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The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy (IEP) is a four-semester, 60-credit program.

Start Dates Credits Language Competency Program Chair
August or January 60


Jason Scorse


Core course work:

  • Public Policy and the Environment (2 credits)
  • Research Strategies for Environmental Policy (2 credits)
  • Governing the Global Commons (4 credits)
  • Environmental & Natural Resource Economics (4 credits)
  • Applied Conservation Science & Policy (4 credits)
  • Methods (4 credits) sample courses:
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    • Data Analysis for Public Policy
    • Advanced GIS

Specialization (16 credits)

Practicum (6 credits)

Language Studies and Intercultural Competence (ICC)

  • 4 credits of ICC are required, language studies are optional using electives.

Electives (10 credits of open electives, 4 credits from policy and management courses)

    Core Course Work

    Through the core course work in this program you will gain and develop the following:

    • A fundamental understanding of economics as it relates to environmental policy
    • Quantitative skills to support environmental policymaking
    • An understanding of the applied science that underlies effective natural resources management, conservation, risk assessment, and decision making in a changing world
    • A strong background in environmental policy and management strategies

    Specialization Areas

    Students choose one of the following three specializations.

    Sustainability Management

    Business, government, and NGOs are increasingly searching for business solutions to global sustainability problems like climate change and marine plastic pollution. This specialization aims to position graduates to fill the growing demand in all sectors for sustainability-savvy professionals with foundational competencies in financial management, entrepreneurship, and organizational leadership. Required courses:

    • Corporate Sustainability Management and Strategy (4 credits)
    • Foundations in Financial Management (4 credits)
    • Organizational Development and Leadership (4 credits)
    • Sustainable Supply Chain Management (2 credits)
    • Materiality Assessment (2 credits)

    Faculty advisor: Lyuba Zarsky

    Natural Resource Policy and Management

    As the importance of biodiversity protection becomes more widely recognized, the demand for multifaceted and skilled professionals is growing. Governmental organizations, NGOs, consulting firms, and private companies are looking to minimize their environmental impact, and students in this specialization focus on resources as diverse as forests, fisheries, minerals, freshwater, and natural protected areas. Required courses:

    • Conservation Project Design and Evaluation (4 credits)
    • Foundations in Financial Management (4 credits)
    • Design, Partnering, Management and Innovation (4 credits)
    • A second methodology course (4 credits), sample courses: 
      • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
      • Advanced GIS
      • Data Analysis for Public Policy

    Faculty Advisor: Jeff Langholz

    Ocean and Coastal Resource Management

    Learn to integrate marine science and policy with economics and management to understand and address global climate change and promote ocean and coastal sustainability. This specialization is offered in conjunction with the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE). Students can participate in UCSC’s MARINE (Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education) program, and also are eligible for CBE fellowships. Sample courses:

    • International Marine Policy Speaker Series (1 credit or audit)

    • Marine Science and Policy (4 credits)

    • International Marine Law (4 credits)

    • Ocean and Coastal Economics (4 credits)

    • Sustainable Coastal Management (4 credits)

    Faculty Advisor: Jason Scorse

    Professional Practicum

    Put theory into practice through a semester-long practicum in the field. Options include the following:

    International Professional Service Semester

    An immersive learning experience, the International Professional Service Semester integrates academic work with professional opportunities. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit.

    Language and Intercultural Competence

    Courses taught in your chosen language combine language skills development with topics related to your degree work and professional interests. Our intercultural competence (ICC) offerings provide the cross-cultural communication skills needed to pursue global careers.

    Before you apply, we encourage you to speak to your enrollment advisor to discuss whether language studies align with your career goals so that you can complete the online application appropriately. If you enroll, you will work closely with your career and academic advisor to determine whether language studies and/or intercultural competence will best benefit your evolving career plans.

    Your language or ICC courses can be used toward an optional Language Studies for Professional Purposes specialization or the Intercultural Competence specialization.


    Students may 10–12 credits to take language studies courses, additional intercultural competence courses, IEP courses, and/or courses from other degree programs (assuming prerequisites met).

    An additional 4 credits must be applied to policy and management courses outside of the IEP program.

    Sample elective courses from the IEP program:

    • Sustainable Agriculture-Regenerative
    • Foundations of Climate Science
    • Environmental Conflict Management
    • International Renewable Energy Policy & Science
    • Green Business Feasibility Assessment
    • Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Risk Assessment
    • Harnessing Innovation for Sustainable Development Goals


    Center for the Blue Economy Summer Fellows

    Students enrolled in the IEP program who are pursuing the concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management are eligible for fully funded summer fellowships with top marine organizations.

    Additional Program Options

    Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

    Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are encouraged to apply for the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.

    Options for Peace Corps Service

    Interested students can integrate Peace Corps service into their degree.

    Accelerated Entry and Advanced Entry

    Students who meet our requirements for accelerated entry or advanced entry may be eligible to complete the degree in three or two full-time semesters. See How to Apply for details.

    Sample Course Schedule

    Fall Start, Full Time, Four Semesters

    Term Course Credits
    Fall 1 Public Policy & the Environment 2
    Fall 1 Research Strategies for Environmental Policy 2
    Fall 1 Methods Course 4
    Fall 1 Intercultural Competence 4
    Fall 1 Specialization Course 4
    Spring 1 Governing the Global Commons 4
    Spring 1 Applied Conservation Science & Policy 4
    Spring 1 Environmental & Natural Resource Economics 4
    Spring 1 Electives 4
    Fall 2 Policy/Management Course (outside of IEP program) 4
    Fall 2 Specialization Courses 8
    Fall 2 Electives 4
    Spring 2 Practicum 6
    Spring 2 Specialization Course 4
    Spring 2 Electives 2
    TOTAL   60