Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy
Become a leader in addressing the world’s toughest environmental challenges.
The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy (IEP) prepares you for a rewarding career working with public, private, or nonprofit organizations to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental problems. This four-semester, 60-credit degree is for people who want to take action and actively build the more sustainable societies that the world so desperately needs.
We offer both fall and spring admission for this program.
Find out if IEP is right for you
The program is international because there is no way to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges through the actions of one country alone. Furthermore, cultural and historical context matters when crafting policies. Our curriculum focuses 50% on the policies of the U.S. and California and 50% on the international context, ensuring that our graduates understand U.S. policy as well as key international institutions, treaties, and case studies.
The fundamental premise of the curriculum is that innovation is in the implementation—we focus on educating leaders who can impact major policy that improves people’s lives and the environment on which we all depend.
Core classes provide a base of natural science literacy, along with an emphasis on interdisciplinary social science—economics, law, policy, psychology, communication, and data analysis. We don’t simply study problems but address them, paying particular attention to behavioral design, effective advocacy, and social justice concerns.
Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers opens up global career opportunities, so IEP students are able to take content courses in a second language and/or courses in intercultural competence that emphasize social and environmental justice.
You will work closely with professors on real-world consulting projects and research papers. In addition to their research and publication endeavors, our faculty are actively engaged policy professionals, ensuring that you are learning the latest practices straight from the field. Together with career advisors, they mentor students to provide the academic and professional experience that will help them realize their career goals. Meet our faculty.
Sustainability Speaker Series
The Sustainability Speaker Series brings creative, pragmatic, and practice-based environmental professionals to campus. Lectures are free and open to the public. The series features some of today’s most influential leaders across a wide variety of fields. See upcoming speakers.
Our interdisciplinary program gives you the opportunity to choose an immersive field experience as well as a career-oriented specialization:
The MA in International Environmental Policy program is designated as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) degree program. International students who graduate from this program, and who are eligible to apply for standard Optional Practical Training (OPT), may also qualify to apply for a STEM 24-month extension of their work authorization. Please visit International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to read more about eligibility requirements for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and the 24-month STEM extension.
Nearby Silicon Valley is at the heart of the green tech revolution, and the organic agriculture movement started just on the other side of the bay in Santa Cruz. Conservation leaders like the Big Sur Land Trust and the Ventana Wildlife Society are local groups that have helped define conservation policy for decades. Just two hours away, the San Francisco Bay Area has the highest concentration of environmental NGOs anywhere in the world.
The Center for the Blue Economy
The Middlebury Institute’s Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) is a research and academic center developing innovative ways to address critical ocean and coastal resource management issues, particularly with respect to coastal climate adaptation and “blue” economic development. Students in the IEP program who are pursuing the specialization in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management are eligible for fully funded CBE summer fellowships with top marine organizations, as well as research assistant positions that allow them to work on cutting-edge research during their studies.
The California coast extends across 1,200 miles (3,000 miles depending on what is counted). There have been extensive investments in understanding the physical and biological dimensions of the coast. There are numerous world-class ocean science institutions in California furthering understanding of those dimensions. However, there has been little effort to understand one of the key components of the marine ecosystem: human use.
Middlebury Institute alum John Edward Meyers, who earned his MA in International Policy Studies in 2004, recently co-authored an article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review on the impact of REDD+ carbon offsets in Colombia.