Student Research

All SEAS master's students complete a capstone: master’s project, thesis, or practicum. The majority of students complete a project. Master's projects are the most popular. Master’s thesis work spans the entire program, while project work spans roughly 15 months. Projects are conducted by interdisciplinary student teams working with real-world clients on actual sustainability issues. If you are interested in completing a thesis or practicum instead, talk with your faculty advisor about which path is right for you and you will need faculty approval.

Master's Project

An interdisciplinary problem-solving research endeavor conducted by a team of students. Projects expose students to group experiences to prepare them for similar situations in the workplace. For clients, projects provide useful products and solutions to complex environmental issues. For more information about Master's Projects, explore links below or contact

Master's Project Course (EAS 701)
Project lists, deadlines, and related news

Master's Thesis

An individual work that is creative, scholarly, and based on independent research. Theses usually include a literature review to delineate a problem or gap in knowledge, statement of objectives, formulation of hypotheses, explanation of methods, collection, and analysis of data, report of results, and discussion of conclusions. Results of a thesis should be publishable in a peer-reviewed journal.

Master's Thesis Course (EAS 700)

Sustainability Theme Master’s Project Courses

Within each course, students will complete Master’s Projects that are interdisciplinary and client-driven, just like traditional Master’s Projects. What is different is that instead of a single team with a faculty advisor, students will work with three other project teams and one instructor through a more structured process within the context of a 3-semester course series. This series begins with a 3-credit winter course on theme-specific content and skills to develop the project plan, a 2-credit fall course focusing on analysis and synthesis of the summer’s work, and finally a 1-credit course the second winter to guide completion of the project and presentations. Theme-based projects provide greater opportunities for learning about the respective sustainability theme challenge and collaboration across projects within a theme.