Accelerated Master’s Program in ESS

The Professional Science Masters in Ecosystem Science and Sustainability (PSM-ESS) leverages world-leading greenhouse gas, climate change, water resource, and food-systems expertise from across Colorado State University (CSU) and helps students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to make a difference. The aim of the PSM-ESS program is to prepare young professionals to enter the field to put solutions into practice. The CSU PSS-ESS AMP allows undergraduates in certain CSU bachelor’s degree programs to begin studies in the PSM-ESS program while they are still undergraduates.

Why should students consider applying? Students with strong scholarly and professional interests in climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, water resources, and food system sustainability can begin their graduate education while they are still undergraduates to more quickly pursue their career goals.

Curriculum for Professional Science Master's in Ecosystem Science & Sustainability

Required Courses:
ESS 501Principles of Ecosystem Sustainability3
ESS 587Internship4-6
STAR 511Design and Data Analysis for Researchers I4
Select one course from the following:
ESS 542Greenhouse Gas Policies2
WR 512Water Law for Non-Lawyers3
Foundational Electives10-11
Data Tools and Quantitative Analysis Electives12

Suggested Course Sequencing for PSM – AMP in ESS

Semester 1, Fall Senior Year

  • ESS 501 (3 credits)
  • ESS 524 or ESS 542 or WR 512 (2-3 credits)

Semester 2, Spring Senior Year

  • Electives (3 – 4 Credits)

Upon admission to PSM – AMP

  • STAR 511 (4 credits)
  • ESS 587 (4 credits)
  • 19-20 credits of electives

Frequently Asked Questions

Current CSU students in the following undergraduate degree programs:

  • Agricultural Biology
  • Animal Science
  • Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • Equine Science
  • Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
  • Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology
  • Geology
  • Soil & Crop Science
  • Watershed Science & Sustainability

CSU students may apply to the PSM-ESS program for contingent admission after completion of two full time-semesters at CSU with at least 45 total credits, but not more than 90 credits earned toward their bachelor’s degree.  For transfer students who enter CSU with more than 60 credit hours, contingent admission to the PSM-ESS program may be considered after completion of one full time-semester at CSU.

Undergraduate students must complete the internal AMP application submitted to the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability. Final admission to the PSM-ESS Program is granted when students have met the PSM-ESS AMP and Graduate School admissions criteria upon completion of their bachelor’s degree.

With contingent admission to the PSM-ESS program, a student must concurrently complete 9 credits of 500-level graduate coursework in the PSM-ESS-required curriculum, which can also be counted toward bachelor’s degree requirements.  Students receiving contingent admission to the PSM-ESS program must obtain a letter grade of B or better for the 9 credits of 500-level coursework they complete as undergraduates.

For all students, a cumulative undergraduate CSU GPA must be 3.25 or higher at the time of application to the program and must be maintained as 3.25 or higher through the completion of the bachelor’s degree. For transfer students, the cumulative undergraduate GPA for all transfer work should also be 3.25 or higher.

After admission to the PSM-ESS, students must meet additional requirements to gain full graduate admission at CSU and be formally admitted to the PSM-ESS graduate program. Those requirements include:

  • AMP students must apply to the CSU Graduate School prior to completing the bachelor’s degree, but no earlier than one year before seeking full admission to the PSM-ESS graduate program.
  • AMP students must complete their CSU bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Biology, Animal Science, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Equine Science, Soil and Crop Science, or Watershed Science.
  • Complete the Graduate School’s GS4 AMP Double Count Courses form prior to completing their undergraduate degree. Find the form on RAMweb under the Graduate School section or on the Graduate School’s Forms webpage.

PSM-ESS students may additionally apply to and complete an ESS graduate certificate in Carbon Management or Water Resources  concurrently with the completion of the PSM-ESS program.

ESS Professional Science Masters – AMP Advisor

nikki foxley
Nikki Foxley

Advising for Accelerated Masters Program in ESS

Office: A126A Natural and Environmental Science Building

Phone: (970) 491-4331

Please email for an appointment to discuss the AMP!

Visit the Professional Science Master’s in ESS page to learn more about the program or email for information on the application process.

Want to make a difference while working with plant, insect, and pathogen biology?

Students in ESS are also eligible to complete an Accelerated Master’s Program in Pest Management through the College of Agricultural Sciences. Degrees in Pest Management prepare students to work to sustain our food and fiber supply, provide bioagricultural security, and protect our natural ecosystems from pests, plant diseases, and weeds. See the M.S. in Pest Management site for more information about the program and application process.