change Science & Policy Statistics & Data Analysis
City & Regional Planning Water Resource Management  
Energy & Transportation Planning Marine Resource Management  
  Food Systems & Sustainable Agriculture  

Typical Two-Year Timeline of Completion

Year 1
ENV 200A - Analysis I (4 units) ENV 201- Environmental Law (3 units) ENV 200C - Analysis III (4 units)
ENV 200B - Analysis II (4 units)  ENV 202 - Env. Admin & Management (4 units) Quantitative Analysis or Elective (3 units)
ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit) ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit) ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit)
Elective Opportunities Elective Opportunities 

Elective Opportunities

Total: 9 units + electives Total: 8 units + electives Total: 8 units + electives
Year 2
ENV 296 - Practicum (2 units) ENV 203 - Policy Clinic (4 units) ENV 203 - Policy Clinic (4 units)
ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit)  ENV 296- Practicum (2 units)  ENV 296 - Practicum (2 units)
Elective opportunities ENV 297- Professional Development Seminar (1 unit) ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit)
  Elective opportunities Elective opportunities
Total: 3 units + electives Total: 7 units + electives Total: 7 units + electives   

Accelerated 12 Month Completion Option

Fall Winter Spring Summer &/ or Fall
ENV 200A - Analysis I (4 units) ENV 202- Env Admin. & Management (4 units) ENV 200C - Analysis III (4 units) ENV 296 - Practicum (6 units)
ENV 200B - Analysis II (4 units) ENV 203 - Policy Clinic (4 units) ENV 203 - Policy Clinic (4 units)  
Quantitative Analysis or Elective (3 units)  ENV 201 - Environmental Law (3 units) Quantitative Analysis or elective (3 units)  
ENV 297- Professional Development Seminar (1 unit) ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit) ENV 297 - Professional Development Seminar (1 unit)  
Total: 12 units Total: 12 units Total: 12 units Total: 6 units

Advancement to Candidacy

All students need to see the Program Coordinator to file their application to advance to candidacy. Students need to have completed 21 units of study and their Faculty Adviser needs to have approved drafts of the student's Professional Development Plan and Practicum Proposal for consideration by the CEC. This typically takes place during the Spring quarter of year 1. 

Comprehensive Exam

The comprehensive exam entails fulfilling all program requirements, which include meeting the minimum GPA in required courses and satisfactory completion of four written reports:

  • Professional Development Plan
  • Practicum Proposal
  • Policy Clinic project report
  • Practicum report

Approval of these four reports by the Comprehensive Examination Committee constitutes passing of the exam.

If any component of these materials is less than satisfactory, the student will be asked to also have an oral exam that can include a basic understanding of the principles of the material, or an evaluation of the student's written products. The committee will determine if the student has learned the necessary tools with which they can succeed in their professional development plan. 

Students who do not pass the exam can be:

  • Asked to engage in individual study to fulfill deficiencies in knowledge
  • Retake classes

Students would be required to retake the exam. Failure will also trigger an explanation from the program course instructors regarding student performance. A second failure results in a recommendation to the Dean of Graduate Studies that the student be disqualified from the program.

EPM students participate in mock negotiation for ENV 201- Environmental Law
EPM students participate in a mock negotiation for ENV 201 - Environmental Law



Students are advised by: 

The program chair, academic coordinator, and faculty advisors all work with students to assess career aspirations and develop plans for professional development. The Comprehensive Exam Committee evaluates student proposals as well as reports from clinic and practicum work.