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Master of Arts in Environmental Law

Environmental Expertise. Career Clarity.

Passionate about environmental policy but not sure that you want to be a lawyer? Earn your Master of Arts in Environmental Law (MEL) in as little as one year from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. This 30-credit program will prepare you for rewarding roles in environmental sustainability, compliance, and natural resource management. Ideal for recent graduates and working professionals, our dedicated faculty and staff will help you personalize your plan of study according to your career aspirations. Graduates can apply their knowledge across many industries, including business, politics, construction, and more. 

As environmental challenges in the Gulf and around the globe continue to rise, you have the potential to make a lasting impact on your community in industries and agencies that have never been more relevant. You’ll learn in the field through immersive experiences, from kayaking in the bayou, to studying the ecology and coastal erosion of the Mississippi River Delta, to spending a summer learning about endangered animals and coastal law in the Florida Keys. 

No GRE or LSAT required to apply. Get started by emailing our admissions team today at

Please note that students in the Master of Arts in Environmental Law, and Health Law and Administration programs follow the Law School Calendar, not the Graduate Calendar.


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Expedited Admit Requirements

Exceptional applicants who are Loyola undergraduate alumni and graduated from Loyola with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, may be offered expedited admissions to either of the College of Law's Master's degree programs. Under expedited admissions, these applicants only need to complete the application and submit a statement of interest. Loyola graduates are guaranteed a merit scholarship award.

The College of Law reserves the right to request additional information from the applicant if it is determined to be necessary for the university to render an admission decision.

Law graduate

Career Outlook

Environmental law is an umbrella for many different areas of expertise, including clean air and water, land use, natural resource management, and urban planning. You can focus your education and future career on the areas that spark your interest. You'll prepare for jobs at government agencies, small and large businesses, and nonprofits, or you can apply your skills and creativity to start your own business. Examples of specific roles include:

  • Policy analysis and research
  • Environmental education and advocacy
  • Regulatory and legislative design
  • Environmental project management
  • Technical assistance to government agencies for planning and strategy
  • Regulatory compliance and enforcement
  • Independent and political consulting

What Makes Loyola Law Right for You?

Get the support you need to take your next step.

Make the Gulf Region Your Classroom

As part of the Master of Arts in Environmental Law program, you’ll connect your studies to real issues facing the Gulf region in Louisiana and beyond. Through experiential opportunities, policy lab work, and independent research study, you will gain a deep understanding of environmental law as it applies to current events, legislation, and industry trends. 

  • Engage with community leaders, attorneys, faculty, and peers at the Center on Environment, Land, and Law and through advocacy projects for local and national community organizations and tribes in the Environmental Policy Lab.
  • Get involved with panel discussions, roundtables, and field trips featuring subject matter experts on hot-topic environmental issues like endangered animals, disaster response, and climate change. 
  • Take non-law elective courses like Environmental Science, Environmental Philosophy, or Sociology of Disaster — among others — and gain a broad knowledge of the scientific and social factors that inform environmental policy decisions.

Career Support for Life

Through the Career Development Office, you’ll gain access to a robust alumni network, career counseling, recruiting, and resources to help you find your ideal role. We’ll help you through every step along the way.

Marianne Cufone with law students

Meet the Program Director

For more than 20 years, Program Director Marianne Cufone has litigated major environmental cases and helped write and pass many significant federal, state, and local environmental policies. She is also the founder of Recirculating Farms, an organization that promotes building innovative, eco-efficient urban farming. Email Marianne at to discuss the program and your specific career goals.

Professors Who Make an Impact

We’re proud to keep our class sizes small so you can get personalized support and build lasting connections. Meet some of the professors who will inspire your career.

Loyola College of Law

Start Your Application

We can't wait for you to join us! Here's what you need:

  • Completed program application
  • A short personal statement explaining your interest in the program
  • A university transcript from your undergraduate institution 
  • One letter of recommendation, which may be emailed directly to (no letters of recommendation are required for Loyola graduates)

Every applicant is automatically considered for scholarship awards. No LSAT or GRE score required to apply. While you're waiting to hear back, please complete your FAFSA.  

View the MEL Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Environmental Law curriculum is flexible to fit your career goals. Explore the full listing of required and elective courses to start imagining your potential.

Requirements (13 hours)
  • LAW L858 Environmental Law (3 credits)
  • LAWM L705 U.S. Law and Legal Analysis – one-week intensive before the regular semester begins (1 credit)
  • Capstone project (3 credits) or LAWM L710 Graduate Seminar in Health and Environmental Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L844 Administrative Law or an approved equivalent (3 credits)
  • *One experiential offering, or other pre-approved equivalent offering or experience, such as:
    • LAW L900 Academic Externship (3 credits)
    • LAW L976 Environmental Law and Policy: Florida Keys (3 credits)
    • Any other experiential opportunity (including work experience) with approval

*We require students to complete an experiential opportunity, which can be fulfilled in many ways (internship, externship (LAW L900), Environmental Law and Policy: Florida Keys course (LAW L976), outside employment, etc.)  Note, this is not a specific credit requirement, but some of the opportunities do offer credit hours.

For the remaining credit hours necessary for the Master of Arts in Environmental Law degree, students may choose from a wide array of courses from law, environmental, non-law, and non-environmental offerings, (Note: generally, non-environmental and/or non-law courses are capped at six credits that apply toward the degree, unless otherwise pre-approved).

LAW ELECTIVES (17 hours) 
(no more than 6 hours combined non-environmental and non-law)
  • LAW L900 Academic Externship (3 credits - experiential)
  • LAW L864 Admiralty 1 (3 credits)
  • LAW L879 Admiralty Seminar: Marine Pollution (2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L879 Admiralty Seminar: Intro to International Law of the Sea (1 credit)
  • LAW L822 Bioethics and the Law (3 credits)
  • LAW L819 Construction Industry & Sustainability Seminar (2 credits)
  • LAW L913 Disaster and Policy Law (2 credits)
  • LAW L975 Energy Law and Policy (2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L929 Energy and the Environment in International Law (2 credits)
  • LAW L976 S50 Environmental Law and Policy: Florida Keys (May Term, 3 credits - experiential)
  • LAW L886 Environmental Law Seminar (2 credits) (may take more than one), including:
    • Law and the Climate Crisis; 
    • Environmental Enforcement and Compliance; 
    • Hot Topics in Environmental Law
  • LAW L834 Environmental Justice (2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L911 Introduction to American Indian Law: Overlapping Jurisdictions (3 credits)
  • LAW L837 Property and Land Use Seminar: Land Use Law (2 or 3 credits)
  • LAW L835 Natural Resources Law (3 credits) 
  • LAW L896 Professional Seminars (2 credits) (may take more than one), including:
    • Green Building
    • Professional Seminar in Public Health
  • LAW L856 State and Local Government Law (2 credits)
  • LAW L837 Property and Land Use Seminar: Property, Land Use and Justice (3 credits)
  • LAW L838 Oil and Gas Law (3 credits) 
  • LAW L922 Toxic Torts (2 or 3 credits)


(no more than 6 hours combined non-environmental and non-law)

Remaining course offerings, including those at main campus, with instructor approval and graduate level work added. Examples include:

  • RELS V265 Eco-Feminist Theologies
  • PHIL W245 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL U243 Environmental Philosophy
  • ENVA H295 Environmental Policy
  • SOCI A355 Environmental Sociology
  • ENVA A194 Foundations in Environmental Science
  • ENVA A105 Foundations in Environmental Studies
  • SOCI X236 Global Environmental Crisis
  • HIST Q236 Historical Geography 
  • HIST Q234 Technology, Nature and the West
  • HIST Q294 Water and Society

For a fuller list of possible courses, review the topics below in the undergraduate bulletin:

Environmental courses
Food Studies courses
Business, Decision Science and Entrepreneurship
Political Science courses 
Sociology courses



One year can change everything.

Enroll today!