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Center for Environmental Education

“Fostering environmental sustainability through outdoor and environmental education.”


MEEd Graduate Student Handbook

MEEd Degree Requirements

MEEd Degree Completion

MEEd Current Student Resources

MEEd Degree Requirements

Courses and Credit Requirements


The MEEd requires a minimum of 34 credits. The following are required courses for this degree:

Note: electives must be at the 4000-level or higher; 4000-level electives must be approved for graduate credit.

A change to these course requirements is a decision made by your Committee, under consultation with the course instructor, and with approval from the Director of Graduate Studies. Regardless of the change made, the minimum credit requirement is 34. A maximum of 9 credits at the 4000-level can be used toward your degree, including the required EnEd 4163 (unless you take 5163) and EnEd 4315 courses. A maximum of 1/3 of the degree requirements may be taken on a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/N) grading basis. Courses only offered S/N will not be counted as part of the permissible number of S/N registrations.

Graduate Degree Plan

The MEEd Program requires an official Graduate Degree Plan to be filed by the end of the second semester of classes following admission to the program. For students transferring into the MEEd Program from the EE Certificate Program, this form should be filed by the end of their first semester at UMD. This form is used to indicate the coursework you will take to earn the degree. After the form is signed by your Committee (your two committee members will need to sign on co-advisor line), it is returned to the MEEd Graduate Program Office signed by the DGS and DGS Assistant, and kept in your academic file, as well as forwarded on to the UMD Grad Office for approval and electronic imaging. You, your Advisor, and your Committee will receive an electronic copy of the form after it has been approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Once approved and filed, the Graduate Degree Plan must be fulfilled, in every detail, in order for you to graduate, unless a change is requested and approved. To request a change in coursework on your approved Graduate Degree Plan, complete a Graduate Student Petition Form (otr190). This petition requires advisor and DGS signatures, and then is forwarded to the UMD Grad Office for approval and imaging, with a copy retained in the students file. If major changes in coursework are needed, a new Graduate Degree Plan can be filed, with the box checked indicating the plan is a revision of a previously approved plan. The new (revised) plan must be approved by your Advisor and Committee, signed by your Advisor and committee, and returned to the MEEd Graduate Program Office, for signatures by the DGS and DGS Assistant. After the Director of Graduate Studies approves the change, you, your Advisor, and your Committee will receive an electronic copy of the plan. This plan is retained in your academic file in the MEEd Graduate Program Office, and forwarded on to the UMD Grad School for approval and electronic imaging.

When completing the Graduate Degree Plan, pay close attention to the course and credit requirements listed in the prior section of this handbook, as well as to the instructions on the form. On this form, the required MEEd courses are considered "major courses," with the elective courses also being listed as "major courses" (as they are still requirements from our program). You should only list the courses used to meet degree requirements. If you plan to have transfer coursework be used toward degree requirements, please refer to the Transfer Coursework section below. On the second section of the Graduate Degree Plan regarding degree information, select "Plan B" for the type of Master's degree, and do not select any choices under the "number of thesis credits" question. EnEd/Educ 5990 credits are listed in the coursework section.

Transfer Coursework

Graduate level coursework taken from other institutions or earned prior to admission to this program may be approved and used toward meeting the MEEd requirements. Transfer coursework is limited to 12 credits. Coursework applied to an undergraduate degree cannot be used toward meeting MEEd requirements. If you would like to use graduate coursework from other institutions or graduate coursework from UMD earned prior to admission to the MEEd, you should list this coursework (up to 12 credits) on the Graduate Degree Plan in the section for transfer coursework. Official transcripts must be attached to the Graduate Degree Plan and must include a grade for the relevant course(s). To transfer coursework not listed on your approved Graduate Degree Plan (after you have already submitted your graduate degree plan), prepare a new Graduate Degree Plan, indicating on the plan it is a revised plan, and indicate the coursework you wish to transfer, as well as resulting changes to your Graduate Degree Plan; official transcripts must be attached to this form for the request to be considered. This form is submitted to and retained by the MEEd Graduate Program Office and forwarded to the UMD Graduate Office for electronic imaging..

Registration Requirements

General Registration Information

New graduate students will receive registration instructions, including account initiation information and a suggested course schedule, with their admission letter. Registration at UMD is administered online. The class schedule is also accessible online. All students, new and returning, must register before the term-specific, University-wide registration deadline. When exceptions to these registration deadlines are needed (to add a course or drop a course after the deadline, for example), there is an online petition form, which you initiate electronically. To avoid a late registration fee, you must register before the first day of the term. Students wishing to appeal a late registration fee must submit a Late Registration Fee Appeal form to the UMD Student Assistance Center (Solon Campus Center).

Active Status (Continuous Enrollment)

To maintain active status in the MEEd Program, you must register every fall and spring term until your degree is officially conferred. EHS 799 (starting Spring 2015, students should use GRAD 999) is a zero-credit, zero-tuition registration option to maintain active status intended for graduate students who have completed all the coursework and EnEd/Educ 5990 credits. You need to be enrolled in regular coursework, EnEd/Educ 5990, or EHS 799/GRAD 999 by the end of the second week of the semester or you will be discontinued/deactivated from the program. Deactivated students may not register for courses, take examinations, submit degree program or project proposal forms, file for graduation, or otherwise participate in the University community as Graduate School students. If you become discontinued, re-entry into the MEEd program requires a new application, application fee, and new Graduate Degree Plan. If readmitted, you must register for the term of readmission to regain your active status. Students registered in EHS 799 or GRD 999 may not hold a graduate assistantship. For more information, visit the Graduate School's registration requirements. Note: if you plan on graduating/completing all degree requirements in January, for example, you still must register for EHS 799/GRAD 999 for spring term (if your degree was OFFICALLY conferred by the end of December, then you would not need to register for spring term).

To enroll in GRAD 999, the student emails the Chair; the Chair forwards the email to the DGS noting his/her approval. The DGS works with the DGS Assistant to ensure eligibility requirements are met, and then the DGS Assistant adds the student to the permission list for GRAD 999 and notifies the student that he/she is able to register. The student can then register online (after having been added to the list, a permission number is not needed for the student to register).

Other Registration Requirements

Graduate students holding appointments as teaching or research assistants must be registered for a minimum of 6 credits each term of their appointment; this applies to appointments of any percentage or any number of hours. Graduate assistants or international students who need to be certified as full-time students but have fewer than six required credits remaining may be eligible for a special registration category that allows them to be considered a full-time student when registered for one credit. Refer to the UMD Graduate Student Handbook for more information.

Students receiving other types of financial aid from the University or other agencies, international students with certain types of visas, and students who wish to use various University services and facilities may have specific registration requirements; these students are responsible for obtaining information about such requirements from the appropriate offices.

Advisor and Committee Requirements

Advisor and Committee Roles

Upon acceptance into the MEEd Program, you will be assigned a temporary Advisor who will guide you in selecting your first-semester classes and in selecting a permanent Advisor (also referred to as your Chair). Your Advisor, along with the other members of your Committee, guides you in developing your Graduate Degree Plan (the coursework you will take) and in your final project (research, field, or curriculum project). The student, Advisor, and Director of Graduate Studies are jointly responsible for knowing the program requirements and processes, and ensuring completion of them in a timely fashion. In addition, your Committee serves as the examination committee for your final oral examination, prior to degree completion.

Committee Membership

The MEEd Graduate Committee consists of one Advisor (Chair) and two members. The Advisor needs to be a Faculty with Graduate Responsibilities in the MEEd program (to date, Julie Ernst, Ken Gilbertson, Chris Johnson, Bruce Munson, Kevin Zak). The members of a Committee can be MEEd faculty members (including MEEd faculty members with Adjunct/Non-Chairing status). Committee members can also be Faculty with Graduate Responsibilities in other graduate programs from throughout the UM system and/or professionals external to the UM system. At least one Committee member must be from outside the student's major field (a faculty member who does not have graduate responsibilities in the MEEd program or is not serving in the role of MEEd graduate faculty). Details regarding criteria and processes relating to graduate committee service are included in the document, Faculty with Graduate Responsibilities in the MEEd Program: Criteria and Processes Relating to Graduate Committee Service.

The UM system database contains a list of Faculty with Graduate Responsibilities for each graduate program (those with Adjunct status are included in this database). The UMD Graduate Office maintains a list of Faculty with Graduate Responsibilities whose responsibilities are limited to non-chairing roles (Adjunct Graduate Program Faculty status), as well as the MEEd Criteria and Processes Relating to Graduate Committee Service.

After you have selected a permanent Advisor, your advisor (or you copying your advisor in an email) should email the DGS Assistant (Lynn McGraw) so that she can update your advisor assignment (she accesses this online form through the Graduate School's form page). Your Advisor will guide you in the selection of your Committee, as well as in ensuring that your Committee membership meets the necessary requirements. Your Committee membership is recorded through a student-initiated process, using an online form found on the Forms for Masters' Students page (click link Assign/Update Examination Committee to initiate form). Note: as of 11/1/12, this online process is not working; until further notice, please use this process: student emails advisor indicating suggested committee members; advisor approves and forwards to DGS; DGS approves and forwards to UMD Grad Office, copying DGS Assistant; with UMD Grad School approval, email is imaged for electronic file.

Changes in Committee Membership

Changes in Committee membership may be made after filing the Graduate Degree Plan if approved by the Advisor, Committee, and Director of Graduate Studies, and UMD Graduate School. Changes will be recorded by the MEEd Graduate Program Office and the UMD Graduate School. This process uses the same student-initiated process that was used to initialy indicate your Committee membership (see prior section).

Substitutions on the examining Committee may be necessitated by such circumstances as a faculty member's temporary absence or leave from the University. The Advisor or the Director of Graduate Studies must request the UMD Graduate School's approval of such substitutions well in advance of the examination. Requests are done through email to Substitutions for an oral examination that are necessitated by emergency situations must also be approved in advance, to the degree possible. In such cases, the Advisor should consult with the Graduate School staff before the start of the examination; refer to Examining Committee Substitution Rules for additional information.

Plan B (EnEd/Educ 5990) Project Requirements


Your Plan B (EnEd/Educ 5990) Project serves the primary purpose of learning scholarly inquiry and clarity of expression under the direction of graduate faculty members. Not only does it document your abilities in systematic inquiry, analysis, and writing, but it also adds to knowledge in the field of environmental education and related fields and serves as a contribution to future scholars and researchers. Because it has your name as well as the University of Minnesota Duluth's name, it represents the instructional and scholarly functions of this University and the Master of Environmental Education program to the outside world. Thus, this project should be of the highest quality. While your Committee provides guidance throughout the process, the student assumes ultimate responsibility for the academic integrity and completion of the thesis or project.

Project Options

Final project options for the MEEd degree include a research-based project or journal article, field project, or curriculum project. As you explore and define your career goals and interests with your Advisor, you will work with your Advisor and Committee to select the option that is best suited toward your topic/interest area and achieving your educational and career goals. (examples of projects completed by prior graduates)

EnEd/Educ 5990 Registration

You may register for/enroll in 5990 credits at any time during your graduate studies, with the guidance and approval of your Advisor (a permission number from your Advisor is needed to register for 5990). You must be enrolled in a minimum of 1 5990 credit while working with your Advisor on your project. Thus, while you may need to register for more than 6 credits of 5990, depending on how long it takes you to complete your project; however, you would only be able to count 6 credits toward the required 34 credits for the MEEd. Also note that Advisors vary in their summer availability; you may or may not have the option of registering for 5990 credits with your Advisor during the summer.


A written proposal describing the planned project must be developed and approved by your Committee before the project is started. Approval is indicated on the MEEd Project Proposal Form This form, along with the proposal (Chapters 1-3 and References; see Plan B Project Guidelines) must be filed in the MEEd Graduate Program Office prior to submitting an application to the Institutional Review Board (for permission to collect/use data from "human subjects") and prior to data collection. Projects must follow the formatting guidelines specified by UMD Graduate School (see Preparing the Thesis/Design Project: Formatting, Submitting, Publishing and the Graduate School's Formatting Template), and must follow the Plan B Project Guidelines specified by the MEEd Program (guidelines that indicate what goes within each chapter).

As you are developing your proposal, you are required to share your proposed project through a colloquium presentation during the EnEd 5998 Seminar. You will work with your Advisor to schedule this colloquium (Colloquium Guidelines and Colloquium Example and Colloquim Example). You are also required to share your final project when it is completed, or nearly completed, as a part of EnEd 5998 Seminar. You must have your Advisor's approval before scheduling your colloquium and final seminar. While your present your work twice as part of EnEd 5998 Seminar, you only register for EnEd 5998 Seminar once; registration in EnEd 5998 Seminar does not need to correspond with when you present. (Final Seminar PPt Example 1, Final Seminar PPt Example 2, Final Seminar PPt Example 3)

Your finished project is presented to and approved by your Committee as part of the final examination process. All Committee members must receive your finished project at least two weeks before the final examination. Prior to the examination, every Committee member must indicate, by email to the Advisor, that the project is ready for defense. If it is not ready, the final exam must be rescheduled. Your project is graded on a S/N grading basis. You will receive an Incomplete (I) for 5990 credits until your final project has been signed (certified).

Submission of Project

Submission of the final project is electronic; no printed/bound copies are required by the MEEd Program or the UMD Graduate School. There is no cost involved in the electronic storage for the student. Projects are stored electronically in UMD's Digital Commons (D-Commons ), maintained by the UMD Library. Plan B Projects, theses, and dissertations completed by UMD Graduate Students are searchable and viewable by the UM Community, with some public availability (as this is a new service, use/restrictions are still being determined).

After the Committee has approved your project (through a passing vote at your final examination and by indicating the project is complete and satisfactory in all respects), your Advisor will certify project completion by signing the signature page (which precedes the title page of your project). By signing this form, the Advisor is indicating that your project is complete and satisfactory in all respects, and that any and all revisions required by the final examining committee have been made. This signature page should be prepared according to the UMD Graduate School's Preparing the Thesis/Design Project: Formatting, Submitting, Publishing and the Graduate School's Formatting Template. You will scan this signature page and submit an electronic copy of it, along with an electronic document of the completed project (which includes the non-signature title page), to the MEEd Graduate Program Office. The electronic document of the completed project can be in a pdf or word document file. After the Director of Graduate Studies has reviewed the completed project and ensured all other MEEd requirements have been met, the Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies will submit the signature page and completed project electronically to UMD Library's Digital Commons.

Additional Project Resources

Human Subjects Research Protection Program/Institutional Review Board

Human Subjects Research Training (Social and Behavioral) through CITI

UMD Student Writing Guide

Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

Performance Standards

The Graduate School defines good academic standing as: a) making timely progress toward degree completion as required by the program and by this policy; b) maintaining a GPA at or above the minimum set by the program and by this policy; and c) passing all appropriate examinations within the timeframe specified by the program. When performance is unsatisfactory in terms of grades or normal progress toward the student's degree, graduate student status may be terminated. Students who do not register every fall and spring term are considered to have withdrawn; their Graduate School records are deactivated.

Annual Review

The MEEd Program is responsible for reviewing the progress of each student annually. Students deemed not to be in good standing will be informed of the results of the review in writing. This process is defined in the Annual Review and Graduate Student Development Plan for MEEd Students.

Time Limit for Earning the Master's Degree

All requirements for the MEEd degree must be completed and the degree awarded within five calendar years after initial enrollment in the graduate program (for students admitted and matriculated prior to spring 2013, the time limit is seven years). If you are unable to complete within the five years due to extraordinary circumstances, you may petition for an extension of up to 12 months. You must obtain approval of your Advisor and Director of Graduate Studies and submit the Master's Degree: Request for Extension to the Maximum Time Limit to the UMD Graduate Office at LEAST SIX MONTHS prior to the expiration of your current time limit. If the petition is approved, you will be notified in writing of the expectations for progress and completion of the degree. If the petition is denied, you will be notified in writing that you will be terminated upon expiration of the time limit. In this case, you may apply for readmission to the program, but readmission is not guaranteed. The Committee may set any readmission conditions on your resumption of work toward the degree.

Minimum Grade Requirements

To remain in good academic standing, you must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 for courses included on the Graduate Degree Plan. Students falling below this minimum requirement may be terminated from the program

Student Conduct Code

All graduate students are responsible for complying with the University's Student Conduct Code.

Grievance Procedures

While it is preferable to settle, in an informal manner, disputes involving your rights as a student and/or graduate assistant, the UMD Graduate School Statement on Conflict Resolution outlines procedures for guiding the resolution of disputes or conflicts.

MEEd Degree Completion

Application for a Degree and Commencement Questionnaire

As of June 2015, the application for a degree is an online form. You will access the form in your MyU portal (Access path: MyU portal --> Academics --> Degree Progress tab --> "Apply to Graduate" link). You must provide a diploma name and address (you should enter this under the "My Info" tab before using the apply to graduate link). Please note that you must be in active status before you can apply to graduate. Students who have been discontinued for non-enrollment or other reasons must be readmitted to their programs before they will be able to access the link.

You should submit this application for a degree (your application to graduate) no more than 1 month in advance of when you expect to be completely finished with degree requirements. You will be able to select only a term of graduation (fall, spring, summer) in the new system. The timing of your submitted application within the selected term will determine the graduation month. For example, if the student plans to finish all program requirements in August, s/he should apply to graduate between July 2 and August 1. Information on this new timeline will be provided to students after they log in to access their graduation request. You can only submit your application for degree once. If you need to request a change in your expected graduation term or month after you have applied, you should email the Graduate Office ( For additional information, see the application for a degree on the graduate school website.

All students are asked to complete the Commencement Attendance Questionnaire , whether or not they plan to participate in Commencement. The deadline to submit this form is March 1st. Graduate students can only participate in one ceremony. If you do not participate in the ceremony for which you are scheduled, you will not be allowed to participate in any subsequent ceremony. Consult with your Advisor regarding participation if you will not have completed all degree requirements prior to Commencement. MEEd students are not eligible to participate in Commencement if they do not have a signed project proposal on file in the MEEd office.

Final Examination

In the MEEd Program, the final examination Committee is synonymous with the Committee who advises students toward the completion of the Plan B Project. This Committee, as noted in the Advisor and Committee Requirements section, must consist of at least three members; one of these members must be from a program other than environmental education. All Committee members must receive the Plan B Project at least two weeks before the final examination. Prior to the exam, every Committee member must indicate, by email to the Advisor, that the Project is ready for defense; if it is not ready, the final exam must be rescheduled.

At least three weeks prior to the final exam, the Advisor emails the DGS Assistant regarding the Examination Report Master's Degree form. Prior to the release of this form to the student from the UMD Graduate School, the DGS Assistant ensures the student has an approved Graduate Degree Plan on file and that the student has maintained active status. After the DGS Assistant notifies the UMD Graduate School that the Examination Report Master's Degree form can be released, the UMD Graduate School emails the form to the student (and copies the DGS Assistant). This form must be printed in color; if the student doesn't have access to a color printer, the DGS Assistant can assit with the color printing.

In the MEEd Program, the final examination is oral. All members of the Committee must be present at the final examination ("present" may include attendance by phone or SKYPE, as long as all can hear one another and all materials used during the exam are available to all involved). This examination is not open to the public; your work is presented to the public through your presentation during EnEd 5998 Seminar. In the MEEd Program, it is the student's responsibility to work with the Advisor to schedule the date and room for the exam. The oral exam will not exceed two hours. While the exam focuses on the student's final project (such as literature grounding the project, methods used, results and implications), the exam will include questions relating to student's coursework (both the major field—environmental education—as well as supporting coursework/electives). The exam will also include reflective questions, asking students to articulate, for example, how this degree/project aligned with their original goals for graduate study and/or plans for disseminating their work.

The examination is graded on a pass/fail basis, with each Committee member recording his/her vote on the Final Examination Report. A passing grade indicates the student's responses to examination questions, along with the Plan B project, are at or above proficiency and reflective of advanced practitioner/graduate-level work. A majority vote of the Committee is required to pass the final examination. The vote is recorded on the Examination Report Master's Degree form, which is retained in the MEEd Graduate Program Office (after the Examination, the Advisor brings the completed form to the MEEd Graduate Program Office). A copy of the form is forwarded to the UMD Grad Office for electronic imaging. If revisions to the project are required as a condition of passing, the Advisor shall withhold certifying the project signature page until all revisions have been completed. If no revisions are required, the Advisor can certify project completion by signing the signature page (which precedes the project title page; see Project Submission). If the student fails the examination, he/she may retake it only if all Committee members approve this option. The same Committee members must be used in the second attempt to pass. If the Committee does not unanimously approve the retake, or if the student fails the second attempt, the student may be terminated from the program. The student must pass the final examination in order to graduate.

Degree Clearance and Conferral

Degrees are awarded on the last business day of each month. To qualify for graduation for a particular month, a student must submit the Application for Degree Form on or before the first business day of that month and must complete the examination and all other requirements (including necessary forms and fees) by the last business day of that month. When all requirements have been met (final examination report received by the MEEd Graduate Program Office; signature page and project received by the MEEd Graduate Program Office; transcript shows completion of/grades for all coursework on the Graduate Degree Plan), the Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies will confirm with the Director of Graduate Studies that all requirements have been met. The Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies will notify the Registrar's Office for the degree clearance process. You will receive a letter of completion from the MEEd Graduate Program Office. Transcripts showing the award of the degree are available by request two-to-three weeks following the official date of conferral. Diplomas are issued by the Office of the Registrar and should be received in the mail four-to-six weeks following the official date of degree conferral. Your letter of completion will be mailed to the address you have on file in the MEEd Graduate Program Office. Your diploma will be mailed to the address you indicate on the Application for Degree.

Commencement Ceremony

The UMD Graduate School commencement ceremony is held each year in May. You are encouraged, but not required, to attend. Your cap, gown, hood, and tassel can be purchased at the Lower Level of UMD Stores. To make sure your name appears in the program distributed at the commencement ceremony, you must submit the Commencement Attendance Questionnaire by the March 1st. Students can only participate in one ceremony. If you do not participate in the ceremony for which you are scheduled, you are unable to participate in any subsequent ceremony in the following years. Historically, the graduate programs at UMD have had their own ceremony. As of spring 2014, undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be combined and be held in the AMSOIL Arena. For spring 2015, MEEd graduates will participate in the 3:00 pm ceremony with undergraduate and graduate students from CEHSP, SFA, and CLA. See for the most recent information. Also for additional requirements for those participating in commencement ceremonies.


Current Student Resources

Checklist of Steps

Checklist of Steps toward Earning Your MEEd

Costs and Payment Information

Financial Aid

Reciprocity Information

Tuition and Fees

Out-of-state students paying non-resident tuition may apply for a non-resident tuition waiver; contact the Assistant to the Director of Graduate Studies for more information. Graduate assistantships are available on a limited basis. Receiving a GA is dependent upon your qualifications and availability of funding. Students are encouraged to seek out opportunities for supporting their study, and in particular their research/field/curriculum project, with faculty assistance.

UM Pay (Electronic Billing)

Graduate Student Travel

There may be travel funding available from the Graduate School for graduate students to present at conferences. Funding is limited, and ideally the request for Graduate School funding is accompanied by department or college level funding. A request can be made using the graduate student travel request form. This form is submitted via an email attachment to the MEEd Director of Graduate Studies. The request if approved by the MEEd DGS is forward to the Graduate School, who then notifies the student as to the outcome of the request. For international travel, please refer to the U of M International Travel Policy

Additional Resources and Information

Duluth Transit Authority (DTA)

Health Insurance


Immunization Requirements

Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS)



Student Account Initiation


U Card (Student ID)

University of MN Duluth Catalog

University of MN Duluth Graduate School


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