School of International Service

Master's Degree in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD)

Develop a Better Future

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From knowledge to action to impact. With a master’s in International Affairs: Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD), you’ll gain the holistic perspective and practical experience needed to create balanced strategies to some of the most complex challenges facing our world today.

  • Prepare to advocate for environmental issues—locally, nationally, and globally
  • Graduate with two degrees: one from American University and one from the United Nations-affiliated University for Peace in Costa Rica, where you’ll spend two semesters
  • Gain hands-on experience in sustainable development in Costa Rica and elsewhere around the world through a semester abroad and a summer internship

Growing Hope

We’re improving nutrition and resilience for generations to come.

As an agriculture foreign service officer for USAID, I led a team in Malawi that introduced orange-fleshed sweet potatoes to farmers as a way to improve nutrition and resilience in households nationwide. Now, in Haiti, we're planting more than 5 million trees with valuable fruits to help rural farmers increase their incomes, reduce soil erosion and risks from natural disasters, and make their land more productive in the long term.

Immerse Yourself in Sustainable Development at AU

Students in Costa Rica


Study in the nation's capital, a hub for environmental politics and advocacy, and gain hands-on experience at the University for Peace in Costa Rica.

SIS Faculty with Students


Join a top-10 school of international affairs and take advantage of our world-renowned faculty and active global alumni network of more than 20,000.

SIS Building on campus

Green Spaces

The NRSD degree is housed in the LEED Gold-certified School of International Service building that reflects our commitment to sustainability and social justice.