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The Middlebury Institute Master of Arts in International Environmental Policy (IEP) is designed to prepare you for a rewarding career with some of the most prestigious environmental organizations around the world—in government, business, and the nonprofit sectors.

The four-semester, 60-credit program includes interdisciplinary course work in environmental and natural resource economics, conservation science, policy analysis, research methods, communications, corporate activism, and social justice. Small classes allow you to work closely with professors on real-world projects and research papers.

Specializations provide opportunities for specific field experiences, and all students choose a professional practicum in their final semester to apply their skills to real-world projects.

Students also take intercultural competence courses and courses taught in their chosen language of study. See the curriculum for more details.

Why the Institute: Professional experience before you graduate

My name is Melis Okter, I was an International Environmental Policy student at the Middlebury Institute. I am currently an environmental scientist and coastal planner at Dudek, in their Oakland office, and what I mainly focus on is sea level rise policy. I was studying science-based stuff in my undergrad and I had this moment when I felt like there was a lot of science going on but there was so much of the implementation.

So I took a shift from looking at science-based PhD programs to more practical masters or PhD programs and I came across the Middlebury Institute and the IEP program had a really good intersect of science and policy. That was the best part of it because if you don't have a lot of job experience, you can focus on what you did in your class; not what you learned, but how you implemented what you were learning.

Several of our classes, we had to write vulnerability assessment, or go out and do some sort of fieldwork that we translate into a policy. And those were directly applicable tools that I was able to show people while I was applying to jobs: "Hey look, I'm on the younger end of the spectrum. I don't have a whole lot of job experience, but this is how I know how to do a lot of this stuff."

I don't think there's any contaminated sites, but I just wanted to make sure there's someone confirming that.

The Middlebury Institute offers you a lot of flexibility to form what you're most interested in and we have access to some great positions around Monterey. We have NOAA right by us, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Big Sur Land Trust and they all know our professors really well. So our professors are always looking to get their students these great positions and they get to know what you're interested in to give you job opportunities while you're there.

I think I valued most just how much the faculty cares about their students and really wants to see them succeed. Jason Scorse, the director of the IEP program actually sent me this job position. So I think a lot of them are really invested in their students post-graduation. In my undergrad, I went to UC San Diego, so it's huge, and I don't think I had a single professor that I interfaced with very often. So coming from a big school, I think the small campus in a small town with a really small program was really beneficial.

Specializations

Students choose one of the following four specializations.

Professional Practicum

Put theory into practice through a professional practicum in the field or related research course:

The Advantage of the Monterey Location

More than 150 environmental organizations have offices in the Monterey Bay area. Monterey is a center for marine and ocean conservation and policy, featuring premier resources such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

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.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Extension for STEM Students

International students enrolled in the program can qualify for the STEM 24-month extension of their post-completion OPT and may be able to work for three years in the U.S. after graduation while still on their student visa.

Careers and Internships

Students gain professional experience through internships, prestigious fellowships, and other real-world, immersive programs.

Our graduates work within some of the most prestigious organizations around the world. Learn how they are thriving in their careers.

Tuition and Fees

Visit our Admissions site for detailed information about tuition and fees.