Rice: Wiess School of Natural Sciences

Professional Master's Program: An Unconventional Career Track

Facebook square button  

Prof. Master's Program
6100 Main Street, MS-103
Houston, TX 77005
713.348.3188  tel
713.348.3121  fax


PMP Small Logo

Initial Funding by the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation


"Environmental consulting companies seek to hire motivated individuals with a solid background in applying quantitative skills to solve and prevent environmental problems.  In addition, as consultants, these individuals need to be able to communicate effectively and have a keen sense of management and business practices.  Graduates from Rice University's Professional Master's Program in Environmental Analysis and Decision Making will possess these qualities and be a tremendous asset to us and others in our field."

                       – Chuck Newell, Vice President, Groundwater Services, Inc.

The Environmental Analysis and Decision Making track of the Professional Master's Program at Rice is geared to teach students rigorous methods that are needed by industrial and governmental organizations to deal with environmental issues.  It is a cross-disciplinary effort incorporating courses from environmental science, earth science, statistics, chemistry, ecology and evolutionary biology, mechanical engineering, applied mathematics, chemical engineering, economics, computer science, and sociology. Graduates will be prepared with skills and knowledge valuable to environmental consulting firms, energy production companies, and government agencies.  In addition to track courses, the students will take a management course, a policy and ethics course, and a seminar jointly with the students involved in the other Professional Master's Program tracks.  

    The objectives of this interdisciplinary degree are as follows:

  • To teach quantitative skills such as statistics, remote sensing, data analysis, and modeling
  • To teach laboratory and computer skills
  • To give students the ability to anticipate problems, not just solve them.

Students are free to choose from three focus areas:  Environmental Sustainability,  Management and Policy, and Quantitative Decision Making.  

Faculty Involved in the Professional M.S. in Environmental Analysis and Decision Making Program include:

Katherine B. Ensor, Track Director (Statistics)
Dan Cohan, Track Advisor  (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Qilin Li, Track Advisor (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Evan H. Siemann, Track Advisor (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Andrew R. Barron (Chemistry)
Philip B. Bedient (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
James B. Blackburn (Adjunct Faculty, Lecturer of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Mary Purugganan/Liz Eich  (PSM Professional Communication)
Matthias Heinkenschloss (Computational and Applied Mathematics)
Amy M. Jaffe (Baker Institute for Public Policy)
Peter Rossky(Dean of Natural Sciences)
Dale S. Sawyer (Earth Science)
Mason Tomson (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Last updated 10/2014 by T. Vats