M.S. in Environmental Studies

Funding Opportunities

The M.S. in Environmental Studies is flexible; students, with their academic advisors, design their own study programs by choosing from courses within Environmental Studies or throughout the University.  We offer funding opportunities for both 1st year & 2nd year students.

First year students:

Inside the Program: We currently offer eight (8) full-year TAships for 1st year graduate students, four working within the  Environmental Studies Program, and four working in the English department. We also offer several one-semester scholarships, usually for $5,000.00. 

Outside the Program/On campus: The College of Humanities and Sciences offers a variety of competitive scholarships & awards. Please see the UM Scholarship Portal.

Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. citizens) incoming & current graduate students are eligible to apply for an A.P. Sloan Foundation scholarship.

Off-campus: There are numerous fellowships, scholarships & awards from off-campus programs that our students have successfully been awarded. Please contact us as soon as you plan to apply for us to help assist in the process.

Second year students:

Inside the Program: We currently have two (2) full-year TAships which we divide into four (4) -- one semester TA awards available for 2nd year graduate students. First year students apply in the Spring for a 2nd year -- one semester TAship. 

Outside the Program/On campus: The College of Humanities and Sciences offers a variety of competitive scholarships & awards. Please see the UM Scholarship Portal.

Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian – U.S. citizens) incoming & current graduate students are eligible to apply for an A.P. Sloan Foundation scholarship.

Off-campus: There are numerous fellowships, scholarships & awards from off-campus programs that our students have successfully been awarded. Please contact us as soon as you plan to apply for us to help assist in the process.

1st or 2nd year students:

Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT) offers one-TAship divided into two (2) one-semester TA awards. Students must apply for & serve as Co-Directors of the FLAT. The FLAT is an intentional, living-learning community dedicated to everyday sustainability.  

Scholarship Opportunities

Inside Environmental Studies: Scholarships

  • Ron and Nancy Erickson Award (up to) $1500 for graduate student whose major work is in the area of environmental ethics, humanities, and/or writing. 
  • Tom Roy Family Scholarship Award of $5000 each year to support an incoming student for special promise and need determined by the Environmental Studies faculty.
  • Len and Sandy Sargent Environmental Activism & Advocacy Fellowship Award  of  $5000 each year to support a graduate student for environmental activism achievements and promise.
  • Wiancko Scholarship Awards of $5000 available to incoming students for environmental leadership achievements and promise.
  • Environmental Justice and Diversity Scholarship of $5000 each year to support a graduate student to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within Environmental Studies, and enhance effective cross-cultural engagement in environmental affairs.
  • Vicki Watson Public Interest Environmental Science (PIES) Scholarships (amounts vary) are available to incoming or 2nd year students who are pursuing a course of study and action that applies public interest environmental science to building a more peaceful, just and sustainable local community and world.

Inside Environmental Studies: Opportunities for funding internships & research

  • Byron and Bernice Dawson Award: Environmental Studies graduate students can apply for up to $1500 in funding to support costs of their final project (thesis, professional paper or portfolio)
  • Brainerd Conservation Internships: Environmental Studies graduate students with demonstrated record of activism and leadership can apply in December of their first year for one of four $5,000 scholarships that support a professional internship experience in the summer. Application information available in October or November.

On-campus Opportunities:

  • Bertha Morton Scholarship: A campus-wide competition, awarded on academic record, publications, honors and awards, and other pertinent evidence. Awards range from $2000 to $4000.
  • Clancy Gordon Environmental Scholarship: Graduate students from the biological and physical sciences, and environmental studies, with a demonstrated involvement in applying scientific knowledge toward the resolution of environmental problems. One award of $2100.
  • Wyss Scholars for Conservation in the American West: Environmental Studies graduate students can apply in December of their first year for two scholarships that pay 1/2 of the cost of tuition and educational expenses for 3 semesters plus a $5000 summer internship grant.

In-state & Out-of-state status

Am I considered in-state or out-of-state for tuition?

The University of Montana classifies students, including applicants for admission, as either in-state or out-of-state for fee purposes. To establish in-state status, except for some exceptions, a person must reside in Montana for 12 continuous months (without taking any classes) & not be out of the state more than a total of 30 days.

Do I qualify for the 150% in-state tuition from the Western Regional Graduate Program?

The Environmental Studies Program is approved as a distinctive program within the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). This means -- if you are a legal resident of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming, -- you will qualify for a tuition rate of 150% of the Montana resident tuition rate.  The UM Graduate School will notify you of your WRGP in-state tuition rate status upon admission. (Subject to continued UM WRGP policy.)

Teaching Assistantships

Environmental Studies has a limited number of teaching assistantships to award annually to first- and second-year Masters students. 

Duties of Teaching Assistants

The duties of a teaching assistantship vary greatly. Environmental Studies/ENGLISH TAs teach a section of English Composition (WRIT 101--a 3-credit course) each semester for a year. Environmental Studies/ENGLISH TAs attend a week-long orientation before fall term begins; enroll in WRIT 540, a 3-credit graduate course in fall semester; and attend monthly meetings during spring semester. For more information, see Environmental Studies/ENGLISH TA's. Environmental Studies TAs are assigned to assist one Environmental Studies faculty member with an Environmental Studies course each semester. Typical duties of an Environmental Studies TA are leading discussions and grading papers. Because we seek to spread the wealth as widely (albeit sometimes thinly) as possible, students who receive TAs in their first year rarely receive one in their second year.

Full year teaching assistantships (two semesters) receive a full tuition waiver. This does not include approximately $1000 (the amount varies from year to year) in student fees each semester that cannot be waived. The University of Montana requires all students to be covered by a health insurance plan. A Blue Cross Blue Shield plan is currently $1,746.50 per semester. You may also choose your own health plan.  Half year teaching assistantships (one semester) adjust accordingly. You must enroll for at least six (6) credits each semester.

Applying for a TA: First-Year Students

(Fall admittance only)

Check the lines on the Environmental Studies Application form if you wish to be considered for a TA and include the requested writing sample for an English TA. No samples are required for an Environmental Studies TA - your application materials will be used to review your qualifications.

Criteria for First-Year TA Selection

Assistantships are used to help recruit first-year students, especially out-of-state students for whom the tuition waiver accompanying the assistantship is especially valuable. In general, the committee looks for all-round excellence in first-year TAs. To assign a first-year student to teach an English composition class, the faculty looks closely at the student's writing ability as demonstrated in the application through the writing examples, GRE scores, and college transcripts.

To be considered for First-Year Teaching Assistantships, applicants must meet the following requirements (with rare exceptions as determined by EVST faculty):

G.P.A. - Minimum 3.0 (B or better) out of 4.0 G.P.A.

G.R.E. - Verbal, quantitative & analytical writing test scores. Minimum verbal score of 500 for tests taken prior to August 2011; 153 for tests taken after August 2011.

Applying for a TA for the second year

Students submit an application to the Environmental Studies office in the spring semester, typically April 15th. Applications must include a plan of study for the next academic year with the number of credits planned and expected graduation date; a statement indicating the course you wish to assist (to be announced) and why you are qualified; and names of two references.

In addition to TAs, many of our second-year students are partially supported by awards and grants.