Environmental and Natural Resource Economics M.S.


Non-Thesis Option

Students in the non-thesis option are required to complete a total of 34 credits, 33 of which must be formal course work. The remaining credit is awarded for completion of a major paper under the supervision of the major professor and acknowledgement by the Graduate Program Director. The student must complete the major paper under the Master’s Non-thesis Research course (EEC 598). Courses required are 501, 502, 528, 534, 535, and 576 (see also GSM 7.45).

Thesis Option

Students in the thesis option must complete a minimum of 30 credits. Of these credits, at least 24 are formal course work, with the remaining 6 credits comprised of Master’s Thesis Research (EEC 599). A Master’s thesis is typically more complete and rigorous work than a major paper. In addition, the Master’s thesis must be signed by a 3-member committee, and the student must defend the thesis. Courses required are 501, 502, 528, 534, 535, and 576 (see also GSM 7.44).


Total number of credits requirement differs between the thesis and non-thesis options; please see above. All courses taken for program credit must be at the graduate level, which is usually at the 500 or 600 levels. No more than half of the non-research credits (598 or 599) can be at the 400 level; and the remainder must be at the 500 or 600 level. As an example, if the total number of credits is 30 credits, and 6 of which are for master’s research credits (say EEC 599), then only 12 credits or fewer of 400-level coursework can be counted towards the required credits (see GSM 9.10). No courses below the 400 level can be taken for program credit. However, these courses can be taken for non-program credit, in order to fill deficiencies in preparation. Note, however, that all courses are included in determining the student’s grade point average.

EEC 501 (departmental seminar) must be taken each semester by full-time graduate students in residence, but only 1 credit may count toward the program.

The usual semester course load for students not on an assistantship is 12 credits. Students not on an assistantship must take a minimum of 9 credits to be considered on full time status. A normal load is 9 credits for a student on an assistantship; 6 credits is the minimum for full-time students on assistantships.

Credit transfer: The total of transfer credits, which includes advanced standing credits and credits by examination or equivalent may not exceed 20% of the program’s total credits. Under unusual circumstances, master’s degree students may exceed the 20% rule on transfer credits; however, the total of advanced standing, transfer and credit by examination must still not exceed the 40% maximum (GSM 7.20 (a)).

Comprehensive examination

Students in both thesis and non-thesis options are required to take written comprehensive examinations at the end of their first academic year in the program, other than in cases of exceptional circumstances and with advanced permission from the graduate program director. The exam is offered in May. The exam is composed of four parts: microeconomic theory, environmental economics, natural resource economics, and econometrics (GSM 7.44 and 7.45).


Thesis option M.S. students are required to submit typically during the first or second semester in which the student registers for research credits, but must be at least one semester before the semester in which the thesis itself is to be submitted and defended (GSM 7.44.3). Completed thesis is then must be defended (GSM 7.44.5).


Graduate Program Director: enre_grad@etal.uri.edu
Graduate Admissions: enre_grad_admissions@etal.uri.edu