I'm a US citizen with an BA from a US university but I have been looking at the University of Iceland for a Master's in Environment and Natural Resources while scoping US schools as well.

I know generally what topics I'd want to research such as sustainable agriculture, resource management, water management, or policy, but I have no clue what to do when it comes to projects yet. Would these be issues for applying to a program in Iceland? Is it also normal to email professors in Iceland asking to work with them? That doesn't seem to be as much of a thing in Europe as it is in the US for a Master's.


In Europe, to be admitted to a Master's program, there are normally quite formal requirements. In particular, you need a Bachelor in a to-be-defined field. If your Bachelor is from another university, or in your case even another country, someone will have to approve its equivalence. That's usually not the professor's role (though their support might help to convince the relevant offices of the relevance of your background).

I would recommend to first contact the University's International Office, introduce to them what Bachelor you have from what university, to ask them what the procedure would be for you to enroll in the Master course.

In Europe, a Master degree is typically one or two years including course work and a small (~6 months) research project. You don't need to decide on the research project at time of enrollment, rather when you are already enrolled you can contact professors with ideas, or the professors may suggest ideas already. Details vary.

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  • Note, also, that Iceland is a member of the Bologna Process. – Buffy Feb 6 at 12:28
  • @Buffy This is very useful information, I was just about to ask whether general European advice even applies to Iceland. – quarague Feb 6 at 13:48
  • All of this is super useful. Thank you so much for your responses! – ForestDwellers Feb 10 at 21:04

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