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 (4 credits)
  • Methods (4 credits) sample courses:
    • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
    • Data Analysis for Public Policy
    • Introduction to Network Analysis

Specialization (16 credits)

Practicum (4 or 6 credits)

Language Studies and Intercultural Competence (ICC)

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


  • 10–12 credits of open electives. Students may use these 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.

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 four 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)
  • Leadership and Entrepreneurship Competency electives (4 credits) sample courses: 
    • Social Entrepreneurship
    • Leadership Across Borders
    • Green Business Feasibility Assessment
    • Business Models for Sustainable Development
  • Apply Business Solutions to Sustainability Problems Competency electives (4 credits) sample courses: 
    • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Risk Assessment
    • Conservation Finance
    • Impact Accounting and Management
    • Sustainable Cities
    • Beyond Plastic: Growing an Innovation Economy

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:

  • Design, Partnering, Management, and Innovation (DPMI) (0 to 6 credits)

  • Conservation Project Design and Evaluation (4 credits)

  • An additional methods course (4 credits)

  • Electives (2 to 8 credits) sample courses:

    • Sustainable Agriculture

    • Foundations of Climate Science

    • Environmental Conflict Management

    • International Environmental Assessment

    • International Renewable Energy 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 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

Intercultural Competence

The Intercultural Competence (ICC) specialization equips students with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes to expertly lead and train multicultural teams, sensitively interact with diverse stakeholders, and create effective ICC assessments and training materials. Students interested in communication, social and environmental justice, and facilitation skills should consider this specialization.

Faculty Advisor: Netta Avineri

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.

Applied Professional Practicum

The independent practicum (four to six credits) requires independent academic planning and responsibilities. Students can choose to enter a business case competition, develop their own business plan, do field research, a project focused on environmental advocacy and/or activism, or other related professional work that is supervised by one or more faculty members.

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.


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 
(waiver possible with requisite coursework)
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 4 (or 6)
Spring 2 Specialization Course 4
Spring 2 Electives 4 (or 2)
TOTAL   60