4+1 Degree Programs

Environmental Studies/Science BA/BS+Sustainable Communities MA/MS

The master's program in Sustainable Communities at Binghamton University integrates the three pillars of sustainability – environmental protection, economic vitality and social equity – to provide a balanced, holistic perspective to managing local governments, non-profit organizations and other parts of the community.

The accelerated Master of Sustainable Communities (SUST) program allows you to combine bachelor- and master-level courses into your fourth-year schedule and graduate with your bachelor's degree. In your fifth year, you are admitted to the Graduate School and focus solely on the coursework to complete your master's degree. This process can jumpstart your career, save you money and strengthen your marketability.  

To apply, you must have completed a majority of your undergraduate major requirements and all or a majority of general education requirements

  • You must show evidence of superior undergraduate academic achievement, normally signified by having a minimum 3.5 GPA in your undergraduate major and a minimum 3.2 GPA overall, or a 3.5 GPA overall.
  • State your interest in the accelerated Sustainable Communities program and set up a pre-interview with Graduate Director George Homsy

Submit the following pre-admission materials to George Homsy via email:

  • Professional or academic writing sample or essay of 500-800 words on a relevant sustainability topic. This can be something that you have already written for a class or in a work setting
  • Personal statement (300-500 words stating your interests in the program and career goals)
  • Current résumé
  • A letter of recommendation from a University faculty member or instructor

Senior year (if accepted for pre-admission)

  • You will be able to register for SUST courses during your first semester of your senior year
  • During your senior year (88+ undergraduate credits), you must formally apply to the Graduate School via the link on your BU Brain account and submit the online application and all required application materials, including any required letters of recommendation

You can read more about the ENVI to Sustainable Communities Masters Program here: https://www.binghamton.edu/sustainable-communities/graduate/accelerated.html

Environmental Studies/Science BA+Public Administration MPA

The requirements are 128 credits total, with 110 undergraduate credit hours plus 18 graduate credit hours of the Master in Public Administration program to complete a B.A.  in Environmental Studies.

Program requirements and objectives specific to the Environmental Studies/Science & Public Administration Combined Program:

The Environmental Studies/Science & Public Administration Combined Program restrict admission to students with exceptional academic records. Students should apply for the combined program no later than beginning of junior year, and admission decisions for the combined program will be made no later than spring of junior year. Application and admissions processes are through the MPA program and the Graduate School. Admission decisions for the combined program will be based on course grades (normally, a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better and a GPA of 3.5 of better in Environmental Studies major courses are required).

In addition, submit GRE scores, at least two letters of recommendation, a current resume, and a personal statement of approximately 500 words (2 typewritten pages, double-spaced) that addresses the student's:

  • Reasons for choosing public administration as a vocation

  • The values and concerns he/she brings to the study of public administration

  • Present and future professional goals

  • Sense of what he/she will contribute to the field of public administration

Admission decisions to the combined program indicate to the student that there are subsequent requirements that must be met to continue in the program: successful completion of the B.A. in year four (including both the General Education & Harpur College requirements for graduation); a "B" or better in graduate education coursework; and satisfactory completion of the other requirements of the MPA program.

Course offerings in the Environmental Studies & Public Administration Combined Program will coincide with the normal offerings of the existing Environmental Studies and Master in Public Administration Programs.

Prior to senior year, undergraduates complete 96 credits that meet all of the undergraduate requirements for Harpur Arts & Sciences division, upper-level, writing, and general education, plus all but 12 credits needed for the Environmental Studies major. During the senior year, undergraduates complete 14 undergraduate credits and the remaining 18 credits needed for the undergraduate degree. The 18 credits of MPA courses in the senior year are double counted as undergraduate elective credits and MPA credits to complete the baccalaureate degree.

Students in the combined degree program must undertake 8 full-time semesters (or equivalent) for completion of the Environmental Studies B.A. degree and an additional 2 full-time semesters so that combined they will have 10 full-time semesters for the completion of the entire combined-degree program.

Other requirements for the MPA degree: Upon completion of 18 MPA credits (or with the approval of the program), students complete a 300-hour, fifteen week internship for 2 credits (PAFF 594). Internships are usually done within the area of concentration with a governmental, not-for-profit or for-profit organization. Students enroll in the Capstone Seminar (PAFF 595) after completing the program's core courses and the internship. Completion of the capstone project requires the approval of the project paper proposal and an oral defense of the completed project before a three-person committee comprised of two faculty members and the internship supervisor, or an appropriate organizational representative.

Other details about the MPA requirements and program can be found on the website of the Department of Public Administration.