Northeastern University College of Science: Interdisciplinary Degrees, Employable Graduates


There are countless reasons why the brightest and most ambitious major in science. For starters, it’s a field that’s anything but static. In fact, it’s incredibly smooth thanks to continuous – and rapid – technological advancements adding more to what we already know. However, to really prepare to join the field, an exploratory academic trip is necessary – especially the kind offered at Northeastern University College of Science.

The College of Science uses an industry-focused approach to provide university-level quality knowledge in areas such as bioinformatics, biotechnology, chemistry, nanoscience, and marine and environmental science.

Source: Northeastern University

This integration of real-world experience with education, research, and innovation prepares students for future career opportunities, long before they even graduate.

Troy Langknecht chose the MSc in Environmental Science and Policy not only because it was a combination of rare subjects in academia, but also because of the level of freedom that came with it. “I worked full-time in Rhode Island for most of my graduate program, so it was important to have flexible schedules,” she says. “I was also allowed to adapt my lessons to fill in the gaps based on my previous experiences.”

Offered jointly by the College of Science and the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, the program is truly interdisciplinary. To develop a new generation of versatile environmental professionals, the 36-credit qualification draws on various fields of study.

Each student takes nine courses spread over three semesters. Additionally, they take two required seminar courses, two skills courses, and two department-based electives. Then they progress to further personalization of their journey by choosing three interdisciplinary courses from any college in the Northeast.

This structure was designed to allow students to broaden their horizons in environmental science and policy, while maintaining control over how their new knowledge will be applied in their future careers.

“The aspects of the ES&P program that students appreciate the most are its flexibility and customization,” says Benjamin Dittbrenner, program director and associate professor. “Students work with an academic advisor to design a program plan that reflects their interests and cultivates their intended career path. Students have more than 100 graduate courses to choose from and the opportunity to interact and research with professors from a variety of disciplines.

Langknecht, a graduate who still fondly remembers her Policy Analysis Techniques classes, currently works at a US government agency studying microplastics in marine environments.

Greg Coppola, another Master of Science graduate in environmental science and policy, currently works as an energy project manager. “We install solar panels on buildings for customers who would not have the means to pay for the accessories,” he explains. “I hope to continue working in this sector to alleviate the hardship of vulnerable groups in our fight against climate change.”

Coppola attributes his professional success to Professor Joan Fitzgerald, who did more than teach a compelling course on cities, sustainability and climate change. She was also responsible for giving Coppola the chance to make a name for himself as a professional long before he graduated. “During my third semester, I emailed Joan asking about potential opportunities to enhance my resume as a student,” he recalls.

Northeastern University

Source: Northeastern University

“Within two weeks of my first email, she contacted a connection at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority about potential internship opportunities. His connection and recommendation opened the door to an incredible one-year paid internship.

Current student Hannah Crawford is cooperate with his “dream organization” and already feels that his career prospects have improved considerably since his time in the programme. “The projects I work on have a variety of skills, from writing grants, educational materials, literature reviews, and outreach letters to using GIS and visiting potential sites,” she says.

It is precisely for these perspectives and opportunities that she chose the Master of Science program in Environmental Science and Policy. Crawford, an aspiring changemaker, had no interest in going the traditional route with a dissertation. Instead, she wanted to have hands-on experiences and face-to-face interaction with innovative professionals in climate change solutions – which is exactly what she does today.

To join and turn your interests into a career, you’ll need challenging academics and eye-opening work experiences – a powerful combination that Northeastern University is well known for. Click here to apply today.

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