Middlebury and Monterey team up to offer an integrated degree program in International Environmental Policy

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Middlebury and Monterey team up to offer an integrated degree program in International Environmental Policy

July 1, 2010

By Clare Crosby, Sustainability Communication and Outreach Coordinator

While working on the Obama campaign, Oren Frey ’02 came across an ad for the International Environmental Policy program (MAIEP) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Middlebury Magazine. He was so intrigued that he decided to apply despite having no previous plans to return to school. After beginning his studies at MIIS, Frey learned about a pilot program allowing Middlebury alumni to accelerate their degree if they met certain qualifications. He is now earning his MA in three semesters rather than four.

The program in which Frey is enrolled is the pilot of one of five integrated degree programs that will allow students to earn a BA from Middlebury along with an MA from MIIS in five years. The programs will consist of four years of coursework at Middlebury along with one year at MIIS and are available to qualified Middlebury alumni, like Frey.

The goal of the MAIEP program is to provide students with the tools they need to become leaders in international environmental policy, whether working in government, NGOs, or business. The curriculum trains students in both theoretical and practical aspects of policy to best prepare them for real-world applications of their education.

During the year at MIIS, MAIEP students complete six core courses covering public policy, research strategies, environmental economics, and natural science, as well as electives in one of the following specialization tracks: Energy and Climate Change; Business, Sustainability, and Development; or Ocean and Land Conservation. Frey writes, “Now, two semesters into the MAIEP program, I have produced a podcast on the creation of a supply of sustainable palm oil, examined the effectiveness of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, increased my ability in Spanish, and written about the challenges posed by forced human migration due to climate change."

To learn more about this program at MIIS, please visit the MAIEP Web site.

Requirements for admission into the program for Middlebury alumni include a major in environmental studies, completion of an introductory course in microeconomics, experience abroad, and two years of course work in a foreign language or an equivalent level of fluency.  Exceptions can be made for students who did not major in environmental studies with special permission from the program chair at MIIS and completion of certain courses.

There are several scholarships available for the integrated degree programs. The Loker-Hicks Scholarship covers half of tuition for one male and one female Middlebury graduate and will be available beginning in fall 2010. Craig Scholarships, which also cover half of tuition, are also available for qualified Middlebury alumni beginning in 2010/2011 academic year.