Online graduate programs specifically in sustainable development are rare, but there are several online degree options for students interested in studying sustainability. These programs are usually available at the master's level and include a capstone experience. Compare some of the different online master's degree programs in sustainability below.
Types of Online Graduate Programs in Sustainable Development
Master of Arts in Sustainable Development
Students may pursue online Master of Arts (MA) in Sustainable Development or online MA in Environmental Studies programs with a concentration in sustainable development and policy. These programs sometimes range from 36 to 40 credits and while coursework is usually completely online, some programs may include short residency periods in various locations for hands-on learning. Students may take these programs full- or part-time and can usually complete the program within 2 years. These programs generally require a culminating project through a capstone project and/or thesis option and may include coursework that covers topics in environmental law and policy, technology in the field, sustainable development, research methods, ecology and monitoring and evaluation.
Master of Science in Sustainable Management
Online Master of Science (MS) in Sustainable Management or Master of Sustainability Leadership programs are available to train students for leadership and management in the field of sustainability. These programs may range from 34 to 35 credits, typically require a capstone experience and usually require students to choose a focus area or specialty track. Some of these concentration areas may include law, urban planning, nonprofit organization, supply chain management, water management or waste management and some programs may focus on more local level, while others may take on a global viewpoint. Core courses for these degree programs may include topics such as leadership, applied research, global perspectives, foundations of sustainability, communications and strategic sustainability.
Master's in Environmental Studies and Sustainability
Students interested in a broad view of sustainability may pursue an online Master's in Environmental Studies and Sustainability program or online MA or MS programs in environmental studies that place an emphasis on sustainability. Master's in Environmental Studies and Sustainability programs are rare, but can be completed 100% online in as little as 1 year. These programs may require around 30 credits, may include a capstone experience and may offer a concentration in sustainability science. Students in these programs may take courses that discuss subjects like ethics, leadership, community planning, ecological economics and strategic management.
Common Entrance Requirements
It is fairly common for online graduate programs in sustainable development and various areas of sustainability to require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree and meet a minimum GPA of a 3.0. Unlike many graduate programs, most of these degree programs do not require students to submit GRE test scores. Typically, applications only require students to submit their official transcripts, a resume or CV and a personal statement. Some programs may also request letters of recommendation and, although rare, some programs may ask that students have professional and/or intercultural experience.
Several online master's degree programs are available in the field of sustainability that usually require a capstone course. Some of these programs may include hands-on learning opportunities and may be completed in 1 to 2 years, depending on the program.