Our distance MSES program is the only one of its kind in the nation, designed to help working professionals develop expertise in environmental issues and put that learning to work in their own communities.
At Green Mountain College, we’ve focused on teaching about the environment for two decades. Our distance MSES program, fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC), is one of the only of its kind in the nation, and is designed to help working professionals develop expertise in environmental issues, then put it to work in their own communities.
Unlike other graduate programs, the GMC master’s degree combines the best of online learning with intensive locally applied experience. We call it a bioregional approach to distance education. Rather than learning about environmental studies solely through examples in a textbook, students in each of our courses use their local ecosystems as laboratories in which to experiment with new concepts and skills.
Students choose between three concentrations—conservation biology, writing and communication, and self-design—and graduate as experts in the workings of their own bioregions. This emphasis on practical application of knowledge prepares students for professional work, whether they are just launching a career or looking for growth in an established position.
Our MSES students graduate with the knowledge and confidence to become leaders. They join a cutting-edge community ready to make a difference.
MSES Program & Curriculum
The Green Mountain College MSES program is one of the only MSES programs designed for distance learning, and is offered by a college that has been focused on environmental issues and sustainability for two decades.
Here is what makes Green Mountain College’s MSES program so unique:
- Low-Residency Requirements Reduces Travel Time and Expense: We offer one, optional yet highly recommended residency per year, and unlike other programs, we use our residencies to build relationships and learning among our students, faculty, and Visiting Scholars. This means that you will spend less money on obtaining their MSES degree, as well as less time away from work and family.
- Leading Faculty: Our faculty possess in-depth experience teaching and researching environmental studies concepts. Many of our faculty are nationally known and recognized as leaders in their fields.
- A College Recognized for Environmental Leadership: Green Mountain College has been focused on the environment for over a decade, and is consistently ranked among the top colleges & universities in the world with an environmental mission. In 2010 we were selected by Sierra Magazine as the #1 Green College in the United States.
- Student Variety: GMC students span the United States and the globe, bringing a breadth of perspectives and experiences that are not available in masters programs that draw the majority of their students from the same geographic area.
- Alumni Accomplishment: Our alumni have applied their MSES degree to become leaders in their fields. Their accomplishments range from college instructors, to editors, to journalists, to forest rangers, to researchers. Because of the relationships formed, our alumni remain connected with one another and with GMC, creating a rich network of environmental professionals.
- Proven Online Learning System and Small Classes Facilitate Learning: We’ve been teaching online longer than any other similar program. You can focus on your studies, not on dealing with technological glitches. In addition, we keep class sizes small – normally, there are no more than 20 students per section. This ensures you can meaningfully interact with fellow students and receive individualized attention from course instructors.
The GMC MSES program requires 36 hours of Green Mountain College graduate credits. All of the courses are three credits and last six weeks. Most of our course sections range from 10-18 students, creating an ideal online learning environment.
Typically, you will take one class at a time, sequencing your core requirements prior to taking their electives. With permission of the program director, you can choose to take more than one class during a six-week term. Most students take the core courses in the same order, which serves to lay important foundational perspectives of environmental studies, as well as build relationships within your cohort. You’ll complete projects by applying the skills and knowledge needed for success while engaging with colleagues and instructors in asynchronous discussions.