Find Out How to Apply

The deadline to submit all application materials for fall admission is February 1, 2016. Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis.

The Environment and Community Program is a member of the Western Regional Graduate Program, which is part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Membership in the WRGP enables students from any of the 15 western United States to pursue graduate study in the E&C program while paying only California in-state tuition. For more information about the WRGP, visit:

The E&C program does not offer spring admission.

Candidates for admission to the Environment and Community M.A. in Social Sciences Program must have a B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited college or university prior to matriculation. While we accept applicants from a diverse range of disciplinary backgrounds, applicants’ coursework should include social science. Applicants whose coursework does not include social science should indicate in their statement of purpose how they plan to acquire a basic understanding of social science theory and research before beginning the program. Applicants are also expected to have maintained a minimum 3.0 grade point average in their last 60 units of course work. A college-level course in statistics is also pre-requisite or a co-requisite for all students enrolled in the E&C program. This requirement must be satisfied by the end of the first semester of the program; the statistics course does not count toward the M.A. degree requirements. GRE scores are not required.

Applicants are responsible for submitting all application materials. Required application materials are:

  • Completed electronic CSU graduate application form. Select ‘Social Science Environment and Community, (M.A.)’ where it asks for “Major/Program objectives.”
  • A 750-word statement of purpose should be submitted either as part of the electronic application form or e-mailed separately to the program. Note that the electronic application form’s generic statement-of-purpose prompt should be disregarded. Instead, address the following program-specific prompt: Discuss your interests and relate them to the central themes of the Environment and Community Program. To the extent possible, describe possible thesis or project topics and what you would like to do when you graduate from the program. A strong essay clearly articulates the nature of the fit between you and the Environment and Community Program.
  • CSU application fee
  • Official transcript from each college attended.
  • Three letters of recommendation from people in a position to assess your potential as a graduate student. Use the electronic recommendation request process on page 11 of the electronic CSU graduate application form.
  • A 10-page writing sample. The writing sample is intended to show the application review committee that you are able to communicate clearly and intelligently at a level appropriate to an incoming graduate student. The topic can be anything. Applicants usually submit research papers that they have previously submitted for an undergraduate class, but the submission does not have to be a school paper. Examples of some previous non-school-related writing samples include articles written for newspapers or reports written for work. Ten pages is a guideline for the submission; if your paper is a little shorter or a little longer, that is fine. If your paper is longer, please submit the entire piece rather than just the first 10 pages.

Please send official transcripts and the CSU application fee, if paying by check, to:

Cynthia Werner
Graduate Student Admissions
Office of Admissions
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521

All other application materials may be sent via email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Applications will be reviewed by an admissions committee of faculty drawn from our advisory committee.

International Students

There are additional requirements for international students interested in applying to the program. Information about those requirements is available through the International Programs Office.

Financial Aid

All applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and file it by the deadline. Completing the FAFSA enables applicants to be considered for federal graduate work study awards, in addition to federal and state financial aid loans and grants. Information about completing the FAFSA and about financial aid in general is available from the HSU Financial Aid Office:

There is also a limited amount of non-resident fee waiver money granted to students in this program on a competitive basis. All admitted students who are neither California residents nor residents of the 15 western states that belong to the Western Regional Graduate Program (see above) will be considered for this fee waiver. This is because the committee ends up considering all out-of-state students for the fee waiver, whether they request to be considered or not.