ICARE NRT FAQs

• What is this program all about?
The ICARE NRT master’s degree is a 2-year interdisciplinary degree program with a dual mission of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice combined with research focused on improving the health of Baltimore Harbor. Students will be mentored by a UMBC faculty member and a non-academic scientist from a government agency, non-profit, or industry. That research team will be embedded in a larger stakeholder team, meaning that each student and their mentors will identify one or more community members (non-scientists) with a stake in the research to be engaged in the research from development to completion. Students will also be taking skills courses (community engagement, JEDI, oral and written communication) and disciplinary courses appropriate to their research project.

• Who can apply?
Anyone interested in earning a Master’s degree focused on environmental science and social justice. We are particularly focused on recruiting students with a commitment to broadening participation in the environmental workforce.

• How do you apply?
Students interested in joining the ICARE NRT team need to first apply to one of the four participating Master’s degree programs at UMBC:  Biological SciencesEnvironmental EngineeringGeography & Environmental Systems, Public Policy, or the cross-campus Marine Estuarine Environmental Science (MEES) program. Students need to apply to their respective program at https://gradschool.umbc.edu/. Students then need to complete a supplemental ICARE NRT application. For more information, please complete our Request for More Information form.

• When do I apply?
The ICARE application should be completed at the same time as your graduate school application. For best consideration, please plan to complete both applications by January 1st.

• To what degree granting program/department will I apply?
You will apply to, and earn a degree in, one of five programs at UMBC: Biological Sciences; Environmental Engineering; Geography & Environmental Systems; Public Policy, or the cross-campus MEES program. We can help you find the right program to match your interests and goals. The UMBC Graduate School application can be found here: https://gradschool.umbc.edu/.

• How many students will be admitted per year?
Up to ten students will be admitted per year in 2021, 2022, & 2023.

• Can I apply as a part-time student?
Our program is a two-year Master’s degree program.

• Who is funding this program?
The ICARE NRT is funded by a five-year training grant from the National Science Foundation. Six accepted students will be funded (stipend, tuition, and benefits) by the ICARE NSF grant, and we will work with the remaining four to try to find funding.

• Can I receive funding if I am an international student?
U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for the full stipend and tuition remission, along with funding for research and travel. Non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents are unable to receive the full stipend or tuition remission, however they can receive funding for research and travel.

• How do I find a mentor?
To find a mentor, please browse our core faculty web page and the example research projects page. Students are not limited by our example projects. We encourage students to contact faculty directly to express your interest and develop potential projects. Mentors should be faculty members within the respective department you are applying for your M.S. degree.

Students can work with approved, non-UMBC researchers and collaborators on a project, but need a member of the ICARE faculty to be a co-mentor. If you know someone in the Baltimore/DC area that works for a Non-Profit, a Company, a Federal or State Agency doing this kind of work, you could also approach that person to help you find a good UMBC co-mentor. Students may also wish to look at our current program partners for opportunities.

• What if I have more questions?
Please complete a request for more information here: https://icare.umbc.edu/contact/ so we can best direct your question or provide more information.