MS in Environmental & Green Chemistry


Green Chemistry Forges Path Forward
Hear what Professor Voutchkova, co-director of the MS in Environmental and Green Chemistry, plans for the program.

This is an image promoting the Capstone event.  Acs Office of Sustainable Development and GW present Green Chemistry & Environmental Justice at the Intersection of Government, Industry and Academia.  A Capstone symposium from GW MS students in Environmental and Green Chemistry.  It then has three photos of the participants

Employers across the public and private sectors are increasingly seeking scientists who specialize in creative ideas with minimal environmental impact. In our unique green chemistry program, students learn the science underlying today’s environmental challenges and develop innovative, greener solutions to address them.

The curriculum builds proficiency in both environmental chemistry and green chemistry, positioning graduates to find employment in this burgeoning field or to continue their education in chemistry and sustainability. Coursework combines intensive study of chemical toxicology, green industrial chemistry and rational design of safer chemicals with related courses in public health, policy and business. Students round off the program with a final capstone project with areal-world client.



“There’s an emphasis on real-world applicability rather than a sole focus on academic exercises. That’s what is most rewarding to me. You can see where your work could be used to benefit health and safety.”

Savannah Sierco
MS '19

Why Pursue This Degree?

Interested in the environment, medical or veterinary professions, product invention or sustainable business practices? There is a growing employer demand for professionals with a passion for sustainability and a sound fundamental scientific background in environmental and green chemistry, toxicology and engineering. Because of the department's green chemistry capstone internship program, our graduates are strong candidates for positions in the private sector, government agencies and NGOs as environmental and sustainability consultants, health professionals, product developers, engineers and patent lawyers. Visit the GW Environmental and Green Chemistry LinkedIn page for current professional opportunities.



"As a GW alumna, being a mentor for the program was a very rewarding experience. The capstone program provides students with a unique real-world research opportunity, allowing them to extend their networks, gain further insights into work environments and help advance efforts that are relevant and important to organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

Sandra D. Gaona
MEM '06 
United States Environmental Protection Agency

What You'll Study

Our unique program melds the scientific foundations of environmental and green chemistry with public health, science policy and business perspectives. The core courses set our curriculum apart from any existing program in the United States and provide students with the scientific breadth and depth to evaluate environmental problems and develop sustainable solutions. Students can customize their studies with electives that take advantage of world-renowned GW programs in public health, management, public administration and media and public affairs. 

The degree concludes with a capstone project: a real-world group exercise that students carry out with an external partner/client such as a government agency, nonprofit group or faculty member. Students work in small teams with guidance from an external mentor and the program director. At the end of the capstone, students submit a written report and a formal presentation of results to both the external client and faculty.

"My time at GW in the Environmental and Green Chemistry program is one of the most influential experiences throughout my academic journey. From professors who are experts in their respective fields to capstone projects that support the Environmental Protection Agency, I developed a strong foundation in environmental sciences that will directly help me as an environmental lawyer. The knowledge and skills I acquired at GW makes me appreciate this program more and more every day."

Trip Johnson

Praise From Industry Leaders

"Patrick Raya [MS ’18, Environmental and Green Chemistry] worked in our Bethesda office for four plus months. ... He developed a scoring system that quantitated the frequency and prevalence of tissue level effect incidence data for 8000 plus chemicals. … In the relatively short period of time Patrick spent at Verisk 3E, he made a valuable contribution that can be built upon in our future design activities."

Hans Plugge
Manager, Safer Chemical Analytics
Capstone Mentor for Green Chemistry Program


Course Requirements

 Note: ACS placement examinations are administered at the start of the program of study to ensure competency in key areas of chemistry.
CHEM 6280Energy and the Environment
CHEM 6281Environmental Chemistry: Air, Water, and Soil
CHEM 6282Green Industrial Chemistry
CHEM 6283Chemical Toxicology and Rational Design of Safer Chemicals
CHEM 6284Environmental Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 6298Capstone Seminar in Environmental and Green Chemistry
or PPPA 6198 Environmental Resource Policy Capstone
12 credits in elective courses selected from the following*:
CHEM 6238Chemistry of Inorganic Materials
CHEM 6251Advanced Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 6257Physical-Organic Chemistry
CHEM 6278Molecular Spectroscopy
CHEM 6320Selected Topics in Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 6350Selected Topics in Organic Chemistry
ECON 6237Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources
EMSE 6200Policy Factors in Environmental and Energy Management
ENRP 6101Environmental Sciences I: Physical Sciences
ENRP 6102Environmental Sciences II: Life Sciences
IAFF 6141International Science and Technology Policy Cornerstone
IAFF 6142Technology Creation/Diffusion
IAFF 6151Environmental Policy
IAFF 6153Science, Technology, and National Security
IAFF 6158Special Topics in International Science and Technology Policy **
PPPA 6066U.S. Environmental Policy
PUBH 6002Biostatistical Applications for Public Health
PUBH 6126Assessment and Control of Environmental Hazards
SMPP 6290Special Topics **
STAT 6202Mathematical Statistics II

*Alternate elective courses may be selected subject to the program director's approval.

**Approved topics only. Consult the Schedule of Classes for current semester offerings. Permission of the advisor must be received prior to enrollment.