Program Details

The program is designed to train and mentor students in the process of independent research on natural resource and environmental issues, within a collegial, interdisciplinary community of scholars. Graduating students will be able to:

  • Understand the traditions in knowledge creation, and locate their own methodologies within that broader context;
  • Identify knowledge gaps in a chosen area of specialization via literature review and synthesis;
  • Design and defend a viable and rigorous research project to fill research gaps and objectives, adapting methods as appropriate;
  • Demonstrate broadened perspectives on natural resource and environmental issues.
  • Act to research ethically;
  • Exhibit critical thinking but also the principles of collegiality and mutual respect during academic critique;
  • Manage the research process to implement research design in collaboration with a supervisory committee to a mutually acceptable deadline;
  • Analyze collected data, evaluate results and interpret its implications in the context of a chosen area of specialization; and,
  • Create new knowledge in a chosen area of specialization.


Dalhousie requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last two years (60 credits) in a related four-year undergraduate degree or equivalent. Although 3.0 is the minimum acceptable GPA, the MES is a competitive program and the majority of our students hold a 3.7 GPA in their last two years or study. This GPA additionally enables our students to equalify for scholarship. We also require a minimum of 7.5 (or equivalent, if applicable), two strong references, evidence from a resume of relevant experince (work, school or volunteer), a viable statement of reserach interest and consent of a SRES supervisor to oversee the work. 

For more detailed information on SRES' admission process please our How to Apply page. 

Course Requirements


Required Courses

For most students, the minimum program will occupy two calendar years (24 months). The minimum requirement is 15 credit hours and a thesis. The 15 required credit hours comprise:

  • ENVI 5035.03: Research Design and Methods (take in the first year of study)
  • ENVI 5059.03: SRES Research Seminar (MES students enrol in each term of their program until they complete the program requirements, typically winter of year 2).
  • ENVI 9000.00: Thesis (enrol in all terms)
  • REGN 9999:  Graduate Program Fee Reg’n 
  • Students must select three electives at the 5000-level or above in consultation with a faculty supervisor. A maximum of two of those can be Special Topics/Directed Studies courses such as ENVI5048-ENVI5052.

Course work beyond the load described above may be suggested in consultation with faculty supervisor. This is tuition-neutral as MES students pay program fees rather than per-course fees.

Note that MES students may not carry an F (grades below B-) in required or elective courses; this results in automatic dismissal but students can apply for readmission.


To help you get started we have prepared a list of courses that may be of interset to you but it is in no way a complete list. 

Courses that may be of interest. [PDF - 25kB]

Part-time studies

Although the scheduling of courses accommodate students primarily attending full time, some students are able to complete their program on a part-time basis.


MES Students pay program fees - a fixed lump sum each semester regardless of the number of classes in which they are enrolled. Fees for the current year are posted on Dal's Money Matters website.

What you need to finish

The minimum requirement to complete the program is five half-credits and a thesis. Depending on your background, a faculty advisor or supervisor may suggest class work beyond the minimum load.