Flexibility and access

The GEP degree offers our exceptional graduate students flexibility, rigor, and the opportunity to spend time with Washington's unparalleled concentration of environmental agencies, advocacy organizations, and think tanks. The success of our vast alumni network is a testament to the value of our program.

The core values of the School of International Service infuse our work on sustainability and environmental protection. These values include the spirit of inclusiveness, the understanding of the risks faced by the most vulnerable, the respect for scientific rigor, the appreciation for the interconnectedness of environmental challenges, and the creative openness to crafting solutions yet unimagined. Our community is marked by courage, passion, and deep concern.

At this pivotal moment, it is more important than ever that outstanding professionals be trained to fill in the gaps and renew our commitment to find solutions to our shared challenges. Whether you intend to work at the scale of a neighborhood, a watershed, a nation, or the planet as a whole, the GEP degree provides a uniquely rich opportunity to hone your skills and join a vibrant and effective network of students, alumni, and faculty.

Degree Options

In addition to the standard master's degree, you can earn a dual master's degree through our partnership at AU.

The Global Environmental Policy master's degree helps you understand causes of environmental harm and identify ways to build a more sustainable world. Particular areas of program focus include climate change, sustainable energy, water, food and agriculture, environment and development, peacebuilding, and urban design and sustainability.

The School of International Service (SIS) offers a dual master's degree program with Kogod School of Business, giving students the opportunity to acquire expertise in both environmental policy and business. Graduates will receive an MA through SIS and an MBA through Kogod.

The full-time MBA is a cohorted two-year program. During the first year of the MBA students complete 26 or 29 credit hours in Kogod, and during the second year of the MBA students, including the MBA capstone in the spring semester. Sequencing and timing of SIS coursework depends on the chosen program.

Prospective MA/MBA students must separately apply to and be accepted by each school. The admissions committees from each school do not collaborate on the decision-making process.

View Kogod School of Business dual degree admissions requirements and MBA coursework.

Concentrations

GEP concentrations act as pathways throughout the program and align with each student's interests, passions, and career aspirations. Concentrations are not set in stone; students can choose from the list below or develop an individualized concentration in consultation with their advisor.

Below are samples of the courses you can take by concentration area.

  • SIS 620 Global Climate Change
  • SIS 620 Building a Post-Carbon World
  • ANTH 640 Climate Justice
  • ENVS 596 Climate, Economics, and Risk
  • ENVS 505 Energy
  • ENVS 660 Climatology
  • MGMT 596 Managing for Climate Change
  • MGMT 596 Water, Power, and Enterprise
  • PUAD 685 Science and Technology Policy
  • SIS 620 Water Governance
  • ENVS 500 Ecohydrology
  • ENVS 670 Water Resources
  • MGMT 596 The Business of Water
  • MGMT 596 Water, Power, and Enterprise
  • PUAD 696 Sustainable Ocean and Coastal Management
  • SIS 620 The Future of Environmentalism
  • SIS 620 Policy Analysis for Global Environmental Policy
  • SIS 620 International Policy Analysis
  • SIS 620 The Politics of Conservation
  • ENVS 665 Environmental Risk Assessment
  • LAW 618 International Environmental Law
  • LAW 813 Comparative Environmental Law
  • LAW 829 Trade and the Environment
  • PUAD 685 Environment and Natural Resource Policy Analysis
  • PUAD 685 Environmental Sustainability and Public Policy
  • SIS 620 Sustainable Design/LEED Training
  • COMM 589 Sustainability Communication
  • MGMT 517 Sustainability Systems
  • MGMT 596 Sustainable Products and Purchasing
  • MGMT 696 Sustainability Leadership
  • SIS 649 Environment and Development
  • SIS 650 Global Economy and Sustainable Development
  • SIS 637 International Development
  • SIS 635 Urban Development
  • SIS 635 Rural Development
  • SIS 636 Micropolitics of Development
  • ECON 661 Survey of Economic Development
  • SIS 620 The Political Ecology of Food and Agriculture
  • SIS 620 The Political Ecology of Waste
  • SIS 628 Community Based Research: Global Health
  • SIS 628 Global Health, Culture, and Communication
  • HPRM 575 Global Health
  • HPRM 585 Global Health Policy
  • SIS 620 Urban Ecology
  • SIS 635 Urban Development
  • SIS 620 Sustainable Development/LEED
  • CSC 610 Introduction to Global Information Systems 
  • SIS 619 Environment, Conflict, and Peace
  • SIS 609 Conflict Analysis and Resolution
  • SIS 619 Economics of Violence and Peace
  • COMM 589 Communication, Culture, and Environment
  • PHIL 693 Global Ethics

Capstone

An important part of the GEP master's degree is the capstone research project, for which students analyze a contemporary environmental problem, controversy, or policy issue. Students can choose from three different options to fulfill their capstone.

The practicum is a semester-long research project conducted in partnership with a professional organization active in the environmental field. Practicum research teams are made up of six to eight students who work with a faculty supervisor and an organizational partner. Students develop the focus of the research in consultation with the partner, design and execute the work, and write a publication-quality report. Some projects are conducted locally, while others involve international research and/or travel.

The Master's Thesis is an original research project appropriate for students looking to complete a longer and more academically rigorous research paper. It is similar to the Substantial Research Paper, but will completed over the course of one year.

The Substantial Research Paper (SRP) is an independent research project intended to integrate and apply knowledge from the field to a final scholarly project. The SRP culminates in a 50- to 60-page report that defines a question, applies one or more specific research methods to the question, develops findings, and discusses their implications and significance. Completed during your final semester in the program, the SRP is conducted under the supervision of a GEP faculty member.

Application            At a Glance

View a detailed admission and degree requirements listing for your degree of interest.

Entrance Semester
Fall and Spring
Application Deadline
January 15 for the fall semester
October 1 for the spring semester (September 15 for international applicants)
Additional Requirements
Undergraduate degree
TOEFL/IELTS score if non-native English speaker
Two letters of recommendation
Resume
Application
Completion of online application