Combined bachelor’s and master’s degree pathway in Environmental Planning

Beginning in the fall of 2018, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) students will be able to pursue a combined undergraduate and graduate degrees in Environmental Planning in a total of five years. Normally this combination would take at least six years to complete, so this opportunity allows students to save time and money.

This pathway is a result of the collaboration between the Departments of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and Urban and Regional Planning in the College of Social Sciences. It combines the Bachelor of Science in Global Environmental Science (GES) degree with the Master in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP).

This degree is designed for students interested in the environment and how societies can plan urban development, taking into account environmental and climate change, in a sustainable way.

GES Chair Michael Guidry stated, “This is an amazing opportunity for UHM and UH Community College students to get a BS in Environmental Science and a Master in Environmental Planning in just five years. Students with this combination have the ability to go anywhere in the country and get a job. Local entry-level planning firm and government jobs start at $60,000-$70,000. Furthermore, the master’s degree allows them to quickly move up into the six-figure salary range. We already have the first GES student, Noʻeau Machado, accepted into the pathway and others are lining up. I’m really happy that UHM can provide such a great opportunity for its undergraduates.”

DURP Chair Priyam Das stated, “We are delighted to offer this opportunity for students to receive an accredited master’s degree by building on the foundations of the GES program. MURP is a nationally-accredited, highly-ranked planning program. Our graduates have a very high employment rate (well above 90%) in public, private, and non-profit sectors, both local and national. We are indeed proud of their efforts to seed new ideas and catalyze change. We hope that GES students will increasingly consider a career in urban and regional planning.”

Noʻeau Machado shared, “The GES & MURP combined pathway program is not only giving me the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in half the time it would normally take, but is also allowing me to use skills I have learned in the GES program in an exciting and unique field. Having a GES degree as well as a MURP (environmental planning) degree will also help me in pursuing my goals of working to better the natural environment of Hawaiʻi.”

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For more details on this combined pathway plan, please contact GES Chair Michael Guidry ( or MURP faculty Danielle Spirandelli (

Read more on UH News.