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The Joint MS Degree program is designed to be rigorous yet flexible, providing opportunities for students to pursue the depth and breadth they desire to meet their academic interests and professional goals. The Joint MS curriculum listed below is for students matriculating into the E-IPER Joint and Dual MS program in Spring 2022 and later. 

Degree Requirements

Current and prospective students are encouraged to read the Stanford Bulletin for the most current Stanford graduate student policies and the Joint and Dual MS Requirements document for program-specific guidance.

Joint MS Degree

  • The Joint MS-MBA requires one to three additional quarters beyond the two-year MBA.
  • The Joint MS-JD may be completed within the student's three years in law school.

Dual MS Degree

  • The time required to complete the Dual MS/MIP will depend on the student's individual course work and program, but can be completed between seven to nine quarters (one to three full quarters beyond the MIP).
  • School of Medicine MD students are encouraged to take a full extra year to complete the Dual MS, either between their second and third years or third and fourth years of medical school.
  • The completion of the Dual MS/PhD will depend on the student's individual coursework and research program; his/her/their overall course of study should be discussed with the student's academic adviser/PhD adviser and the Joint and Dual MS Student Services Officer.

Students are required to create and keep up-to-date their E-IPER Joint or Dual MS Program Plan. The Program Plan is an online tool that allows students to track both their professional school units and E-IPER degree requirements in one place. When a student matriculates into the program, the E-IPER Students Services Officer will share the Program Plan template with the student. The student will create their Program Plan and will update quarterly on degree progress.

Students should consult with program staff when developing and updating their Program Plan. 

The table below summarizes the Joint and Dual MS degree requirements:

Degree RequirementDeadline

45 total units:

  • All degree applicable courses at or above 100-level 
  • 23 units at or above 200-level (graduate level)

Achieve a cumulative 3.0 average or higher for all university letter-graded courses

Prior to graduation
ENVRES 280: Introduction to Environmental and Resource Systems (offered Spring quarter only)Spring Quarter, 1st year in program
ENVRES 290. Capstone Project Seminar in Environment and Resources (offered Autumn and Winter quarters)1-2 quarters prior to graduation
Minimum of 4 letter-graded courses in one selected Course PathwayPrior to graduation
One Human Environmental Decision-Making course from an approved list Prior to graduation

Elective courses to bring total unit count to 45 units (within guidelines stipulated by Joint and Dual MS Requirements document):

Prior to graduation

Professional School Courses

A maximum of 12 units of approved courses from any professional school may count toward the Joint MS degree Electives requirement. Non-JD students wishing to take courses in the Law School must consult this page for additional enrollment information. Please note that all approved pathway courses may be taken as elective courses.

Students may submit additional courses for consideration using the Petition for an Exception to the Requirements.

Independent Study

Students interested in pursuing independent research or a project under the guidance of a faculty member may count up to 5 units of independent study toward the Joint or Dual MS degree. The project scope should strongly emphasize the student's environment and resource interests. 

If a student wishes to participate in independent study, students must do the following:

  1. Secure an E-IPER affiliated faculty advisor,
  2. Complete and submit the Independent Study Agreement to E-IPER Program staff no later than the Friday of the second week of the quarter,
  3. And, secure approval from E-IPER staff and enroll in ENVRES 399 or equivalent department course as approved by the faculty advisor.

Request for an Exception

Students may request an exception to the requirements, such as creating a customized course pathway or requesting additional courses be added to the pathway or approved professional school lists.

Submit a Petition for an Exception to the Requirements in the following circumstances:

  • Suggesting additional course(s) for the Course Pathway(s)
  • Suggesting additional professional school courses to include in the "approved" list for the Joint MS degree

Submit a Proposal for Blended or Customized Course Pathway in the following circumstances:

  • Combining courses from two Course Pathways to make a blended Pathway
  • Creating a customized Course Pathway

Human Environmental Decision-Making Requirement

Students are required to complete one Human Environmental Decision-Making course towards their Joint or Dual MS degree requirements from an approved course list.

This requirement can also be fulfilled by completing a methods course in the sciences for a letter grade. The methods course you wish to use as a substitute must be approved by your E-IPER SSO by petition prior to enrollment in the course. 

Course Pathways

Select from the six Course Pathways below.

There are six Course Pathways that provide students the opportunity to focus his/her/their Joint or Dual MS coursework. Course Pathways are organized around one broad topic and aggregate relevant courses from various departments on campus.

Climate Change

Understand the natural and physical science principles underlying atmospheric and climate change science


Climate Change Course Pathway

Food and Water Systems

Understand the food systems, agriculture, and water systems that support human well-being while sustaining the natural world


Food and Water Systems Course Pathway

Sustainable Built Environment

Understand engineering design principles of residential and commercial buildings including energy efficiency, sustainable building materials, and integrated design


Sustainable Built Environment Course Pathway

E-IPER Shared Resources (Current Students Only)

The E-IPER Shared Resources Drive provides an array of resources for current MS students. Resources include unofficial course reviews, important reminder e-mails, forms and more!